Your new home is in the perfect neighborhood and the price is right, yet there’s one thing that almost held you back from purchasing: the lighting (or, rather, lack thereof). Beat the basement blues by brightening your home with mirrors, paint and the right kind of custom decor. Here’s how to get started.
1. Paint it white! When it comes right down to it, other than adding more windows (which can be costly when you’re on a homebuyer’s budget), the best thing you can do to brighten a space is to ditch the dark colors and layer lighter hues instead. White will be the best to illuminate your surroundings, but any color on the soft end of the spectrum will do.
2. Although walls will make the most impact, choosing white for smaller decorative elements and flooring will brighten the room even more. If white walls sound boring to you, maybe the answer is hanging large-scale well-lit photos. This is an easy way to add luster, and pieces like these from Shutterfly will look stunning against colorful walls. Customized family photos also lighten the mood of the room by adding joy and personality. Make sure, though, that they are also framed and matted with white so no part of the piece contributes to the gloom.
3. Cover dark floors with light-colored throw rugs. Just keep in mind that white carpet can get stained easily, so read reviews before buying and take your shoes off at the door.
4. Mirrors bounce around what little light you do have. They also make rooms look bigger and more open, combatting the cave-like feeling of a dark room. Including decor that has a bit of shine will create this same effect on a smaller scale.
5. Choose lightweight furniture with clean lines. Overstuffed couches will make the atmosphere feel heavy, so elevate the environment by creating a lighter (thus, brighter) illusion with Lucite or slim furnishings made from pale-colored wood.
6. Play up any windows by raising the curtain rods and choosing airy, white curtains. This will make your windows look bigger and create a glow that bounces between your walls.
7. Make sure light bulbs give a white instead of yellow radiance. You’ll be surprised how much of a difference this can make!
8. Minimize clutter and keep your space clean. Pare down to the essentials to lighten the space, decrease shadowy corners and allow for an easy flow between rooms. Hide bulky jackets and shoes somewhere out of sight.
9. Vary your light sources with lamps, recessed lighting, pendants, and more so it isn’t as obvious that your light is artificial.
With these simple suggestions you will hopefully be able to turn a dreary dungeon into a fresh, cheerful home. Of course, you should always feel free to incorporate your own bright ideas!
By Julia Marchand
Julia Marchand is a home décor and DIY blogger for Shutterfly, where she shares her expertise and experiences on life as a new mommy and first-time homeowner. Julia describes herself as a vintage-loving gal who spends her free time sewing, crafting and reading in her quiet New England home. Follow Julia on her Twitter to discover more home décor tips & tutorials.