Dark rooms can be a great statement in small and large homes alike. They bring a mysterious sense of grandeur and drama to your home and they keep it interesting and cosy. However, from time to time you might find that you want to lighten up the darker areas of your home.
There are plenty of ways to lighten up the dark areas and rooms in your home without much effort or cost on your part! From using your windows, to creating roof windows and skylights and playing with reflective surfaces and mirrors, we will show you several ways to cast light into those tricky corners and make it a space that's enjoyable for all!
For starters, feel free to check out this great ideabook for how to incorporate a more temporary fixture in your home for more lighting!
Roof windows are a great way to add natural light into a dark area. Roof windows are possible in almost any room, unless you have a multiple-level home, and they are especially useful for outdoor areas and patios. One key advantage to roof windows is that they will provide consistent and abundant natural light, even when the weather tends to be grey and rainy during the wet seasons. They also allow you to keep all the wall space you want, and you won't have to invest in window coverings and blinds!
Check out how this skylight above a dining room aided in bringing more light into both the kitchen and dining room, creating a wonderful atmosphere for healthy living and entertainment.
Another way to lighten up a dark room is to simply use a light colour scheme. This can include repainting the walls and larger accessories and decor with lighter pastels and/or neutrals, or incorporating light-coloured fixtures, hardware and furnishings into the space as well for a less permanent fix.
In this kitchen, the dark cabinetry on the lower-level of the room is perfectly offset by the use of a lighter palette on top and even the darker light fixtures give a great balance for this kitchen – which would otherwise be darker. For kitchens, and especially any room with a lot of function, it's important to keep the colour scheme lighter to make sure your tasks are done in a safe and hygienic environment.
Living in a home with a lot of smaller rooms and areas can definitely cause a staleness or darkness to come over the space. A great way to solve this problem is use an open-concept living plan when organizing your home. This can be done simply with furnishings and finding ways to allow natural light to infiltrate the space, or it can become a more permanent and hefty construction project where you decide to knock down some exterior walls or inlet walls to create a more open, fresh feel.
Make sure if you decide to redesign your home based on an open-concept plan that you're only knocking down accent walls and not support walls that provide stability to your home and its foundation!
Of course, one of the easiest, most efficient and cost-effective ways to add light to a dark room is to use strategic lighting! When planning the lighting and lighting fixtures for a dark room, consider all types of lighting, as seen here.
One great concept this designer used was to highlight each wall shelf with LED lighting – this is something you should consider when planning the decor and accessories in your dark room. Highlight the shelving, baseboards, crown molding and even any art works in your room to provide great pops of colour and light. These will require minimal installation and costs and more than likely can be installed by you in one weekend.
If you have larger windows in your home, this is always a great way to let natural light into a dark room. If you're trying to figure out ways to battle darkness in your space, then we suggest you choose sheers for optimal natural light intake, or roman blinds if more privacy is what you're after. Quite a few styles of roman blinds are also sheers, so it's a double win!
Avoid long, dark curtains or anything with darker patterns and textures. If you're willing to undergo a more permanent and strenuous project, then think about constructing and/or building more windows in the dark room and for more drama, make the windows go from the floor to the ceiling, as seen in this great example. Especially in rooms with a lot of wood, darkness can easily permeate the space – floor-to-ceiling windows can be the best solution for this issue.
Smooth surfaces are not only hygienic and fresh, but will also give a modern and minimalist feel to your home. They also tend to reflect natural and artificial light the most, which will create the illusion of a brighter and lighter space.
Using smooth surfaces in kitchens and bathrooms is a great option because there are lots of design choices, like tiles, wood, linoleum and natural stone, plus they're easy to maintain and clean, which is important in highly-functional spaces.
Finally, one of the most cost-effective and design-friendly options for bringing more light into a dark room is to use mirrors! Mirrors are brilliant in that they come in all shapes, sizes and designs and can easily be used to fit any space you might need them in.
Mirrors will reflect light and create an illusion of depth, height and more space in almost any area. As seen here, they can also be modern and whimsical in design and be found to fit to almost any tastes or design theme.
Like the great mirror you see? Check out more designs from this great Dutch design company here!