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Let there be light: how to brighten up dark rooms

With summertime bringing us lighter evenings now’s the perfect time to overhaul gloomy spaces in your home and add light to dark rooms.

How? (You might ask). By banishing colours, fabrics and accessories that absorb light, and introducing those that reflect it instead!

Lighter rooms are the PERFECT way to make those balmy summer nights even more enjoyable. So, follow our expert advice and inject more glorious light into your living spaces!

6 quick and easy tips to add light to dark rooms:

1. Mirror Mirror on the wall

Mirrors to lighten rooms

Mirrors don’t just reflect your appearance; they also bounce light back too. So, if your rooms aren’t getting enough light throughout the day, adding a few mirrors can easily remedy that.

Position your mirrors directly across from windows and other sources of natural and artificial light in your rooms. That way when the light does shine in, your mirrors will be there to catch it and ping it back, not to mention mirrors also make small rooms feel infinitely bigger too.

2. Re-expose your windows

Windows to create light in dark rooms

Anything that hangs in front of your window will inhibit the amount of light that passes through. If you have curtains, opt for lighter fabrics, in softer colours and tie them back during the day.

Likewise, remember to roll up any blinds fully, and keep your windows clear of clutter, all of which will act as a barrier to light. A quick trim of any trees, branches or ivy obscuring light from your window will also make the world of difference too, as can giving them a quick clean which removes any surface dirt and grime preventing light from getting through.

3. Go Matt, not high-gloss

Matt finishes to create light in dark rooms

It can be easy to think high-shine materials are better for reflecting light, but actually the opposite is true. Rather than bounce light back, gloss finishes diffuse it instead so all that wonderful natural light goes to waste and fails to make its mark on dark rooms.

Matt furniture and paints on the other hand actually do exactly the opposite. Bouncing light back into a room, to bring about a fresher, lighter feel.

4. Use uplighters

Uplighters to create light

Another quick and easy fix you can make in dark rooms is to install uplighters. Whether wall mounted or freestanding, research shows that the direction of a light source has a direct bearing on its effectiveness. With uplighters proving to be most effective when it comes to brightening up dark rooms.

This is because uplighters reflect light towards the ceiling, rather than horizontally or vertically like table lamps and ceiling roses do. The more light your room has up high, the lighter it will look and feel overall.

5. Ditch the wall art

Ditch the wall art to lighten dark rooms

Bare walls are light’s best friend, so covering your walls with artwork, prints or pictures (while great for putting your personality across) will unfortunately inhibit your room’s ability to transfer light.

That’s because paintings and other solid objects mounted on walls absorb light instead of reflecting it. So if your rooms feel dark, consider replacing your wall art with light-reflecting mirrors instead. Or simply cut back on the number of artworks to allow more light to naturally bounce around the room.

6. Decorate in white 

Decorating with white to create light

When it comes to reflecting light, no colour does this better than white. So, if your rooms are dark, and nothing else seems to fix it, giving your walls a fresh coat of white paint should make the world of difference.

Likewise, replace any dark furniture in a room with equivalent options in white (matt finish not gloss we hasten to add). All of which will give dark rooms a bright, fresh (and most importantly) light look.

We update our Curiously British Blog with expert advice, competitions and more every week. So be sure to check back for all the latest interiors news and updates from our team.

And for advice on any of our handcrafted furniture drop us a line on 020 8939 3800 – or search our online shop.

Kind regards,

The Willow & Hall team

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