A well-lit house is a crucial factor for human wellbeing. Without enough light, you’ll feel grumpy, fatigued and even depressed.
How to get your energy back if you happen to live in a house that looks more like a den forgotten by the rest of the world? Well, fortunately, you can do plenty to let more light in and give your interiors a cheerful and fresh feel. Factors like the location of your house, the size and number of the windows are undeniably important, but even if you feel like you can do nothing about your dark cave, don’t lose hope and read on to discover plenty of foolproof solutions to make your home a bright and happy place!
Analyze your space
Take a look around your house – what are its darkest parts? Think about what you can easily change about them. Maybe all you need to do is declutter a bit? Sometimes having too much furniture can make even a relatively bright space seem dark. So before you turn to more extreme measures, be sure that you’re not hoarding too much unnecessary stuff!
How about the colors on the walls? You have two options – you can try to make the room appear brighter or accept it darker nature and embrace it. Surprised? Yes, with some spaces it’s a really good option to just accentuate their atmosphere with darker hues and therefore make them look cozy and moody. This goes perfectly for the bedroom as it’s a private space where you spend just a few hours before falling asleep – darker hues will help you relax and unwind after a tough day and fall asleep easier. Not to mention that using darker and richer colors in the bedroom makes it look way sexier than if you were to opt for light hues! Charcoal and black may seem a bit extreme, but if combined with lighter colors of the furniture and accessories they look extremely stylish. You can use such hues not only in the bedroom – the living room, the kitchen and the dining room will also look fabulous in darker hues!
But if you don’t feel well in such dark interiors, you should stick to lightening your house up. There’s this little trick that interior designers use to make any space look brighter. It’s all about painting the walls in light colors, but using three shades of one color. They all should be still light, but they should differ a bit in their brightness. How to do it? It’s simple – use the darkest hue on the wall with the windows, the medium one on the adjacent ones and the lightest one on the wall opposite to the windows. It will make your room seem much more well-lit by natural light than it used to be. Another cool tip is to pick a wall paint that has some sparkling particles in it which reflect the light and therefore make the space brighter.
Opt for light hues as much as you can
When living in a dark house, every interior design choice you make can affect the overall brightness of your space. That’s why you should choose your furniture wisely and opt for light hues and simple, rather modern designs. Already have a dark couch but your budget is a bit tight? Don’t worry, you can still make things better by buying a light-colored overlay. Picking a commode? Be sure you choose a design with legs – keeping some distance between the floor and the furniture makes it look lighter. Looking for a perfect coffee table? Pick a glass or acrylic one which will look super light and won’t block the light. You can also go after mirrored cabinets which will look very glamorous and will help in evenly distributing light around any room. And as for the floor, try to pick the lightest hue that you can manage to keep clean. Ideally, you’d pick white, light beige or light gray tiles with a glossy finish. If you’re a fan of hardwood flooring, opt for oak, maple, pine, birch or other light-colored types of wood.
Window decor should be as transparent as it can be – forget hanging dark and heavy curtains unless you choose to embrace the dark and cozy aspect. You can also ditch the window decor altogether. But if you don’t like the look of the windows without any curtains, opt for sheer and white ones with as little details and prints as possible as the tend to limit the incoming natural daylight. Another important thing are to keep your window sills clear and if you really want to put some accessories on it, opt for ones made of clear or light-colored glass to don’t block the light. Plants? Well, only really, really small ones and the bigger ones should be placed in other places of the room.
Choose neutrals, pastels, and metallics
If you want to brighten your interior, you don’t have to choose only white colors. Although creating an all-white decor is a surefire way for a truly sophisticated effect it may be also quite hard to maintain so you’ll be better off with mixing white with rich neutrals and pastels. Caramel beige, soft taupe and copper brown add warmth and make space feel cozy. Pastels such as subtle lavender, zesty mint and others bring a fresh and cheerful vibe to any interior. Mixing a few light hues with white is easy and always works well in creating a brighter look. And you shouldn’t forget metallic colors – thanks to their reflectiveness they help any space feel brighter. It can be a metallic wallpaper or shiny details such as a metallic chandelier, a vanity or a piece of art. And in the kitchen, opt for a shiny backsplash and some spot lighting fixtures under the upper cabinets. This simple move will make whole kitchen space look more spacious and brighter.
Placing mirrors in different places of your house is the best way to help the light spread evenly in your interiors. Pick some spots that need brightening up and hang mirrors there. While doing that keep in mind also the placement of the sources of both natural and artificial light. To make a short and dark hall look brighter, place a mirror at the end of it. And to create an optical illusion of a brighter and bigger room, place two big mirrors on the opposite walls.
Don’t be afraid of some renovation
If your budget allows it, go to more drastic measures such as removing some walls. Merging some rooms together often results in making them brighter. Another thing you can do is to widen the doorways. Ideally, you would install French doors with sidelights which won’t block any of the light. Remember to use light paint on them to maximize the final effect.
If you can, try to add some windows – not only these which will connect you with the outside world, but also windows inside your house, if you need them. For example, if one of your rooms doesn’t have any windows, you can consider adding one to get some daylight into it. If you crave privacy, place such window as high as you can. In fact, this solution is the best as the higher the window is, the more light it will let into your room. Plus if you want to make it a large one, you can always use some frosted glass to keep the room private. Installing such extra windows is also a good solution for wardrobes as they are usually pretty dark spaces.
Adding glass door as your entrance door will provide plenty of light to your hall. If you don’t feel comfortable with using clear glass, opt for a frosted one or some sheer curtains which will provide some privacy.
Don’t block the light
If you have windows in your staircase, don’t install heavy balustrades, instead opt for those which will let as much light through as it’s possible. Even better if you install glass stairs – besides their light-friendliness they also look super chic!
Get the most of the daylight
Not only windows can let you benefit from the daylight. Another option are to install TDDs (Tubular Daylight Devices) which are also known as sun tunnels, light tubes, tubular skylights or sun pipes. They are cylinders which connect the ceiling with the roof and this way they input daylight into the rooms up to two floors below. They are covered in reflective paint which ensures that you get as much of the light as it’s possible.The bottoms of those cylinders are glazed or diffused to prevent the light from being too strong and blinding. This way you can enjoy a soft and natural light even in otherwise dark rooms. Things to consider before installing TDDs? On warmer days they will also generate some significant amount of heat, so if you care about keeping a low temperature, invest in air conditioning or pick another solution to bring some light into your space. And on rainy days, there’s a risk of leakage, but if you will have them installed by a proven professional it’s a rather non-existent danger. The biggest advantages of TDDs are the facts that they’re super eco-friendly and surprisingly efficient in lighting any room!
Lighten it up
Choosing perfect lighting fixtures can go a long way in a dark house. Sometimes you just need some help and there’s only so much you can achieve with the daylight and only one way left to enjoy a bright interior which is by installing some lamps. If you have a dark and overwhelming ceiling, opt for recessed can lighting – it’s much better than installing just a single swag lamp as it will spread the light evenly around the entire room. Depending on your preferences you can opt for a smaller number of bigger recessed lighting fixtures or install more of the smaller ones for a more subtle effect.
Keep it clean
This one is rather a no-brainer – keeping your windows and lighting fixtures sparkling clean will make the interior feel brighter as it will allow more light into it.
How about your experiences with making dark houses feel brighter? Do you have any tips that you can share?