How to visually brighten your home
If your home is feeling dark, small and closed in, here are my top tips on how to brighten a dark room without having to make structural changes.
A white interior always looks bright as it reflects light, thereby lightening the interior of your home.
Enhance natural home lighting
With mirrors – be it a large mirror above a sofa or a mirrored wall - you can get lots of light bouncing into your home, especially if you place the mirror strategically to reflect the available light you have from your existing openings.
Matt and satin surfaces are more fashionable presently, but as with all trends, what is old inevitably becomes new again with gloss paint being used in the past on walls, as well as trims and doors. Glossy surfaces reflect more light - but be aware that one of the major benefits of matt or satin finishes is that they not only diffuse light, but they also show less fingerprinting and hide an array of imperfections on plastered surfaces.
A white interior often can benefit from some contrast, but a dark floor will absorb light, making not only the floor dark, but also removing an extra surface that could reflect light back on the walls and ceiling. A mid-coloured oak floor like Carpet Court’s Timeless Oak would reflect some light; a light grey or white floor like Precinct Oak or Elements Hybrid Tiles would give you the most lightening effect in your home, though be thoughtful of your own way of life and whether the occupants of your home can live comfortably with the challenges of keeping a white or light floor scuff free.
The same is true for carpets as young children and pets can provide a challenge for any white or very light carpet, though a solution dyed nylon with some colour variation like Carpet Court’s Quinn Street will give you the best possible chance of longevity.
Lighting is important, not just for light itself but for ambience and mood.
Downlights are ubiquitous and often seen as the only necessity. If you want only even, uniform lighting, then by all means use this approach. The issue is that you forego the opportunity for light and shade or using light to highlight specific things, such as artworks or treasured items.
Spotlights will light specific items, whether that means pointing at a wall or shining from the floor up the wall or to the ceiling. Light is an important player in any materials palette as it creates shadows, patterns and textures without adding in extra material elements.
Task lighting for work stations, such as kitchens, studies or offices needs to be more focused and specific to the location.
Floor lamps give you height in a room and can cast light downward or onto a reading chair. Table lamps provide a mid to low level light that can be perfect for evenings watching a movie in the lounge room where you want some light, but not coming from above or shining on the screen itself; and table lamps make a bed side table feel well dressed and complete.