Dark rooms can be dreary and uninviting to your family and guests who visit your home. Adding windows and other structural changes may not be an option, so how do you lighten up a dark room? You need not worry! There are plenty of easy ways to decorate a darker room to make it lighter and more appealing for you and your loved ones to want to spend time in.
Utilizing lighter neutral colors such as light taupe, dove grey, or a warm white on your walls will make your dark room appear more open, light, and airy. If your ceilings are a bit lower, it is a good idea to paint the molding the same color as your walls to help elongate the room.
Paint the Ceiling White
You’ll always want to paint your ceilings a lighter color than the walls, preferably a bright white. A white ceiling does a couple things to a room; in addition to making the room appear brighter, it helps a smaller room feel taller and more spacious. In order to really brighten a darker room, you can’t purchase just any white. Cream, ivory, and other versions of off-white paints will not work. You must use the clearest, brightest white that you can find.
A bright ceiling will also help to reflect any light from your windows, lamps, and fixtures. To get this effect, use paints with a sheen. A flat, satin, or matte finish is counterintuitive and will actually soak up your light. High-gloss, semi-gloss, and lacquer finishes tend to reflect light, helping a dark room appear lighter and brighter.
Paint the Woodwork
Although some people are against painting woodwork for any reason, it is a surefire way to lighten a dark room. Dated wainscoting, oak staircases, or unattractive ceilings all but beg a coat of fresh, bright, white paint.
Painting your woodwork will instantly lighten and modernize a room. Pair your newly white woodwork with appealing color contrasts to really make it pop. However, before you paint your woodwork, you want to make absolutely sure that you want to as it can be difficult to restore. That being said, don’t be afraid to update and modernize even the oldest pieces!
Opt for Rich, Deep Colors
Some designers believe that light colors can never come to life in a dark room. Colors that are too pale simply help to accentuate the room’s shadows. Avoid painting your entire room white in an attempt to brighten it; instead, marry bright whites with rich color contrasts to bring a natural-looking brightness to the room.
Rich, deep colors can make a dim, somber space feel luxurious and inviting even if it receives no natural light. In spaces where no light shines through the windows, you’ll want to use paint colors that will bring brightness and warmth to a room. Try warm, rich tones to naturally brighten the area and give the appearance of natural warmth and light.