8 Easy Ways to Brighten A Room

Light is something we often take for granted.  Yet, it has such an effect on the way a space looks, and how we feel when we are in it.  As we’ve discovered, light makes people feel at ease.  Light and higher productivity has even been connected in workplaces.  Light just seems to say ‘Welcome. You belong here. Come on in!’.

There’s just something about good lighting, and with brightness that  human beings need beyond just the Vitamin D.  So, it makes sense to try and get as much of it, or the appearance of it, in our homes and workplaces.  With that in mind, how do we make a room brighter, or even make it seem brighter if it’s location doesn’t allow for a lot of natural light to come into it?

Well, it’s a question that provoked my scouring of the Internet once again to find out what some of the experts are saying about the matter of light, brightness, and how it can often  give an interior that welcoming feeling that is central to all good interior design, no matter what the style or approach.

So before you knock down a wall and turn your room into a solarium, or knock out your ceiling for a skylight, let’s take a look at 8 easy and more cost-effective ways you can ‘let there be light’  in your spaces without undue expense, or bother.  Here they are.

1. Place lamps  and other light sources strategically
You’ve got lamps to warm up a room, particularly in rooms that may not have a lot of natural light coming in for whatever reason. But, are those lamps placed correctly?  Think about how many lamps you need relative to how big the space actually is.  A light source for every 10′ or so is recommended to avoid too many shadows.  Place your lamps accordingly, with uniform height to each lamp.  Choose your shade types well, too. Lighter-colored, semi-opaque shades will enable more light diffusion which will maximize the effect.  Thanks to Realsimple.com (@Real_Simple on Twitter)

2. Choose the right bulbs
There are a number of bulbs to choose from, including incandescent, flourescent, LED, and others.  Popular choices today in getting the right lighting effects, and gaining energy efficiency while you’re at it, is to choose an energy-efficient CFL (compact flourescent light) bulb.  Among your choices, it makes sense to think about which kind of CFLwill render light to mimic daylight in a room you’re looking to brighten up.  Thanks to EnergyStar.com (@energystar on Twitter)

3. Choose the right window treatments
Maybe the window nearest your space is quite a generous size.  But, the wrong window treatment can mute the natural light that it would allow.   When choosing a window treatment, strike a balance between how much your treatment can minimize humidity in your space, maintain your privacy, and maximize how much natural light is allowed to filter in.  Look at this selection of 10 top window treatments to help you start thinking about what makes sense for your space. Thanks to HGTV, who you should follow on Twitter.

4. Choose light colors for walls, floors, ceilings, doors, furniture
You’ll often hear that light colors can make a space look bigger as well as brighter.  One of the reasons for both is that pale colors reflect light rather than absorb it.  This creates not only the illusion of more space, but a brighter room just by the reflection of light as it is cast upon surfaces within that room.  It’s science at work!  Thanks to HerHome.com.

5. Place furniture according to light-flow
Eye-flow, when it comes to where your furniture is placed, is related to light-flow, too.  Your eye is going to be drawn to where the light is most reflected.  Make sure that your furniture is placed in such as way as to not interrupt that flow.  Thanks to thehouseplanshop.com.

6. Choose brightly colored, or brightly-themed Artwork
When you’ve got less natural light than you’d like in a room, sometimes choosing an image that depicts bright colors or a bright scene, like a sunny landscape, can help make up the difference.  In some ways, the appearance of light is enough to get you that welcoming feeling that real natural light allows.  And great artwork that resonates with you on other levels can help you get there.  It also adds character to a room, too. Thanks to 2Modern.com (‘like’ on Facebook).

7. Mirrors and other reflective services
This doesn’t mean turning the room into a 70s to 80s bachelor pad.  But, it does mean the inclusion of surfaces off of which natural light can play.  This means choosing all kinds of surfaces, including mirrors but not necessarily huge ostentatious ones, to supplement what you’ve already got placed in the room.  The effects can be subtle.  But, many of those kinds of effects are often the ones that make the biggest difference.  Thanks to Digs Magazine.

8. Embrace Minimalism
Right. I am not going to say “less is more”.  That would be cliché.  But, there is a reason, often, why ideas become clichés.  And jumping off from the furniture placement point above, the less you have in a room, the more light and less shadow there’s going to be.  Take a look at ZenHabits.net for more ideas on how you can incorporate minimalist design in making a brighter, and more calming and comfortable space for yourself.  Thanks to Zen_Habits who you should follow on Twitter.

So, there you have it.  8 ways to bring a bit of brightness into your room, without having to spend a lot of money or time.  Have I missed something important?  Let me know in the comments section!



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