Ways to Brighten a Light-Challenged Room

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Nothing says gloomy like a room without adequate light – and making it appear brighter and more inviting can seem like a daunting task. In this article, we’ll shed some light on the topic of rooms that have less than ideal illumination and offer a few simple workarounds to address the issue. 

A Light-Friendly Backdrop 

A room that’s already light-challenged almost certainly won’t benefit from a dark paint color or heavily patterned wallpaper. If you’re repainting, keep things on the bright side: If not a pleasing shade of white, then a pleasant pastel tone. If you go with wallpaper, choose a simple, airy pattern with a light background color. The same goes for floors: light woods such as maple or birch help distribute light. In the kitchen, consider light wood or brightly painted cabinets and floor tiles with a bit of shine. For more tips on making your home more tranquil and inviting, click here

Lightbulbs Make a Difference, Too 

If you haven’t already done so, consider replacing your incandescent lightbulbs with LEDs. Not only will they last significantly longer, but they’re also far more energy efficient. Many LED lightbulbs can be adjusted to anything from a bluish hue (ideal during morning hours) to a soft yellow glow (perfect for evening) and most will fit the same fixtures as incandescents.  

If you’re a renter, it can be next to impossible to get your landlord to agree to any non-essential electrical work ― and that’s where rechargeable LED fixtures can be a great solution. They typically come with small, adhesive-backed magnets that can be attached to walls, under kitchen cabinets and above cooking/prep areas in minutes. Set your fixtures in “motion-activated” mode and they’ll automatically turn on when you enter a room and turn off about 20 seconds after you leave. Need to recharge? Just remove the fixture from the magnets and plug it into a USB charging port.  

A Word About Fluorescent Lighting 

And ― no offense ― that word is “No” (unless we’re talking about your garage or cellar). It’s much too harsh. 

Simple, Colorful Lamps and Fixtures 

In general, a room that’s light-challenged should leverage minimalism as much as possible. Large floor lamps and bulky overhead fixtures will make a space feel smaller and closed in. Instead, look for fixtures that cast light over a wide distance and into dark corners, such as a floor lamp with multiple lights. Look for table lamps that are themselves brightly colored and top them with white lampshades.  

Bright Art and Accessories 

Vividly colored artwork can do wonders for lightening up a dark room, but choose carefully and remember, less is more. Add picture lights or spotlights to showcase your wall art and you’ll up the illumination factor another notch or two. Putting shimmery gold or silver accessories on a shelf or coffee table will pick up and reflect any available light and give the room a warm, inviting glow. We recommend checking out the many decorating resources available online and, of course, Pinterest for tips and inspiration. Also take a look at some tips we’ve put together for dressing up your wall space

Mirrors, Mirrors on the Walls 

Strategically placed mirrors not only make a room appear larger, but they’re also among the best light reflectors around. For maximum impact, the best place for a mirror is directly opposite a window. If your room is windowless place a mirror near a floor lamp to boost its illuminating power. You can also experiment with furniture such as a small, mirrored accent table to brighten things up even more. 

Windows of Opportunity 

Give whatever windows your room has the minimalist treatment, too. Heavy drapes or dark-colored curtains block out light and can make a space feel cramped and gloomy. Conversely, white, linen, or soft tan curtains will create a light and airy feeling. Another trick that can add more light to the room is to hang the curtain rods about six inches above the top of the window openings. And if there’s no privacy issue to deal with, you might even consider getting rid of the curtains altogether.  

Finally, even the best window treatment won’t help if it’s framing, smudged-up panes of glass. Many experts agree that windows and screens should be thoroughly cleaned twice a year. Of course, this is just a general rule and if you live in a city or a location where there’s a lot of dust and dirt in the air, you’ll probably benefit by cleaning your windows more often. 

If you’re thinking about moving, having a reputable moving company makes all the difference. United’s full-service moving packages provide flexibility to mix and match the services our customers need, from packing and unpacking to standard furniture placement.  

Get a quote from United Van Lines today.  

Do you need help settling in? Check out our other blogs for moving tips and packing advice, as well as city guides and a wealth of other helpful, time-saving information. 

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