When it comes to the lighting in your home, some rooms have advantages that others may not – advantages such as larger or more windows, for example. You might want to make improvements, but maybe you’re not ready to hire an electrician. That’s ok because there are a few tips you can use to help lighten things up without spending the big bucks.
You can get pretty creative with color and your lighting, for one thing. Just painting the ceiling white can make a huge difference in how spacious or well-lit the room seems to be. Of course, it can be better to paint really dark, or cave-like, spaces a bright white including the walls to get a maximum effect, as this reflects light. If you are reluctant to brighten things to this degree, consider a very pale color for the walls like cream, mint, or a really pale yellow, and go for the white ceiling.
While you’re at it, keep the accent colors to a minimum as well – at least when it comes to wall paint. The more deep color you bring to an already dark room, the more you will close in that space. If you really feel the need to color the walls, try stenciled trim along the ceiling, or put it on the baseboards only. The best thing here is to keep the walls and ceiling light. Bring in color for decorations, throws and pillows or area rugs.
Make full use of the natural light you have available. If you use plastic or wooden blinds, you will effectively block large amounts of the natural light you may need. Try cream-colored linen or sheers for window treatments that keep letting the light in. If you prefer blinds, there are many cloth versions that are semi-sheer which can give you privacy without light-blocking.
Sometimes, odd as it may seem, harsh overhead lighting can highlight the fact that a space is dark by nature. Try using perimeter lamps instead of the overhead to diffuse the light and enhance the reflective properties of the brighter ceiling and walls where you’ve gone lighter with the paint. Well-placed floor lamps with light colored, semi-sheer shades also help spread the light and keep things reflective instead of throwing everything into sharp relief like overheads tend to do.
And let’s not forget the most obvious way to brighten your home – use more powerful light bulbs. Don’t just look at wattage; look at the light output for the bulb as that will give you the brightest options.