14 Easy Ways To Brighten Your Dark And Dingy Home Up This Winter
I'm done with the gloomy vibes — it's time to let some serious light into our homes!
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I don’t know about you, but as soon as I took my gorgeously lit Christmas tree down, I quickly realised just how dark and dingy my home gets in winter. Essentially, the combination of a 4pm sunset and a dismally murky sky throughout the day has left me spending far too much time sitting in darkness. Don’t you just love this time of year?
In a bid to help anyone else who, like me, is desperate to brighten up their abode, I’ve pulled together a selection of top tips and tricks for swapping the endless gloom for a bit more glow.
Whether you’re living in a lower ground floor flat, struggling to make your windowless hallway more welcoming, or your home just simply doesn’t seem to soak up any natural light, there’s sure to be at least one suggestion here that’ll work perfectly for your space...
Let in maximum light by ensuring your windows are completely clean
If windows are a really precious commodity in your home, then make sure that you’re getting the most out of the ones you’ve got by keeping them super clean and streak-free, so maximum light is let in. This bestselling window vacuum does most of the work for you. (And check out even more hacks for banishing those smears here.)
£58.19 (was £74.99) from Amazon
Go for see-through and acrylic furniture where possible
To reflect light as much as possible, go big on the glass or acrylic furniture. With curved solid oak legs, a tempered glass top, this stunning table will make a stylish and practical addition to any contemporary living room.
Use smart bulbs to ensure that your lighting can easily be customised
I use these bulbs in my home, and love how well lit they keep my home. You’ll have 16 million colours to choose from, can completely adjust the brightness levels, and even control them using Amazon Alexa and Google Home.
£16.99 (were £29.99) from Amazon
Forgo big and bulky pieces of furniture in favour of more streamlined pieces
Steer clear of bulky and tall pieces of furniture if your lighting is limited. Instead, go for low-to-ground options where possible, and allow maximum light flow by picking pieces on legs, and with more streamlined shapes.
Lighten up dark hard or wooden floors with a large area rug
If you’re stuck with dark floors, then laying down a large area rug in a light colour is a quick fix that will instantly brighten up the room. This one comes in four different sizes, and loads of different colours and patterns — but this vintage cream style feels like the perfect fit for dark floors.
Swap cluttered gallery walls for a large and light tapestry or canvas
Especially if you’re working with a smaller space, then making sure it doesn’t appear cluttered will really help it look both bigger and brighter. So, instead of lots of small black frames filled with bold prints, go for larger but fewer pieces of wall art. Boasting light colours and a textured finish, this canvas is a great pick.
Add some glint to gloomy cabinets with metallic handles
If you’re working with dark kitchen cabinets or cupboards, and don’t have the option to paint or change them, upgrading the handles to something metallic is a great way to make the space appear a little bit lighter. Copper and silver would both do the trick — but I love these gorgeous gold ones.
John Lewis & Partners
Use pebble and organic shaped mirrors as unique wall decor pieces
Especially when placed directly opposite a window or light source, mirrors help reflect so much extra light around an otherwise dark and dingy room. Slightly more subtle and artistic than your standard rectangular mirror, this artistic pebble shaped one would make a brilliant statement piece on any wall.
£45 from John Lewis & Partners
Pick a floor lamp that’s been designed with dingy corners in mind
Despite being barely noticeable when not in use, this clever floor lamp will bring some much-needed light to any dark corners. Simply use the foot pedal to turn it on and off, and to adjust the brightness level to suit your needs.
Reflect maximum light around the room with light yet warm wall colours
When brightening up a room, it’s important to keep your wall colours light, and stick to accessories and soft furnishing if you fancy throwing in a bit of colour. I love this hessian paint because it’s got subtle hints of brown that make it a brilliant combo of lightness and warmth.
Allude to the outdoors by bringing some plants and greenery inside
Bringing in natural elements like plants and flowers is another great way to make a dark room seem lighter, as it hints to the outdoors. This gorgeous weeping fig is easy to keep alive and happy, and brings just the right amount of green leafiness.
Trade heavy window treatments for sheer and voile styles
Although in a bedroom you’ll want something a bit more heavy duty, it’s well worth picking window treatments made from more lightweight and sheer materials if you’re trying to brighten up a living room or study. This pretty voile panel looks chic and elegant, and will also diffuse sunlight beautifully around the room.
Don’t just stick to ceiling lights — play about with wall sconces, too
Having variation in your light sources is key if you’re keen to subtly brighten up a dark room. So, alongside table and floor lamps, consider some half moon wall sconces like these that shine light directly upwards.
Pick textured materials like rattan that let in maximum light
Where possible, swap the heavy velvet fabrics and opaque furniture for more lightweight options that allow more sunlight to peep through. Boho and beautiful, this half-moon rattan headboard is a perfect example.
£153 (was £255) from La Redoute