Whether natural or synthetic, light has the ability to energize everybody in your home. Instead of allowing dark spaces to cloud the mood of your home, follow our basic outline to invigorate your interior with brilliant touches of radiance. These straightforward suggestions and projects will lighten up your spaces and brighten your day.
Let the Sun Shine in
Whatever amount of natural light you have coming into your room, it's important to make the most of it if you want to illuminate the space. Consider these ideas for enhancing the natural light in your room:
- Use sheer window treatments instead of heavy, dark-colored drapes. Not only will sheer window treatments allow more natural light into the room, they also will bring a brighter color into the room.
- Mount tastefully placed mirrors on walls where they will reflect color and natural light and make the room feel more spacious. Consider different shapes like ovals and use mirrors with bright, decorative frames that will add even more light and color to the room. You can even give a mirror a custom "antiqued" look to match your décor and still reflect natural light.
Brighten with White
Even if you prefer not to make white the dominant color, you can still incorporate it to add brightness to a dark room. Make white a common theme with these ideas:
- Use white shelves, bookcases and picture frames.
- Paint molding or door frames white.
- Use white accent lamps with fluorescent bulbs that produce softer, more natural light than incandescent bulbs.
- Display white ceramic pieces or decorative dishware on shelves or in a china cabinet.
- Use white tablecloths or placemats in your kitchen or dining room.
- Use white (or off-white) seat cushions for chairs.
Illuminate Your Accents
The way you accent and decorate a space can have a profound impact on how light or dark it feels. Incorporate these decorating strategies into your space to lighten it up:
- Add a few key bursts of color with rugs, pillows, bedding or artwork. Choose accents with vibrant colors that are full of energy like yellow and bright orange.
- Add light and color to your space by filling glasses or jars with colored water and placing them on a windowsill. Vary the water levels for visual interest and choose colors to complement your décor. Remember to refresh or change the water frequently and clean the glasses with dish liquid.
- Glass beads or marbles can also reflect light beautifully. Experiment with a solid color or layer different colors inside jars.
- Mount a small lamp on the wall above a favorite piece of artwork (like an art gallery) to illuminate it and add subtle light.
- Add a tabletop serenity fountain with lighting or a small aquarium that will incorporate both light and a water element into the room.
- Replace dark lampshades with lighter or brighter colors.
- Place a rich gold or reflective silver serving tray or bowl on a table to bring warmth into the room.
- Use polished metal or mirrored switch plates to reflect light and add sparkle.
Control Chaotic Arrangements
Cramped and cluttered rooms always feel darker, so minimize clutter on surfaces and walls to create order and a sense of a lighter, more open space. Use these ideas to open up and lighten your space:
- Utilize your out-of-the-way storage spaces to help keep surfaces, bright, clean and open. Use benches and ottomans that open for storage for larger items and decorative trays or containers to keep items like magazines, keys and remotes from cluttering tables and countertops.
- Avoid cluttering your walls with clusters of art. Keep in mind that one large piece of art on the wall will make the room appear lighter and more spacious than several smaller pieces.
- Resist the temptation of adding too much furniture in a room, which can make it feel smaller and darker. Furniture in lighter shades also will brighten up a room.
To add a bold, handcrafted light piece to your wall, try creating customized light sconces with a simple paper-mâché technique.
- Medium-size mixing bowl
- Cooking oil
- Embroidery hoop
- Spray starch
- Decoupage glue
- Tissue paper, in color of your choice
- Medium-size paintbrush
- Hot glue gun
- Wall mounting hardware
- Hair dryer (optional)
- Blow up the balloon and tie off. Place it in your mixing bowl for stability. With clean hands, gently rub a small amount of cooking oil on the balloon, then cover with cheesecloth.
- Hold the embroidery hoop over the base of the balloon, then carefully push the hoop halfway down the balloon to serve as the base of the sconce.
- Spray the balloon liberally with spray starch. Pull the excess cheesecloth taut and fold over the embroidery hoop to cover it. Use your scissors to trim off any excess cloth.
- Wait 2 hours for the piece to air dry, or use a hair dryer on a low setting to save time. Begin cutting your tissue paper into wide strips.
- Once dry, use your paintbrush to apply the decoupage glue in a thin layer all over the balloon. Apply the strips of tissue paper, overlapping the pieces to achieve a textured look. Coat the entire piece in a final layer of decoupage glue.
- When the glue has dried, pop the balloon and carefully pull it out of the sconce. Use your wall mounting hardware to fasten it to your wall over a battery-operated LED light.
Transform a simple mirror into an antique-style work of art with these simple instructions.
- 1 new mirror
- Non-toxic metal remover
- Scraping tool
- Antique mirror patina solution
- Remove protective metal from the new mirror with non-toxic metal remover. Brush on the metal remover and let sit for 20 minutes. You will see the metal releasing from the mirror.
- Scrape off the metal and clean the mirror thoroughly with soap and water.
- Once the mirror is cleaned and dried, secure your desired stencils on the mirror and apply the patina solution.
- The patina will react to the exposed glass and age it for beautiful antiqued look. The longer the patina stays on the surface the darker the result.
Welcome the joys of sunshine into your home with fun and easy decorative touches that will lighten up even the darkest room.