A dark, dreary home can often make you too feel dark and dreary. You may consider adding in new windows or skylights but what if this is just not a possibility? Avoid the feeling of being bogged down in a dark, sleepy space with these handy tips.
Plan your Lighting
Ideally, your space should receive a comfortable combination of both natural and artificial lighting however, if the space simply doesn’t receive enough natural light then it is time to work on your artificial lighting plan.
Create a brighter environment by layering functional lighting in the space; this means, ensuring the space includes a blend of ambient and focused task lighting. Start with your ceiling lights: the main source of artificial lighting in the room. Avoid low hanging pendant lights in any smaller space as this element will only make the ceiling appear lower: something we want to avoid when striving to create a lighter and brighter environment! Instead, opt for flushmounted downlights and create a feature in your table and floor lamps. You may also consider wall sconces that will add a further layer of ambient lighting to the space.
The key to creating a bright and airy room is to simply nail your colour scheme! The general rule of thumb is to keep your ceiling and walls white rather than using any darker colours that will “close in” the room.
For a different approach, you may also consider introducing just a hint of colour in your paintwork rather than going for an absolute white scheme and let your decor and accessories do the rest of the talking when it comes to adding life and personality to the space.
Soft pastels for example, add that hint of colour to the space while still retaining that depth of colour and light, airy vibe we are striving for. For a more neutral approach, you may also consider various tints of white: the ever so popular ‘Greige’ comes to mind, as well as very light, warm greys. Avoid using any cooler colours on your walls though: cool colours (those tinted with blue) usually lack depth, absorbing light rather than letting bounce around the space.
Decorate With Reflective Surfaces
Using reflective surfaces (such as glass and metallic finishes) in your decorating scheme will also assist in allowing light to freely move about the space. Mirrors are the obvious choice, which will create the illusion of extra space in a smaller area as well as bounce light through the room. You should also consider clear or lightly coloured glass accessories to enhance your newly light-filled home, while glossy or metallic finished decorative pieces will add a further layer of luxury, light and reflection.
Clear the Clutter
One thing that can seriously bring down the vibe of any room is, you guessed it: Clutter. An overly cluttered room will always feel heavy, dark and disorganised so make sure to avoid it at all costs! You will notice a dramatic difference once everything is neatly tucked away so spend some time sifting through it all; dispose, donate, rearrange – just get rid of it!
Make use of covered storage solutions to ensure any unsightly bits and pieces are neatly tucked away and out of sight (for example, lidded baskets, coffee table drawers, storage ottomans, etc). Cleverly arrange and organise any open storage areas to maximise the space without cluttering it up; the example above shows a loaded bookshelf that has been completely rearranged to show off only the most important trinkets, favourite books, etc. in a neatly organised fashion to make much better use of the space without making it appear too heavy.
The colour and style of your furniture will also make a huge impact on the overall look of your space. To ensure a lighter and brighter room, opt for lighter coloured fabrics, blonde or whitewashed timbers and of course, clear glass. You may also want to pay close attention to the maintenance factor of such pieces: always make sure furniture is easy to keep clean and is either raised off the floor or at least light enough to be able to easily move and get a vacuum or broom under it. Not only will raised furniture help in keeping the space clean but it will also create the illusion of more space: Always remember, the more floor you can see, the bigger a room feels!
Another key factor to consider when selecting new furniture is to ensure any new pieces match the size and proportion of the room. A bulky, overstuffed couch may feel sort of comfy but plonk it in a tiny room and suddenly it looks ten times as huge, dragging all the light with it! Yes, you can find super comfy couches in a reasonable size; it just takes a little more research!
Focus on Flooring
As mentioned above, make sure to show off as much of the floor as you can in a darker, small room to ensure the space feels larger and of course, brighter. You will also want to pay close attention to your actual flooring finish: timber or tiled floors with a semi or full gloss sheen to them will help create that light-filled home we are after. If you’ve selected a carpet or rug, you may want to consider light greys (much more forgiving than a pure white!), preferably with a two toned carpet fibre (where there are slight flecks of a lighter colour blended throughout the carpet) or a stylish rug with metallic fibres blended through. These finishes will create a lustrous, light and airy vibe in your newly designed space.
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