Of all the interior design tricks of the trade, the one that most often falls by the wayside is light. Any room, regardless of style, theme, or size benefits from the addition of an abundant supply of natural light. Have you neglected to take into account your living space’s light sources? Not to worry – we’ve put together a list of some of the best ways you can add light to your otherwise finely appointed home.
Mirrors, Mirrors, and More Mirrors
One of the easiest ways to brighten up just about any space in your home is by adding mirrors – and lots of them. True, mirrors aren’t themselves light sources, but they do a pretty darn good job of reflecting it. Best of all, you can find a unique mirror to accentuate just about any decor scheme, from modern minimalist to ornate and gothic to victorian. As a side benefit, mirrors also create the illusion of additional space, a feature that can come in quite handy if you’re living in a 500 sq. ft. apartment in Brooklyn.
If full wall mirror panels aren’t an option, a cleverly placed standing or table mirror will also work quite admirably.
A coat or two of paint can transform a room in many different ways. If you’re looking to brighten your space (and let’s face it, if you’re ready this, you are) a neutral tone like white, tan, or grey on both the walls and ceiling will not only make the room feel brighter, but also bigger. The lighter the surface, the more light they reflect rather than absorb.
If the color you’ve chosen to go with is white, do your best to tie in the color with moldings, furniture and appliance to further accentuate brightness.
Everything Has a Place and a Place for Everything
Having open storage can obviously do a better job in telling guests more about who you are, but when it comes to brightening a room with less than ample space, closed storage is the way to go. Even in rooms painted using a darker colour or those with limited exposure to natural light, closed storage solutions can make a room feel more open and lighter.
Minimalist Window Treatments
Truthfully, abstaining from using window treatments is certainly not an option. Even if lighting wasn’t an issue, privacy is still important. But that doesn’t mean your window coverings need to be made from heavy, thick, and opaque textiles; a set of thin, lightweight or semi-sheer solar or roman shades will sufficiently deter prying eyes while still allowing light to enter your living space. Not only do heavy curtains darken a room, they can also make it seem smaller and more cluttered than it really is.
Light Fixture Placement
Many rooms rely on a single source of artificial light by night. Typically, a singular overhead or floor lamp is more often than not inadequate, so it’s important to spend some time ensuring that the room has enough light to illuminate all four corners. This means that careful planning must be exercised when furnishing your room.
Choose the Right Furniture
Furniture is often a room’s focal point, but it can sometimes act like a black hole when it comes to the brightness of a room. Though you might be wary at the thought of a white or light colored sofa, a neutral grey or tan sofa (scotch guarded, of course) can help you achieve the same effect.
…Or, Why Not Transparent Furniture
A modern, avantgarde plexiglass coffee table has a much more muted visual impact than a heavy oak alternative. If you worry your own lack of spatial awareness would have you simply begging for a stubbed toe if you were to use translucent furniture in your home, this option might not be for you. Having said that, nothing promotes the idea of light and space than translucence.
Finally, Lighten Up Your Rug
People tend to favor darker rugs for their stain hiding prowess. Stain hiding aside, a dark floor can suck the light right out of the room. A lighter shade rug, tile, or even hardwood will reflect light upwards rather than absorbing it.
Adding light to your room doesn’t have to be hard or expensive – most often it can be accomplished with a splash of new paint or a cleverly placed lamp or mirror. The important thing is to have an open mind and to be creative.