You’ve tried to brighten a dark room before. You painted your ceiling white. Even painted an accent wall. You’ve rearranged the furniture. And then again.  

You ventured forth and braved the hellscape of your local big-box department store. A lamp and some throw pillows surely would do the trick. But still, the room is dark. And the lamp and throw pillows are—once placed in your room—rather disappointing. Off to the dustbin of poor design choices they go.

So, what’s an aesthete to do? You want to brighten a dark room while maintaining your sophisticated sense of style. Here are a few tips to help brighten any drab space. Better yet—no interior design degree is required—just some tastefully appointed accessories.

Let There be Light

At first glance, adding additional light sources seems an obvious remedy to brighten a dark room. But not all lamps, lights, or chandeliers are created equal. This is especially true when it comes to illuminating a dark and dreary space.

Table lamps and floor lamps are usually the first places people look when trying to brighten a dark room. But not any old lamp will do. You want to add light without detracting from your overall aesthetic. You want quality. And you want to brighten a dark room to fully appreciate the pieces you’ve carefully cultivated.

Pendant lights are a great choice for an understated, yet refined, space. Depending on your layout, adding one to three pendant lights makes an appreciable impact. While most often found in a kitchen or foyer, this is not a steadfast rule. Pendant lights come in a wide array of styles and finishes making them a versatile option to brighten a dark room, whether it’s a living room, bedroom, or finished basement.

Chandeliers are commonly associated with opulence: formal dining rooms with white linens. But that was then. Chandeliers have undergone a renaissance and are no longer only found in dining rooms. With styles now ranging from traditional to Bohemian chic, a chandelier will brighten a dark room and add a distinctive touch.

But lighting alone may not accomplish the goal. And that brings us to our second tip.

Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall

A mirror can work magic (besides telling you how fair you are). Simply hanging a large mirror on the wall across from the largest—or only—window in your room allows natural light to be reflected across your space. It works like magic to brighten a dark room.

But maybe large mirrors aren’t your thing. Don’t worry—a few smaller mirrors arranged in a collage will brighten a dark room just as well.

Ah, but what if there’s no window?  A doorway will suffice. As before, hanging a mirror—or mirrors—opposite a doorway allows reflected light to flood and brighten a dark room.

Now that you’ve added lighting and mirrors, your room is brighter. But there’s something missing - that final accent to add another splash of brightness to your room. Adjust your gaze downward to reveal our last tip to brighten a dark room.

Rug of Choice

Adding a rug to brighten a dark room can make a big difference. Picking the brightest colored rug might seem like a logical choice, but there are other factors to consider.

You’ll want to choose a rug that complements your room and is sized appropriately. For example, if your floor or furniture is darker, then a lighter-toned area rug would be a great option.

Quality matters when picking a floor covering. Less-expensive rugs will wear and fade quickly and need to be replaced more often. You don’t want to cheapen your entire space with a hastily and poorly chosen rug.

These three tips will help you on your way to brighten your room. Zinc Décorhas everything you need to shed some light on your previously dark space.