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Top 10 ways to make a dark room brighter

By September 28, 2021Home
Top 10 ways to make a dark room brighter

Maximising the amount of natural light in your home is key to creating a space that looks good and makes you feel good too. Whether it’s a busy family zone or a relaxing bedroom, every room in your home will benefit from a boost of extra daylight. Here are ten ways to brighten up a dark room in your home – from quick fixes to more extensive upgrades, 

Style of windows

Your choice of windows will play a big part in maximising the natural light in your home. Everything from the style of window to your choice of material and frame design will impact the amount of light your windows allow into your rooms. Replacing more traditional glazing with cleaner contemporary styles will improve the amount of natural light in your home and significantly brighten a dark room. 

External doors

Adding glass panels or side panels to a front door is an excellent idea if you’re looking to get more light into your hallway. Glass doors are also ideal choices as back doors where you are trying to maximise the natural light in your space. They are particularly effective in a utility or laundry room where the room has no other windows. 

Kitchen makeover

Open up to the outdoors.

Changing a window to a fully glazed door is one of the easiest ways to get more natural light into your home. If you want to take this idea one step further, why not consider creating a larger expanse of glass between your living space and garden. The most popular glazing choices for making this kind of feature are bi-fold doors and sliding doors. Bi-fold doors will allow you to open up your living space entirely to your garden. However, sliding doors will offer the most uninterrupted view of your outdoor space as well as maximising the amount of natural light in your room. 

Multigenerational living offers a variety of benefits from different perspectives. For grandparents, it can be an excellent opportunity to be more involved in the lives of their grandchildren and feel fulfilled by helping their adult children with household responsibilities. Living with family can also reduce loneliness and increase a sense of security.

Glazed doors or screens between rooms

Try replacing some of your solid doors with glazed versions. This works well if you have doors opening up between rooms. If you live in an apartment, you will need to go for fire-rated glass, which is expensive. It’s worth checking with your management company before you make any alterations. Sliding glass doors between living spaces work well and maintain the feeling of open space, whether open or closed.

Roof lights

If you are extending, place rooflights close to the existing external wall of the house to bring light into the middle of the plan, which can often be dark because of the new extension. Strategically placing rooflights over designated areas – like the kitchen workspace or the walkway through the space – can create a striking feature as well as bringing lovely light to your new space.

design trends


Ireland gets many cloudy days throughout the year, which makes the light soft and diffused. Many homes with darker, north-facing rooms can feel light-starved at certain times of the year. The paint colour you choose can play a big part in helping your space to feel brighter. But it’s not as straightforward as picking a bright colour. There are some key points to watch out for.

When choosing paint colours for a dark room steer clear of any shade with a hint of pink or peach in it. These tones appear warm, which can be tempting for darker rooms, but they’re tough to live with. Instead, choosing a shade with a slight hint of green or earthy tone will make the room feel much warmer and inviting.

Go bright with surfaces.

Keep your floor surfaces light and bright. Paler timbers or floor tiles will make your room feel brighter. If you want to brighten your kitchen, your worktop can impact how bright the space feels. Dark counters will tone everything down, whereas bright countertops will lighten everything up. 

Top 10 ways to make a dark room brighter

Window dressings

Don’t let your choice of curtains or blinds compromise the natural light in your rooms. Most of the light will come into your room from the highest part of your window or doors. So pelmets or decorative blinds can block a significant amount of daylight and make a room feel gloomy. 

Maximise the amount of natural daylight in your rooms by pulling back the curtains clear from the windows. Remove pelmets, roll-up blinds, and remove any items on windows sills that might block light, such as plants, vases, or other bulky ornaments.


When it comes to artificial lighting in a dark room, try to light as many surfaces as possible. Reflected light is what you see in a room; in other words, the light that shines onto the walls and ceilings. One very effective trick is to uplight your ceiling. You can do this with floor or wall lamps. The room will feel brighter and more spacious by reflecting light onto the ceiling, especially for lower ceilings. 

Top 10 ways to make a dark room brighter


Mirrors are one of the simplest ways to make any room feel instantly brighter. You can use mirrors in just about any room in your home. Fill a section of wall in a narrow hallway with a mirror and immediately double the feeling of space and light. Or use a mirror as the finish for the backsplash in your kitchen. It will amplify your under cabinet lighting and make your kitchen feel much bigger and brighter.

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Denise O'Connor

Author Denise O'Connor

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