How To Brighten A Dark Apartment, According To A Designer

In an ideal world we would all live in homes with plenty of natural light, but sometimes we find ourselves in spaces that fall short in that department. When my husband and I moved into our house over a decade ago, we couldn’t change the placement of the windows in the house, which do very little to let in light. And while I used to like the dark sand tone I chose to paint my walls, but the deep color now makes my space feel small and dark. Luckily, there are many tried-and-true interior design tricks that can help make even the darkest of spaces feel airy and bright, although nothing ever quite compares to natural light.

First order of business: Make sure your walls are white – and if they’re not, paint them. Then get creative with the decoration. In general, reflective surfaces like mirrors and polished metal are your friends; darker materials probably not. We spoke to interior designer Megan Hersch, co-founder and COO of roomLift, for more expert guidance. Ahead, she shares her top tips and tricks to brighten up even the darkest of interiors.

Essentials to make dark rooms appear light and airy

A modern mirror that reflects light

Designers have an age-old trick to making rooms appear brighter and larger: well-placed mirrors that help reflect natural light into darker corners. “If you can hang [a mirror] facing a window, even better,” says Hersch. “They will reflect the outside light in your room all day long.” Currently her favorite is this mirror set by Roar & Rabbit. “I love hanging three together in a dining room or above an entryway console to create a lot of reflection in the room,” she says.

Artwork showing a sunny design

Sometimes you don’t even need a lot of light to make a room feel more airy – all you need is a work of art from the sun to bring brightness into your space. “The image of light can offer some of the same mood-enhancing energy that actual light offers,” says Hersch. “A print of the sun, like this triptych from Etsy, might be the quickest way to feel lighter without having to call in an electrician or a painter.” And the bonus? The artwork is printable, which means you can hang it pretty much straight away (provided you have a good quality home printer, of course).

A reflective glass coffee table

Reflective surfaces like glass also help “redirect light,” says Hersch. And while it’s hard to top the reflective properties of mirrors, you can also achieve the same effect through accessories, lighting and furniture, like this mid-century modern glass coffee table from Crate & Barrel. Another benefit of decorating with glass pieces? They give a piece a “floating” feel, which can make a room appear larger.

A mirrored bowl for displaying objects

Another reflective surface that can cause light to bounce around a room is metal, according to Hersch. If you want to go down this route, consider outfitting your space with ultra-shiny stainless steel to create a look that’s not only light-enhancing, but cool and contemporary. This hammered metal bowl will do the trick, as will this polished dressing table.

A plug-in wall light to illuminate dark corners

“Plug-in lights are my new favorite piece,” enthuses Hersch, and that’s understandable: They’re guaranteed to brighten up dark rooms. “There are so many great looking sconces that plug into an outlet, which means you don’t have to rewire to have lights on your walls,” she continues. “Combine two above your sofa or either side of a mirror hanging over your console and run the cord along the wall, either with a cord breaker or stapled to the wall (just don’t staple the cord) to keep it secure sits against the wall.” While there are countless excellent plug-in wall lights online, this one from Crate & Barrel stands out with a trendy pleated shade.

A neon sign to add a flashy light

If you want to add fun lighting that looks best at night, consider a neon sign, preferably one with an uplifting or cheeky phrase that fits your decor scheme. “I’m into the trend of neon signs in more casual and entertaining spaces like children’s rooms, TV rooms and family rooms,” says Hersch. “Urban Outfitters sells some great ones.”

Shiny golden color for the ceiling

If your room is low on light, the best color for your walls is white – hands down. “If you can, paint your walls white or a very light color,” says Hersch. However, this guidance does not necessarily apply to caps. If you’re able and willing to paint up there, gold is your go-to colour. “My favorite tip is to paint the ceiling,” says the designer. “I love the reflective gold paint from Sydney Harbor to throw the light around, especially when you also hang a metallic chandelier from it.”

Read  Nutrition Experts: How to Eat Healthy Amid Rising Grocery Costs

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button