Top tips for enjoying a lighter, brighter living space

In such dark times, light has never been more important and as we’re all spending so much more time at home right now.

Bringing some of that light into our living rooms and kitchens, where we do so much of our actual ‘living’, is at the forefront of many minds.

You could be fooled into believing that you are essentially stuck with the hand you’re dealt and that there is no way to make a darker room pop with light but you don’t need to start cutting down any trees or shifting any foundations.

Sometimes, all it takes is a fresh perspective and a little free time. And who doesn’t have a surfeit of that right now?

So, here we’ll be guiding you through just a few top tips for lightening up dark rooms that won’t set you back a small fortune.

Clever curtain work

Curtains are truly marvellous inventions that not only insulate our homes and frame our windows but to shield up from prying eyes. However, they can also obscure more light than required if they are not hung properly. First, ensure that your curtains don’t cover more of your windows than is necessary – if your windows begin at waist height, for example, floor to ceiling curtains would almost certainly be overkill. Also, if you have space, try to make sure that the curtain poles are long enough so that the curtains can be drawn back completely.

Blinded by the light

If your living space happens to be located in a garden conservatory or any room where there are a significant amount of windows (an orangery, perhaps) then curtains might not be a viable option. In this case, blinds are the natural alternative and if you opt for Roman blinds made from linen or cotton then you’ll notice the difference when it comes to how bright your room feels. If the idea of drapes puts you off, meanwhile, consider thinner drapes that could lend your room something of ethereal quality.

Using the power of reflection

Mirrors are an affordable and attractive way to help light find its way into some of the more niggling darker corners of a room. Position one opposite the main window in your lounge and it should throw a great deal of light back into the room. Also, try experimenting with diagonal mirror placements and how the interplay of natural light and mirror work can really open up an otherwise small or murky room.

Keeping it sparse

There is a reason why the Scandinavian style of IKEA has become so successful – not only is it affordable and practical but it’s a style that naturally accentuates light. By keeping your furniture minimal and bright, you’ll organically bring a sense of brightness and calm that you can accentuate with a few darker pieces of furniture. This sense of ‘less is more’ should also extend to the colour schemes and pattern work you use on your walls and ceilings – white walls are something to be embraced and accentuated, not hidden away beneath hundreds of family portraits and complicated wallpaper.

Open it up

Finally, a living room is an area that, by definition, is to be lived in but it’s also an area that defines your home, as a whole. If you desire a brighter and more open home, that means not closing it off from the rest of the household. Consider either getting rid of the doors entirely or replacing your living room doors with glazed alternatives, which will maintain a division between rooms without wasting any light. Because wasted light is wasted potential.