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How To Brighten A Room With 6 Easy Tips

    Have you ever wondered what colors brighten up a dark room? Try these simple tips to brighten a dark room without any major renovation projects.  Even if you’re working with a room that has no windows or natural light, there are still ways that you can make it appear brighter.

    tips & ideas to brighten up a dark room

    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!

    How Do You Make A Dark Room Look Brighter?

    These are my top tips on how to brighten any room, or space in your home. Even if you’re working with a room that has limited natural light, there’s still ways to brighten things up.

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

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

    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 and really brightens up the whole room.

    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.

    When choosing curtains for your dark room, look for white, cream, light grey, or even a soft beige color – any curtains that are light & neutral with a lightweight fabric will let plenty of light through.

    Curtain Hack for Using Natural Light In Bedrooms

    In bedrooms, I like using blackout style curtains to help keep light out for sleeping. But wait… keeping the light out? That’s the exact opposite of what we’re going for here.

    So here’s how to get the best of both worlds: black out room for sleeping, yet bright & airy during the day.

    Use a double curtain rod to layer the thick heavy blackout curtains with a sheer curtain behind them.

    During the day, pull back the blackout curtains and let the natural light stream in through the sheer curtains creating the amazing soft glow effect I mentioned earlier.

    This will give you a brighter look during the day yet offer privacy in the evenings, before you’re ready to completely close the heavy blackout curtains when you go to sleep.

    Checkout the look in our bedroom in the image below.

    Using natural light to brighten a bedroom

    I recommend still choosing a light color for the blackout curtains to help keep the space light and airy. These white blackout curtains from Amazon are prefect for layering with sheer curtains. 

    Try out the layered look using sheer + blackout curtains:


    I also used the same same strategy in our modern farmhouse guest bedroom. Check it out in the image below.

    bedroom with sheer and blackout layered curtains

    Ok, but what if your dark room doesn’t have any windows?

    Don’t worry! The rest of these tips will help you brighten a room without any natural light.

    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 few windows and little to no natural lighting.

    Here are my go-to white paint colors for interiors.

    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.

    I get it – choosing the right white paint color for your space can be overwhelming. Who knew there were so many different shades of white to choose from?!

    I used Benjamin Moore White Dove in our first house, Alabaster by Sherwin Williams in both of our RV renovations, and for our current home I went with Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore (pictures coming soon!)

    I go into detail about all three of these colors as well as a few more of the top white paint colors in the video below. I also give some ideas for which color looks best in certain rooms.

    Click the play button below or click here to watch the full video.

    YouTube video

    I love helping people choose paint colors! I’ve written several articles to help streamline and destress your color selection process.  You can find all of my paint color guides HERE.

    Here’s a before & after look at just how much paint can really brighten up a dark room.

    how to brighten a dark living room before and after pictures

    This room is painted in Benjamin Moore White Dove because I wanted a warm off-white with slight grey undertones. I love how much brighter it made this space look!

    Related: Eggshell or Sateen? Which Paint Finish To Use Where

    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.

    a light and bright master bedroom

    Related: How To Install A Wood Plank Accent Wall

    4. Brighten A Room With Mirrors

    I LOVE decorating with mirrors. They make for easy decor pieces and are a great way to brighten up a dark room. As an added benefit, mirrors can help to make small spaces look bigger.

    Mirror on a living room wall to brighten the room

    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. 

    Tip: Try hanging a mirror 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 to double up on the brightening factor. This will add interest and brightness all at once.

    Below I’ve listed clickable images of my three favorite mirrors available on Amazon right now.

    5. Brighten A Room With Decor Accents

    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 easy ways to help to brighten up 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 to create a light and airy feel.

    framed prints on an open shelf on a white wall
    From our half bath – see how we completely transformed this space HERE.
    wall hanging shelfs with light bright decor on a white wall
    This is our guest room, you can get all the details from this room in this post.

    6. Brighten A Dark Room With Lamps

    If you have a room with limited natural light, adding a lamp (or two!) can sometimes give you just enough extra light to make all the difference.

    Here are a few really pretty modern lamps that will elevate your living room (or bedroom) and brighten up the entire space.

    Style these on console tables, end tables, night stands in the bedroom, and even on kitchen countertops if you have a dark kitchen!


    (The small ceramic lamp with a plated shade is my favorite!)

    Another great idea for using lamps to brighten up a dark room is by using a modern floor lamp. Style it behind or beside a sofa like in the photo below.

    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.
    • Use table lamps and floor lamps to instantly brighten up a dark corner in your room.

    Want my A-to-Z blueprint on how to design a room that’s beautiful and stylish?

    learn to decorate a room from start to finish

    That’s it! Those are my top 5 tips for brighting up ANY space. Which idea are you most excited to try in your dark room?

    UP NEXT: Best White Paint Colors | The Ultimate Guide

    How To Brighten A Dark Room