Lighten Up! 5 Tips to Brighten Any Space

April 14, 2014 by  

There are a number of ways to brighten up your space, and there are a lot of reasons to do so! One important factor is that the quality of light in your home can have a serious impact on your mood. A dark home can feel drab, heavy, and depressing. The lack of light has a sedating effect, so you could find yourself feeling tired and sluggish. Brighter rooms have the opposite effect. They feel more cheerful and uplifting, and you may find that your energy levels increase from spending time in areas that have more light.

If you live in a home with small rooms, there’s another advantage to brightening up your space. It can actually make your rooms look larger. Dark colors in a small room have a tendency to make it visually shrink. On the other hand, lighter, brighter colors open it up and make it appear larger than it actually is. The illusion of more space might not give you more square footage and storage capabilities, but it can make you feel like you’re less crowded, and that’s almost as good.

If you feel like you and your home could benefit from lightening up, it’s easier to achieve than you might think.These five simple tips will help you brighten up your space in no time flat:

1. Make the Most of Your Windows – Even if your home doesn’t have as many windows as you would prefer, you can make the most of the ones you do have. Choose sheer or lightweight fabric curtains that let in as much light as possible. It’s also a good idea to avoid those made of heavy, formal fabrics and deep colors. There are tons of fun patterns in bright colors available, so your choices won’t be severely limited. Adding tie-back hardware is also a nice touch. The more natural light you let into your rooms, the better you’ll feel.
Natural Light
2. Choose Your Wall Colors Carefully – Bold, deep colors can look wonderful in the right space, but if your rooms are small or don’t have enough natural light, you’ll end up feeling like you’re living in a cave. Light, soft pastel colors, or hues that are bright and vibrant, will reflect the light and open up the room.

3. Go Minimalist – Okay, so maybe you’re not ready for an austere, monk-like existence. It’s not like you have to give away all of your furniture or forgo decorating pieces altogether. But you can at least clear out the clutter! Try to find a home for everything you own to avoid crowded surfaces, and stick to choosing a few special pieces of decor, rather than displaying shelves full of little odds and ends.The less junk you have laying around, the lighter the room will appear.

4. Let There Be Light! – Adequate lighting is a must. This is especially true when you don’t get enough natural light from windows, but even if you do, artificial light is still important. Your evenings will be much more pleasant if you can read a book without straining your eyes and do your housecleaning without wondering if you’re missing dust bunnies and smudges. A combination of overhead lighting and strategically placed tabletop or floor lamps will have an overall brightening effect, rather than having just one light source that brightens up one part of the room and throwing the rest into shadows.

5. Choose Light or Bright Room Accessories – This is one area that people chronically overlook when they’re trying to make their space look lighter, but it can make a big difference. The changes are subtle, yet significant. Choose a lemon-yellow lamp instead of one in mustard. Go for the apple green throw and tangerine pillows, rather than forest green and rust. Every time you’re thinking about buying something new for your home, ask yourself, “Will this lighten up the room or make it seem darker?”

Remember, you don’t have to change everything at once. so if you’re operating on a budget, start with just one thing, and go from there. Even one simple change can subtly shift its look. A few little changes here and there can have a powerful impact.

You’ll be surprised by what a big difference such small changes can make in the way you perceive your environment. Lighten up! You’ll feel better!

photo credit: viking_79 via photopin cc

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