7 Ways To Brighten Up Your Home

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A dark home can feel depressing. Fortunately, there are many ways to lighten the mood. If you’re currently looking for ways to renovate your home and make it brighter without having to construct a new window, here are a few tips to shine you in the right direction.

Strategically use interior lighting

The easiest way of adding light to your home is through artificial lighting. You needn’t have rewire in new lights – in many rooms you can make do with floor lamps and table lamps. Place these in dark corners of the room where the windows may struggle to illuminate your home.

The two rooms where you may not want to use these types of lighting are the kitchen and bathroom, as they could clutter things up. If you’re going to wire in lighting to these rooms, consider opting for track lighting as opposed to spot lighting as it will be much cheaper whilst still providing the same brightness.

Artificial lighting can be great for creating a mood. There are two types of main lighting – warm light and cool light. Warm lighting generally suits living rooms, bedrooms and hallways and places with warm colour schemes. Cool lighting can be ideal in a study or a bathroom where there may be cooler colours (it can also look good in a kitchen, bringing calm to metallic surfaces). Ambient lighting such as vintage filament lamps or crystal rock salt lamps meanwhile can be great for accompanying a relaxing bath. Glow.co.uk offers all kinds of mood lighting that could be up your alley. You can even go for extra ambience and incorporate candles to save electricity.

Repaint the walls

Repainting the walls with a lighter shade is a certain way to brighten up your home. Even a new splash of paint in the same colour may be worthwhile for getting rid of stains, peeling or general fading that could be making your home look duller.

Yellows are a popular colour in kitchens and can bring an instant warm glow perfect for accompanying that morning coffee. For living rooms and hallways, you may wish to go a little more neutral with a white, beige or tan colour. Blues, greens and greys can feel colder, although may be more suitable for a bedroom or bathroom where the loud colours may feel less relaxing. Always keep to light shades, especially with cold colours such as blue and green.

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Buy light coloured furniture

White furniture will immediately brighten up your home. You can go overboard and make the place feel sterile, but generally this takes a lot of white to do this. Light coloured woods such as oaks and beeches can also be great choices for keeping things bright.  

Dark mahogany cabinets and cupboards can add a sense of class to your home, but will make it feel darker as they won’t reflect light. Similarly, any form of black – whether it be a leather sofa or a bedspread – is going to make your home much gloomier. The only way to get away with these dark furniture types is contrast them with white walls.

Change your curtains

Thick curtains are perfect in the winter for keeping the heat in. However, they also block out all light. When the bright summer days roll in and you want to let in more natural light, consider taking down these heavy curtains and replacing them with light sashes or thin fabric curtains. There are many sites online such as onlinecurtainfabrics.com that can give you inspiration. For the bedroom, consider combining light curtains with a roll-down blackout blind. This will give you the optional dark to help you sleep whilst allowing you to keep your light curtains hung up.

Don’t obstruct windows

Often other things can serve as obstructions to natural light. Overly big plants or bulky mantelpiece ornaments could be blocking out light. You should also think about where you place a wardrobe or a cupboard. If it’s right next to a window, it could be jutting out and blocking natural light from getting to some of the room.

Outside obstructions can also play a part. Sometimes these can be unavoidable such as other buildings, lampposts and trees on other people’s land. However, if it’s a tree or a high hedge outside your house or in your garden causing the problem, you might want to consider cutting it back. In many cases this will require planning permission, so always check with your local planning committee first. Your neighbours may also want a say, as cutting it back could invade on their privacy (for example cutting back a tree that then allows you to see into their conservatory from an upper level).

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Make use of mirrors and shiny surfaces

Reflective surfaces can work wonders for adding more natural light to a room. If a room only has a small window, adding a mirror opposite it can create the illusion of two windows. For a bedroom, you may wish to use a mirrored wardrobe to let in more light. You may even opt for a full wall mirror (these are very useful for making a small room look bigger, but can be distracting).

Shiny surfaces can work just as well. Adding chrome to a dark kitchen can let in more natural light (consider chrome taps and drawer pulls), although adding too much could run the risk of your kitchen looking like a canteen. Glass coffee tables and hanging shiny beads can also help to reflect light. You can even use fish tanks or indoor water features.

Grow bright flowers

Plants can also be used to bring natural brightness to a room, especially ones with brightly coloured flowers or lush light leaves. Place these around a room and you’ll immediately add a sense of vibrancy. Flowers look great in any room of the home. They grow particularly well in bathrooms, and yet this is often the room in the house where we most neglect them. Colour coordinate your flowers to the tones of the room for extra impact.

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