How to brighten a room without adding new stuff | the ReFab Diaries


When we talk about brightening up a room, we're usually talking color. Let's "brighten things up" with a fun coat of paint, colorful pillows or art. What I've been thinking about, however, is actual light versus dark. If you aren't lucky enough to live in a home with huge windows and wide-open views, how can you lighten things up? 

Today I'm sharing a few design tricks to brighten a dark room without adding new stuff. 



This may seem obvious, but it's the best place to start. When a space has too much stuff in it, all that stuff absorbs light. It might even be blocking the only source of light you have! So take a hard look at things and consider getting rid of as much as you can. Less mess will help a room feel more spacious, and more space = more light. 


Replace Window Treatments

You should also think about replacing your window treatments to brighten a dark room. Curtains can add an unwanted layer of dimension to a room that makes it feel heavy. So consider removing them, especially if you already have blinds too. Blinds offer privacy and block light for things like TV viewing, but they don't take up the kind of space curtains do. Outside of the bedrooms, I only have blinds around my apartment, and there’s more natural light than I know what to do with.


Rethink Lighting

Another tip on how to brighten a room without adding new stuff is to rethink lighting. This doesn’t mean you have to run out to the store and buy a new chandelier. Instead, look at other rooms in your house. See if there are any light fixtures you can steal from another area to put in the dark corner. Also, think about the light’s placement. A dinky lamp on a desk will not go too far in illuminating the room. So consider moving it up onto shelf where it can reflect off the wall and create a feature. 

Of course, if you ARE going to spend a little money and time, then white paint is your friend. And don't forget the ceiling - that's often a major contributor to dull light in a room.

You never need to buy new things to transform a space. Taking a fresh look at the things you already have and how they're arranged can completely shift your perspective and make what's old feel new again.

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