Bright rooms can not only transform your home and uplift your mood; if you’re selling your home (or considering it), light and airy rooms create an inviting atmosphere for potential buyers. Paint, decor and even mirrors are just a few of several effective techniques that can be used. Here are some ideas and suggestions that are simple and very affordable:
Paint-A warm white (like vanilla), dove gray and light taupe are light neutrals that will make a space appear more open and airy, according to Jennifer Jones, principal designer with Niche Interiors (San Francisco). But don’t just paint the walls. “If your ceilings are low, consider painting the molding the same color as the walls to elongate the room,” Jones said. Always paint the ceiling a lighter color than the walls, preferably a bright white. “That gives you the feeling of space and height, which really opens up the room,” said Tobi Farley, interior designer with Interior Design (Little Rock, Ark). “It will also reflect any of the light that’s directed to the ceiling from lamps or fixtures.”
Did you know that painting in a flat, matte or satin finish will soak up light, while a semi-gloss, high-gloss and lacquer finish will reflect the light? Thus, a dark room will feel lighter and brighter. Choosing a neutral gray? Stay away from brown or black undertones; choose a light shade that has a bright undertone.
If using mirrors, chose a decorative instead of full-length ones. “Try a vintage or mosaic one to bounce around the light, according to Edith Gregson, partner at DJ Ireland Interior Architecture & Design (Washington, D.C.). “A vintage, mercury or a convex/concave mirror will help with scattering light throughout your space while feeling a little less obvious than a wall of mirrors or an oversized floor mirror.”
Decor like artwork with white matting will create a contrast against darker walls. A gallery wall or collection of artwork can also be created for a brighter look (avoid darker artwork, but black-and-white is OK). And don’t clutter up a room with a lot of personal objects; less is more. The room won’t technically be darker, but if there’s a lot of stuff, the room’s going to feel less spacious, which in turn will feel like there’s less light). Cathi Lloyd of Decorating Den Interiors (Northwest Indiana) recommends adding live plants. Ferns are a great option; they can thrive for days in limited sunlight, she said. “This is a perfect way to add a dramatic effect to the dingiest areas of your rooms.” Got small windows? Don’t cover them with those heavy blinds or draperies. Instead, use sheer or lighter fabric to give the illusion of more space and light” (Source: “Dark Rooms” by Danielle Braff, Chicago Tribune (TNS)-The (Sunday) Vindicator, November 8, 2015).