There are eight easy-to-implement secrets to add light to a dark room. Get the inexpensive tips and tricks to make your home feel instantly brighter!
No matter the age of your home, adding light can instantly make it feel cleaner, bigger and more updated.
Learn how to instantly add value and create the cozy, light filled home of your dreams with these simple techniques!
If you’re anything like me, you’re craving light, bright and sunshine-filled days at this time of year. In fact, that’s one of the reason we bought our lake house – I love summer so much that I want to capture it all year long.
One reason I didn’t immediately love our Tudor style St. Louis home is because it felt dark and a little dreary. I’m a girl who thrives on light, preferably natural.
I knew there would be simple ways to make changes, and some were so inexpensive! This guide is filled with simple, realistic ways to bring light into your home.
- Get more comprehensive steps for a complete lighting plan in my complete step by step Lighting Design Guide.
- The best tip of all? Add light anywhere (no electricity required) with wireless light bulbs. Control them from your phone! It really is that easy!
- We are big fans of cozy candle style bulb lighting. I tend to choose Brass Lighting and chandeliers and pendants with smaller, candle-inspired bulbs because I love the warm ambiance it creates.
- Don’t skip the lamps! Table lamps can add such warm, cozy lighting to a room.
- Sconces can be used anywhere. Consider them by your nightstand, by your kitchen sink, in hallways or bathrooms. There are wireless sconces now, too!
- You’ll find that many light fixtures have a bulb requirement in the product specifications. This can vary wildly, so if you’re looking for a lot of light, be sure to choose a fixture that can hold a higher wattage bulb!
Eight Ways to Add Light to Rooms
By mid-winter, I seem to crave light and bright rooms with my whole heart. Without going to the expense of adding windows, here are seven ways to add light in a dark room!
First… try simply cleaning the fixtures and the bulbs themselves. It’s such a simple step, but one that’s easily overlooked in a rush to replace instead of working with what you have.
The few lights we didn’t need to replace in our last house were removed and cleaned.
It’s unbelievable how much the years of dust on bulbs and shades can reduce the amount of light that filters through.
Replace Light Bulbs
Are you using the maximum wattage? Are you using soft or bright white? All of these factors could add up to additional light.
In each home we’ve purchased, I’ve gone though the house to make all of the light bulbs cohesive. I cringe at yellow lights – give me a soft, warm white any day of the week!
A Light Bulb Moment
Adding light doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive! Check out my complete Light Bulb Guide for more tips on adding warm, but soft lighting to your home. You can also learn about turning a pull chain light fixture into a switch, wirelessly – just like we did with the fixture below!
Replace your Front Door
We replaced an etched glass and wood front door with a traditional nine light front door.
While the wood to glass ratio was higher, it allowed significantly more light, filtering to the foyer, dining room, living room and hearth room. It may have been the best $1,000 we spent at that house!
It’s amazing how much light we added with that simple change. I can see clearly now, the dark is gone! In both our lake cottage and our main home, we’ve updated the front door to a charming Dutch Door that lets in so much light – and fresh air, too!
Rethink Your Curtains and Blinds
Make the curtain rod extend well past the width of the window, so just an inch or so of the curtain hits the window.
This will work two-fold! First, the window will appear larger and it’s also not blocking any light. There are some incredible tips for hanging curtains in this: How to Make Curtains hang like Drapes.
Another option? Consider Motorized Shades to make it easy to consistently open your window coverings each day, yet provide complete privacy at night.
Choose the Right Paint
If you follow my blog, you know that I love soft neutral paint colors, especially cream paint colors and warm whites. Just one of the many reasons why they’re a favorite of mine is because they reflect light.
Use an eggshell or satin sheen (never ever flat) and you won’t believe the difference it makes – immediately! Click through for my complete guide to Paint Sheens.
Add or Replace Light Fixtures
Not all light fixtures are created equal. Take into consideration how shades, glass covers and pendants shield the light when purchasing.
Some light fixtures will offer exponentially more output than others. It’s so important to look at the specifications in each light bulb description to choose the ones with the bet output.
The best news? So many light fixtures can be added wirelessly these days! Check out my guide to picture lights for inspiration.
This simple but effective trip helps reflect so much light into a space. Add mirrors strategically to any room of your home, immediately doubling the light coming in from windows.
Learn more about rattan mirrors here.
Finally, here’s an option that especially applies to older homes. Do you use your screens? If you’re allergy intolerant or just don’t mind a few flies if you open the windows, remove your screens!
Test just one and you will see the light! The same applies to storm windows.
A throwback example below, from the time we moved into our current home: Screens and interior blinds were removed to add light (and provide a better view). Photos were taken with the same camera settings – you can see how overexposed the second photograph is!
Do you have any additional tips I missed? What have you done in your home to add lights to rooms? I’d love to hear from you!