How To Brighten A Room With These 5 Easy Tips!

by Ashley

Try these 5 easy tips to brighten a dark room without any major renovation projects – without breaking the bank!  Have you ever wondered what colors brighten up a dark room? Even if you’re working with a room that has no windows or no natural light, there are still was that you can make it appear bright through decorative changes.

How Do You Make A Dark Room Look Brighter?

5 ways to brighten a dark room

This post contains affiliate links for convenience. For more information see my disclosure, here.

I don’t know about you, but I’m all about light and airy spaces when it comes to decorating my home. Give me all the bright whites, neutral textures and natural light – it just makes my heart happy to be in a bright, cheerful space!

However, this is easier said than done. That’s why I decided to share all my best tips to help you brighten dark a room! These are my top 5 tips on how to brighten any room, or space in your home! Even if you’re working with a room that has  no windows, or natural light, there’s still ways to brighten things up.

Keep reading to see all my favorite ways to lighten and brighten!

1) Brighten A Room With Window Treatments

Using natural light from a living room window to brighten the room

Have you ever wondered: how can I get more light in my dark room? This might be an obvious answer, but the #1 thing you can do to brighten a room in your home is letting more natural light in! I usually decorate with light colored curtains because I love the way that light pours through – it creates a prefect a soft glow!

My favorite curtains for general living spaces are these simple white cotton curtains from Amazon. But really, any white curtains will give you a similar effect.

You can even choose to go with a light grey, or beige color – any curtains that are light and neutral will let plenty of light through.

Using Natural Light In Bedrooms

Using natural light to brighten a bedroom

In bedrooms, I like using blackout style curtains to help keep light out for sleeping. Hold on, I know what you’re thinking! Keeping the light out? That’s the exact opposite of what were going for here.

Here’s who I brighten bedrooms during the day:

Layer the thick heavy blackout curtains with a sheer curtain behind them. The heavy blackout curtains should still be in a white or light color to help keep the space light and airy.  

This way, during the day when the blackout curtains are drawn, light will pour in through the sheers and create the amazing soft glow effect I mentioned earlier. These white blackout curtains from Amazon are prefect for layering with sheer curtains.Β 

Heavy blackout curtains also provide an additional layer of insulation in front of windows. This extra insulation is especially nice for keeping a room comfortable during the summer or winter.

Create Sheer & Blackout Layered Curtain Look

Deconovo Room Darkening Thermal Insulated Blackout Curtain 84 Inch (Amazon)

Lazzy Sheer Curtains (White) 84 Inch (Amazon)

natural light from a window pouring in to brighten a bedroom

If your room doesn’t have windows, don’t worry.  The rest of these tips will still help you brighten a room!

2) Brighten A Room With Paint

a hand holding a paint brush with white paint on it

Paint is a fairly cheap and easy way to brighten a room in a huge way. Painting your walls white or off-white automatically makes a dark room feel more open and bright, especially if you are working with a space that has no windows or little to no natural lighting.

Another thing I love about neutral colored walls is the blank backdrop it creates to showcase my decor and make it stand out. This is a great way to make a space feel open and airy.

When it comes to choosing the right color, it can be overwhelming! Who knew there were so many different shades of white to choose from! My personal favorite whites for interior walls are Benjamin Moore’s White Dove, Benjamin Moore’s Simply White, and Sherwin Williams’ Alabaster.Β  To learn more about paint colors, you can check out a few of the paint color resources that I’ve created.

How To Choose A Paint Color | Undertones, Lighting & Sheen

White Paint Color Guide | How To Choose The Perfect White Paint

Gray Paint Color Guide | How To Choose The Perfect Gray Paint

In our home, I ended up choosing Benjamin Moore White dove because I wanted a warm off-white with slight grey undertones. So far, I’m loving how much brighter our home looks!

how to brighten a dark living room before and after pictures

3) Brighten A Room With Rugs

This is a fairly simple tip, but can make all the difference! Rugs are a great way to not only add texture and interest to a room, but they can also help brighten up a dark room. Like paint, light neutral colored rugs are a great way to brighten a room that has no windows or limited natural light.

There are so many options for beautiful rugs out there and they are offered at all different price points.

Check out my 3 favorite rugs on Amazon (click a photo to follow the link to the Amazon Listing):

Below is a picture of the master bedroom in our home. I absolutely love the wood accent wall, but it creates a strong warm tone in the room that has a darkening effect. To counteract this, I used a light colored rug.

If you like the wood plank accent wall, check out the step-by-step tutorial that shows you exactly How To Install A Wood Plank Accent Wall.

a light and bright master bedroom

4) Brighten A Room With Mirrors

Mirror on a living room wall to brighten the room

I LOVE decorating with mirrors. They make for easy decor pieces and are an easy way to brighten dark a room. As an added benefit, mirrors can help to open up small spaces. Mirrors make such a big difference in brightening a dark room because they amplify and reflect natural light. A well placed mirror is sure to make a room feel brighter.  Try positioning it directly across from a window or on an adjacent wall.

If you follow the other tips on this page, you can use a mirror to reflect images of white walls, curtains and  light rugs! This will add interest and brightness all at once. Below, I’ve listed clickable images of my three favorite mirrors available on Amazon.

The mirrors below are a few of my favorites that are available on Amazon (click a photo to follow the link to the Amazon Listing):

5) Brighten A Room With Decor

Bedroom with a plant in the corner and light pouring in from the window

Decor is my favorite way to brighten a room – decorating can be so much fun, especially when you’re decorating with a purpose! Adding neutral decor helps to make a room feel brighter.

Try looking for classic pieces that will stand the test of time. This way, they won’t need to be replaced each season.  Plus, this helps make the most of your decor budget.

Think outside the box, and combine decor items with different textures. This strategy adds visual interest.

Clear glass and white porcelain are timeless pieces that are always good ways to help to brighten a dark room! Ultimately, decorating is a way to express YOUR style, so have some fun with it! Below are a few examples of how I used neutral decor in our home.

bright kitchen with mason jars on the countertop
open shelving with bright decor
framed prints on an open shelf on a white wall
wall hanging shelfs with light bright decor on a white wall

Tips For Brightening A Dark Space In Your Home

  • Use light colored window treatments.
  • Try layering sheer curtains with blackout curtain in a bedroom. 
  • Re-paint using white, or off-white colors.
  • Light and airy rugs can go a long ways to make a room feel brighter!
  • Make the available natural light go further with mirrors.
  • Decorate with neutral color decor items and try using multiple textures.

That’s it! Those are my top 5 tips for brighting up ANY space. Thanks so much for reading along!

Do you have any other ways to lighten up a dark room that I missed? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!

UP NEXT: Best White Paint Colors | The Ultimate Guide

5 Ways to Brighten Any Space | Use these 5 tips to learn how to make any space in your home brighter.

How To Brighten A Dark Room

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13 comments

Rochelle April 14, 2017 - 7:37 am

Where did you find those pretty white black out curtains? I am going to be updating the girls room next week (bunk beds arriving today!) and I was just thinking that I need black out curtains for better sleep during the summer.

Reply
Ashley April 14, 2017 - 11:17 am

The exact ones I have are no longer available πŸ™ But I just added a link to some Amazon ones in the post! I like using Amazon in case they don’t turn out exactly how you want since they have such an easy return process πŸ™‚

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Jen Lauro April 14, 2017 - 10:05 am

What a great post! Loved all of the these tips and your house is beautiful. You are doing a wonderful job!!!

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Ashley April 14, 2017 - 11:18 am

Thank you so much! πŸ™‚

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Megan April 18, 2017 - 12:42 pm

All really great ideas. Those white curtains from IKEA are my favorite – I have a bunch of them in our house! πŸ™‚

Megan
http://www.lifeonshadylane.com

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Morgan April 20, 2017 - 12:51 pm

I have that same round mirror from Target in my girls bathroom!!

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Ashley April 20, 2017 - 4:55 pm

Don’t you love it?! I think I might get another to use as a bathroom mirror too πŸ™‚

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Deanna October 28, 2019 - 5:54 am

Can you tell me what color the trim is?? Its so beautiful with that color wall!!!!

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Ashley October 30, 2019 - 3:58 pm

I’m not quite sure the exact color – it was the existing color of the trim when we moved in. I’d say it has a cherry undertone to it tho! Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful!

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Pat Tidwell January 7, 2020 - 10:09 am

I think good lighting, properly placed, would help to brighten a room

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Ashley April 3, 2020 - 2:07 pm

Couldn’t agree more, thanks for the extra tip!

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Anne February 27, 2020 - 6:54 am

Ashley,

New subscriber here. What wonderful tips! Such pretty rooms. We are about to paint and I am stuck. I have 2 very dark rooms. I’d love a light whitish dining room but I was told the walls would look drab, dirty, …not bright if I painted light so go darker. But I want light. . Can you recommend any Sherwin Williams whites, off whites, neutral grays for me to try? Thank you.

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Ashley April 3, 2020 - 2:38 pm

Oh I don’t think so! I love SW Alabaster for a pretty white. As for grays, checkout my light gray recommendations on this post!

Reply

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