Is your home feeling a little dark, heavy, and closed-in? If so, it’s probably a good time to lighten and brighten things up, and you can do so quite easily. These 10 easy tips will get you started, and you will be surprised at just how much more energetic and positive you will feel when you’re done.
Step 1: De-clutter Your Life
It may sound simple but let’s face it… sometimes we just have too much stuff sitting around that we have not let go of and it’s slowly suffocating the space we live in. If you can live without it, it’s time to let it go now. If you have valuable items, you can even make some extra cash by having a yard sale or listing them up on websites like eBay, Amazon, Craigslist, or list them in local newspapers.
Step 2: Fresh Paint
A fresh coat of light and cheery paint can do wonders for a dark room. Light gray, yellow, or beige are nice neutral colors that work well with pretty much any décor you could want. Painting trim white can really make a difference as well around windows and dark fireplace mantels. Even certain furniture pieces could be re-painted a brighter color to reflect the theme of your room.
Step 3: Get rid of Heavy Window Treatments
Heavy window treatments are really not in-style anymore, and unless your home is supposed to reflect its historic roots consider getting rid of those old heavy curtains. If you love rich beautiful fabrics try roman shades instead. For a more earthy, masculine touch try wood blinds or woven wood shades. For a soft and romantic approach try out sheer blinds. You can pair your blinds or shades with curtains too, but keep your fabric choices light to avoid going back to that dark and heavy feeling.
Step 4: Brighter Lights
Sometimes the light in a room may suffer simply because there are no good sized windows, or any windows at all. In these cases you will need to add more lighting. You can do this without creating a major increase in your electric bills by using energy-efficient lamps and light bulbs. Get creative with up lights and planter lights and add lights on top of bookcases, tall shelves, and cabinets.
Step 5: Replace Dark Flooring
Are your carpets, tiles, or wood floors a dark color? If they are outdated or worn, it might just be time for something fresh and light. Go with neutral tones to keep the room warm and bright.
Step 6: Brighten Up Furniture
You can also use light or bright colored throws and throw pillows to instantly create a lighter feel. If your furniture is outdated or too large for a room you should also consider replacing it if it makes sense for your budget. Solid neutral colored chair and couch covers are another great economic option for creating a fresh bright space.
Step 7: Add Mirrors
In small spaces a mirror or two can be helpful for reflecting light. Remember not to go overboard here or you risk making the room look dated and tacky. A nicely framed mirror can really add a sense of light, space, and style to a room.
Step 8: Add Bright Accessories
Bright accessories can add needed pops of color to an otherwise dark or plain room. Try finding some gorgeous framed artwork with splashes of color that you could match up with your throws. Add a few (but don’t overdo it) brightly colored vases, bowls, figurines, baskets, book-ends, candle holders and other accents that match your décor theme.
Step 9: Add Some Plants
Plants, flowers, and other greenery can really make a space feel brighter and more inviting. Add a potted plant in an empty corner or a vase of flowers on the table. Be aware of allergy sensitivity and opt for silk or fresh non-pollinating plant varieties.
Step 10: Open Up Some Space
You don’t have to pay to have a wall taken down to create a more open space. Often simple things like removing an unnecessary door, or replacing solid doors with doors that have glass panes to let in light between rooms can help. Remove any bulky pieces of furniture like dividers that you don’t really need, and just keep what you will actually use.