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How to Brighten up a Dingy Living Room


Sometimes you come across the problem of a living room that just looks gloomy, which isn’t the best look for a place that’s supposed to be comfortable and relaxing. Don’t despair – with clever use of colour and materials, and perhaps a few new furnishings, you can bring even the dingiest of rooms into the light. Here’s how to do it:


Give it some sparkle

Reflective surfaces are your friend when it comes to maximising the amount of natural light a room gets. Get creative with an arrangement of mirrors that serves as wall decoration, or just hang one large mirror opposite the window – both will help the room light up during the daytime. Alternatively, consider reflective wallpaper or polished floorboards instead of carpet. Any surface that light bounces off, rather than being absorbed by it, will help to brighten up a space.

Choose a new colour scheme

Vibrant colours help to bring even the darkest room to life. This doesn’t mean you have to paint all your walls in shocking pink – you can just choose one bright colour to use on an accent wall, and paint the others in more muted, complementary tones. In the same way, a few bright cushions, throws or rugs around the place can work wonders when it comes to injecting life into a room. If you’d rather not repaint, some vibrant pieces of art on the walls can have a similar effect.

Reconsider your window dressings

Heavy curtains are the natural enemy of light – even when they’re open, they can still get in the way of incoming sunlight and have a bulky appearance that can bog a room down. Consider replacing them with lighter drapes or even a simple roller blind, which lets more light in when closed and sits completely clear of the window when open. If your room gets a lot of sunlight, certain designs such as wooden Venetian blinds can create a really attractive effect, splitting up and scattering the rays.


Jazz up your lighting

Interior lighting is also a big factor – rather than just having the usual pendant bulb hanging from the ceiling, think about recessed lighting and spotlights to draw attention to the features of the room. A few standard lamps or table lamps together with some cleverly-placed overhead lighting can create a much more attractive effect than a simple lightbulb.