9 Easy Ways to Add Instant Brightness to a Dark Room



Not every home is flooded with natural light, but luckily these decorating tricks can make a huge difference. No demolition necessary — it’s all about optical illusions that add instant brightness!

1Check Your Lighting

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Adrian Busse

It seems obvious that adding ample lighting will brighten your home, but you might be overlooking some easy adjustments you can make to the lighting you already have. Switching out bulbs with the highest recommended wattage and keeping your glass lights clean can make a huge difference. If you have recessed lights, installing LED versions will drastically brighten your space while cutting down your electric bill.

2Use the Right White Paint

Image Source: Brittany Makes

OK, so maybe white paint is a no-brainer for perking up gloomy interiors, but picking the right white? Easier said than done. To make sure you’re picking the right shade of white, check out this list of favorite white paint colors chosen by top interior designers.

3Avoid Dark and Bulky Furniture

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Adrian Busse

If you have a big, boxy coffee table in a deep espresso stain, you probably don’t realize how much visual weight it’s adding to your space. Try swapping it out with a lighter-toned table that has legs so that you can actually see the floor. It will instantly brighten the room.

4Opt For Open Shelving

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Open shelves can add depth to a small room, and feel less heavy than dark cabinets. If you’re going to try this look, make sure to edit glassware, decorative accessories, or anything else that will be on display. Baskets can be a great way of adding storage without visual clutter.


Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Adrian Busse

Mirrors can visually expand a room and also reflect light, making any space feel bigger and brighter.

6Install Reflective Subway Tiles

Image Source: Brittany Makes

There is a reason these old-fashioned classics are still in vogue — clean and linear, subway tiles also have a glossy, reflective finish that adds light. They’re miracle workers for dark kitchens and bathrooms! If you live in a rental or can’t splurge on a tiled backsplash, try these peel-and-stick subway tiles instead!

7Embrace Minimalism

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Adrian Busse

Clutter only intensifies the cave-like effect of a dark room.

8Accent With Acrylic Furniture

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Adrian Busse

Acrylic furniture is a brilliant option for small or dark spaces, because it doesn’t take up much visual weight. We love how these acrylic tables practically disappear in this room.

9Decorate With Metallics

Image Source: Kristi Murphy

A little sparkle can go a long way. Introducing metallic finishes on everything from lamps to decorative accessories will only help reflect light and illuminate your room.


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