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How To Brighten Up A Dark Bedroom

Not all bedrooms have large windows that let in natural light and if your bedroom is on the dark side, we offer some tips on how to brighten up a dark bedroom.



A dark bedroom is essential for a good night's sleep but no so enjoyable during the daytime. Not every bedroom has the luxury of a large window perfectly situated to catch a lot of sunlight during the day and other factors also come into play as to how dark a room feels. We take a look at ways you can brighten up a dark bedroom without having to knock out a wall to fit a new window!









Lighten Up With Furniture

Too often, bedroom furniture is dark and heavy and not always suited to the size of a bedroom. Dark furniture looks stunning in a larger bedroom but will overpower a small bedroom and enhance the feeling of a dark room. Make sure that any furniture you select for the bedroom is finished in light woods or has a painted or upholstered finish in light colours, or select furniture that is size appropriate for the size of the bedroom.

If the furniture is perfect for the room and you really don't want to change it there are several ways of working around this. When decorating with dark furniture make sure to balance this with lots of light, airy fabrics on the bed and window treatments. Choose muted colours or lighter hues for walls to visually brighten up the bedroom.

Scatter the bed with assorted pillows and cushions in light colours and layer the bed with light coloured linen. If you want to add some colour to the room do it with limited accents such as a single bold cushion, a bright throw or a patterned duvet or comforter. The idea is to not overpower the room but rather have it feeling uncluttered and visually open.







Neutral Window Treatments

In my bedroom, I have navy curtains that frame the bedroom window but I'm lucky in that the house faces in such a direction that the bedroom window receives lots of natural light in the morning and afternoon. Even though the bedroom isn't very large the curtains do not overpower the room.

The same doesn't apply to the room that receives little or no natural light and a thick or dark coloured window treatment can exacerbate the problem by making the room feel even darker. Rather swap dark curtains for ones that match the paint colour used on the walls or neutral colours that will soften the framed window without drawing too much attention.


If light colours are selected as a window treatment, you can also look at a fabric that incorporates a breezy print pattern as, once again, this will work towards creating a more open atmosphere.


Blinds are excellent  for a dark bedroom since they take up very little space and can be adjusted to let in natural light during the day or provide privacy in the evenings. Don't select dark wood or dark coloured blinds as this will have the opposite effect. As with window treatments, select light colours for any fitted blinds or shutters.


When hanging window treatments in a dark bedroom, extend the length of the curtain rail or rod at the sides of the window to fully open curtains and let in more  natural light - or use curtain tiebacks.


Hide Dark Floors

Where the bedroom has dark floors and you don't want to remove these, the easiest solution is to bring in light coloured rugs or carpets. Lighter floor coverings will immediately lift and brighten the room and instantly bounce light around that, in conjunction with other lighter elements in the room.

Even a larger bedroom can appear dark if all the elements in the room are of a dark hue. If you feel that your bedroom needs a boost, choosing flooring that is light rather than dark will visually open up the room and make it feel lighter and airy.







Choose Paint Colours With Care

In a dark bedroom, it is all about lightening up and it's important to select paint colours for the room with care. A good rule of thumb is to paint the walls and ceiling in the same light colour to blur the lines between these and make the ceiling appear visually higher and thus brighter.


You don't necessarily have to go for white on white and choosing a creamy off-white helps if the bedroom feels cold. Whatever colour you choose for the walls, let this mirror any colours used in decorating the room. Alternatively, selecting pale colours for bed linen and white or an off-white for walls and ceiling will further enhance the light in the room.


A Light Reflection

We know how mirrors can be very useful in reflecting light around any room and the bedroom is no exception, particularly in a bedroom that feels dark. Having mirrors mounted on a wall to reflect and bounce light around the room will brighten up any room and the more mirrors the more intensive the effect. Consider mounting a decorative wall of mirrors in different sizes with decorative frames to create a unique feature wall. Perhaps look at collecting vintage or antique mirrors to bring something different into the bedroom


Effective Lighting For A Dark Bedroom

Lighting has advanced to such a degree that you can now have lighting installed that is inexpensive and very effective. Think LED lighting strips mounted around a cove on the ceiling to light up the room. LED lighting is the most cost-effective method of lighting these days and it can be mounted almost anywhere. If you have a canopy bed, consider adding LED fairy lights over the bed to bring whimsy and light into the bedroom.


Installing LED ceiling lighting in a dark bedroom provides plenty of artificial light.


When selecting LED lighting, keep in mind that you can opt for warm or cool colour LED lighting. A cool white at 6000 - 6500k brings daylight into the room and is excellent for daytime lighting in a dark bedroom. Warm LED lighting is wonderful for a cosy or romantic atmosphere and can provide subtle nighttime lighting.

Combine LED lighting strips with a ceiling pendant or chandelier and bedside lamps with light coloured shades to ensure that the bedroom has sufficient lighting for every mood and task. Let artificial light compensate for the lack of natural light in the room.





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