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Ways to lighten a dark interior

For years we lived in our dark house, it felt pretty cave like,and I didn’t realize how much I craved something different. I have to admit, I was a little afraid of it. It was only after years of progressively changing my decor that I realized my real goal was to lighten a dark interior. It took me over 10 years to figure it out, so I thought I would share some of my tricks so it’s doesn’t take you that long. I’ll go from simplest to the most expensive and complicated.

1.Add natural, reflective sources of light.

This seems obvious, except we can’t all plop a window where we need it. we can however, count reflective surfaces as light. Some of those sources count as mirrors and reflective glass.

Use mirror to add a source of light to a room

I have lots of mirrors. Hubby has referred to this as the house of mirrors sometimes. But I have them in my darkest rooms. They open up the space and reflect light to make it seem brighter.

Living room lay out for a small house and a rectangular room

For that matter, so do larger pictures with glass. Any kind of glass will bounce some light, even on tables tops, cabinets doors,and french doors.

Cottage decor and vintage french doors as dividers

2.If you have a darkly painted interior, make your furniture lighter and accessories. Use the tool of contrast.

If you have a dark living room,make your furniture lighter.

This is a harder one, because many times, we already have the furniture we have, but adding lighter furniture, it opens up the space. Even in the photo above the white mats add some light to the dark wall. Dark colors can work really well if you use the tool of contrast. So even if your furniture is darker,or you can’t paint it,use lighter curtains and accessories.

Modern traditonal living room using the tool of dark/light contrast

3. If all else fails, paint.

I knew, you knew  I was going to eventually say that, but it’s true.I love dark colors, and they do have their place, but,if you have dark red walls (like I did at one time!), yet you are craving that beach house feel. That paint color is never going to cut it. Especially if you have wood furniture. Here’s a throw back for you.

Dining room painted red

Cottage living room

It doesn’t even seem like the same space, but lighter and brighter can make you see space you didn’t know you had! Paint really can lighten a dark interior. It took me years of going progressively lighter to figure that out!

4. Add tubular sky lights

This the biggest cost one, but the one I love the most. When we did our roof a few years ago, we had them add two in the kitchen and one in the dark, dark,hallway. I wish I had added more. Our kitchen used to be cave like, so we painted the cabinet white. It still was never super bright during the day until we added the sky lights. With the roof, they were $400 each to install, but the were worth every penny.

Tubular sky lightscan lighten a dark interior and look like canned lighting.

A tubular sky light in a dark hall way can make a huge difference in adding light!

In the hallway  it makes a HUGE difference! So far, no leaking, so we are happy about that too.

I hope you can use these tips can help lighten a dark interior, and keep it from feeling so cave like, and bring in some light and brightness!