Brightening up a dark room: How to make the most of the light you have

We love making our homes cosy, comfortable and stylish – and we’re pretty good at it too. We know what styles we like, what colours work well together, where to find those pieces that just pull a whole room together – we just have a knack for it.

It means that our homes are very welcoming and inviting spaces, which is something we’re really proud of. But there’s nothing worse than being house proud and having that one room that just. Doesn’t. Work.

sectional sofa near coffee table and window

It’s windows don’t catch the morning or afternoon sun, the furniture doesn’t quite fit in with the mood of the rest of the house, the corners seem all dark and poky and no matter what pieces you put in there, the space just doesn’t come together. A dark room will never work, unless you know the tips and tricks to brighten it up, make the most of the little light it does get, and make the interior work with you. A little work, a few tweaks and some know-how can make all the difference, meaning your space will be one of your favourite rooms in no time!


White and Black Curtains

Say goodbye to your heavy, dark curtains! Your already dark room is being robbed of further light when you have dark-coloured curtains in heavy materials that actively block off the natural light coming through your windows. Opt for lighter colours and fabrics – not necessarily net or necessarily white, but fabrics that won’t drain the room or draw the eye.


White Wooden Cabinet Beside White Wall

Mirrors are the best replacement for natural light that you can find. The reflective surfaces will bounce back any natural light making its way into the room, meaning you’ll get double the light with a few strategically place mirrors. Angle them to be perpendicular on the walls to the windows – that way they’re catching the most light and bouncing it off of the walls opposite to create more brightness.

Light furniture

Interior of modern living room with soft comfy sofa and armchair and minimalist furniture decorated with various souvenirs

In the same way that you want to avoid heavy and dark coloured curtains, you also want to stay away from dark furniture. While it may seem counterintuitive if you’re trying to create a cosy space, lighter colours will help add more lightness to the area and will reflect light, rather than sucking it in. Light couches, light wooden floors, light accent tables and pillows – pick a colours scheme and lean into it.

Metallic pieces

Mirror against entrance door in modern house

These naturally shining materials will capture and reflect any light coming into your space, in a mirror-like effect. This is great news because metallics are very in at the moment, from gold-plated bar carts to copper-toned frames and artwork.

Bright wall features

Interior of contemporary apartment with white long table near wall with bright drawings in light cozy apartment with wooden beam

Choose your artwork carefully when you’re looking at pieces for a dark room. Bear in mind the colour schemes and accents you’ve chosen and -same advice again – stay away from dark colours! You can use a slim dark frame maybe, if it highlights the piece itself, but don’t choose dark, murky pieces – go for bright and bold here to inject a little energy and fun into the room – especially if your overall colour scheme is fairly neutral and bright. Metallic, 3D pieces can also work really well in rooms like these.

High gloss ceiling – but matte walls

Smiling ethnic couple painting wall with roller brushes at home

Why gloss for one but not the other? High gloss ceilings in a dark room will capture and reflect light from above, making it seem more natural. Gloss walls in a dark room, on the other hand, will shine and trap light in certain areas creating aglare, and the walls will look duller the further back the room is from the windows. Matte walls however, offer a soft glow distributed equally throughout the room and offer much more gentle look.