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6 Tips for Brightening Your Space and Your Mood

Light, bright spaces not only appear to be larger than dark spaces, they also seem to make us feel happier. But not all of us live in light, sunny spaces. Designers and decorators recommend six sound tips for adding light, or the illusion of light, to help brighten your rooms and your mood:

  • Start With White – Small or dark spaces are not the place to try out a dark color palette. The lighter the walls, the more light they will reflect. Start with white or a pale, neutral grey or beige wall, and if you choose a color other than white, think about painting the ceiling a shade lighter to help light bounce around the room.
  • More Ceiling Tricks – Blue skies brighten the world. Painting your ceiling the color of the sky can create the illusion of light. Or, paint the ceiling with high-gloss paint to help reflect light.
  • Bring in Colors of the Sun – One proven way to brighten a space is to bring in yellows, reds and oranges—the colors of the sun. You can do this with furnishings, accent pieces, and pillows.
  • Use Mirrors and Reflective Surfaces – Double the amount of light in a room by allowing it to bounce off reflective surfaces. Hang a large mirror across from the largest window in the room. Hang an array of smaller mirrors in darker areas, such as hallways, and bring in shimmery gold or silver accessories to attract and reflect light.
  • Place Bookshelves Correctly – Place bookshelves perpendicular to the window wall. Placing them parallel or across from a window is a sure way to obstruct the light.
  • Supplement Daylight – Think about where you place light fixtures. Indirect lighting aimed upward, such as a torchiere at the back of the room, can make up for the lack of natural light on the ceiling as daylight fades.