How to Make a Room Lighter

Lighter Rooms

Lighter Rooms

The interior decor of a room can make or break the feel of a room. Incorrect decor can make a large, open space appear small and cramped. To make the best of any space, the decor requires careful planning. When you make the right choices, the colors, layout and finishes you use can help even a small, cramped or dark room appear open, spacious and light.

  1. Paint the ceiling white. The lighter the color of the ceiling, the brighter and bigger the whole room feels. The darker the color on the ceiling, the lower the ceiling feels — making the room feel darker and smaller than it really is.
  2. Choose a color scheme of light, visually receding colors. Light shades of blue, green, yellow and neutrals are all passive, receding colors. These hues not only make a room appear lighter, but also bigger. Avoid visually advancing colors such as dark blues and greens, reds, oranges and dark neutrals such as brown and black. These colors make a room appear both smaller and darker.
  3. Paint with an eggshell or satin finish. Matte finishes are flat when dry and absorb light. Eggshell or satin finishes reflect light around the room, maximizing both the artificial and natural light. For the same reason, paint woodwork such as baseboards, picture rails, doors and staircases railings with white gloss. Gloss is the most highly reflective paint finish available and bright white gloss creates a clean, fresh vibe.
  4. Fit a light tone, polished wood floor in the room. The reflective quality of a polished wood floor works in the same way as the satin and gloss finishes of the paint. Where you prefer something a little softer under your feet, choose a carpet in a light color.
  5. Maximize natural light. Swap solid doors for doors featuring glass panels to allow light from other rooms to travel through the house. Another option is to use glass bricks. These can be used to create “windows” in interior walls or to replace a larger area of the wall.
  6. Reflect light around the room using mirrors. Placing a mirror opposite a light-source, such as a window or standard lamp, creates optimum light reflection. This doesn’t necessarily have to be one huge mirror, smaller items such as mirror photo frames will also help to maximize the light.
  7. Keep window dressings light and simple. Fussy valances, tiers, window toppers and intricately-patterned net curtains only block out natural light. Instead, experiment with simple curtains and sheer fabrics where you require extra privacy. Use a curtain rod that allows the curtains to be opened wide enough so the whole window is exposed.
sfgate: How to Make a Room Lighter.

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