1. USING MIRROR IN A CLEVER WAY
Using mirror in a clever way is a design trick to really help reflect any light that enters the room, and we don't just mean a framed mirror on the wall. Go big with your mirror and use it as a large wall piece, maximizing the space and encouraging light to bounce around the room, like this scheme is from designer Emmanuelle Simon, which makes for a beautiful and unique living room mirror idea.
2. CREATE A WINDOW WHICH PROJECTS SUNLIGHT
Think cleverly about where the sun comes from, and where it will project. 'Adding windows or skylights to a space is the logical way to bring in more natural light or opening up walls to borrow light from adjacent spaces that are well lit,’ says interior designer, Sashya Thind, who has cleverly used a window to help a small bedroom feel bigger. ‘We are not afraid of a bit of demolition to dramatically improve the space.’
3. USE LIGHT NATURAL MATERIALS TO REFLECT THE LIGHT
Using natural materials that are bright and light in color is another creative way to brighten a room, as seen in this modern kitchen.
4. TRY A BRIGHTLY COLORED FLOOR
When brightening a dark room, another trick you can do is to use the flooring to brighten the space. Light wood in the kitchen is one way, or perhaps a brightly colored living room rug will do the trick, but beautiful light-colored tiles can also really create impact and add sunshine to the space.
5. USING THE COLOR WHITE
White paint can be your best friend when designing a dark, inclosed space. It naturally helps reflect the light and can create quite an impact in all its hues, from stark white to a more pinkish tone. This design by Kuzman Architecture has used white on both the walls and ceiling, and have painted over exposed brickwork in white to further lighten the space.
6. SUPPLEMENT NATURAL LIGHT WITH LAYERED LIGHTING
One surefire way to brighten a dark room is through lighting, but not necessarily just one central overhead light source. A room is all the more enticing and feels brighter when you supplement the overhead light with multiple different light sources. 'We will add energy-efficient lighting in many forms to a space,' says Sashya. When it comes to how many lights you should have in a space, 'a combination of recessed, sconces and floor lamps allows the user to set the tone,' she adds.
7. DITCH HEAVY CURTAINS FOR SHEER MATERIAL
In a dark room, do away with the thick floor-length curtains that can make the room feel all the darker, moodier and colder, and invest in a sheer curtain for a modern window treatment. Good quality sheer curtains will encourage light to come in and filter beautifully through the material, without fully blocking it and making the space feel small and dark. 'Luminous sheer drapery when you have large windows and need privacy but don't want to compromise on natural light flooding in are a great design idea,' says Sashya. The result is dream-like and glowy.
8. INCLUDE METALLIC AND GLIMMERS OF GOLD
Think about how you can reflect the light in quick, easy wins, like the use of reflective, metallic materials that reflect any light. This can be the form of any object, from details on light fixtures, to the legs of a coffee table. Metallic material is your friend in a dark room, and has been used beautifully in this modern bedroom from Bethan Gray.
9. GO FOR A GLOSS PAINT
Gloss is another way to help create a reflective effect in a dark room. Levels of sheen range from semi-gloss to high-gloss, but it’s the latter that tends to steal the spotlight when it comes to paint ideas.
10. USE LED LIGHTS
LED lights are a smart way of lightening a dark room, with a strip of LED that lines the junction between the wall and the ceiling, or the wall and the floor, and casting light onto the walls. Make sure to keep your LED light strip concealed and discreet, and rest assured that it will still brighten the space. Hide your strip in the crown molding details or you can place a film over the top to disperse the light evenly. The result is architecturally spectacular but is actually really easy to achieve with a bit of home DIY.