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Tricks to Create a Brighter and Happier Home

No-one wants to feel like they’re living in a cave. While there can be beauty in the shadows, more often than not a dark home can feel drab and depressing. Older homes may even give off a creepy vibe if they are too dark. Fortunately, there are many ways to brighten up a gloomy home. Here are just several tricks to create a brighter and happier home.

Consider the color scheme

A dark color scheme could be to blame for your gloomy home. Blacks, greys, and browns are obvious examples of this. Deep colors – popular in old Victorian homes – can also make a home feel darker.

White is the best color for brightening up a home. You may not want to paint everything white, however, it could be used to provide contrast with darker colors (if you live in an old home and want to keep some authentic deep colors, try adding some white furniture or curtains or carpets for contrast).

Other bright colors include yellows, oranges, reds, lime greens, pinks, and even baby blue tones. Pastel tones will help to keep these colors subtle, although you may be able to add a few pops of richer hues here and there. Check out this guide at homes.com on decorating with bright colors for more tips.

Consider the wood tones

Darker wood tones will also make your home feel gloomier. The likes of walnut, mahogany, and ebony were once a symbol of wealth and were popular in older homes. While these woods still have an opulent feel to them, they are best contrasted with bright and warm color schemes.

Lighter wood tones tend to better for brightening up a home. Beech and maple are two popular light wood tones that can be used for flooring, countertops, cabinets, or furniture. Check out bhg.com’s guide on wood tones for more great tips on how to use wood tones.

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Maximize natural light from windows

An effective way to brighten up your home is to introduce more natural light from the sun. It’s possible that your home may have very few windows or that there may be obstacles stopping sunlight from entering. Below are just some of the ways in which you can let more sunlight into your home:

-          Add extra windows. This is the most effective way to let in more light, providing you have any available walls to add extra windows. For rooms with tiny windows, it may be possible to expand these windows and let in more light. You can visit windowwire.com to shop for windows. A professional should always be hired when installing windows – especially when knocking out space in a wall and adding a new window. Make sure to keep windows clean as this can also affect the amount of light getting in.

-          Add a skylight. These are windows in the ceiling that allow natural light to flow in from above. They can be ideal for brightening up a loft, a kitchen or stairwell if there is no room above. Consider whether there are any gloomy parts of your home where a skylight could be fitted.

-          Add glass doors. A frosted glass front door or a glass sliding door at the back of your home could help sunlight to pour in, while also serving as an entrance. This could be a great way of brightening up a gloomy hallway or a gloomy back room.

-          Remove outside obstacles creating shade. Large trees, hedges, or unnecessarily high fences could be reducing the amount of sunlight coming through your window. Consider whether it would be possible to cut back these obstacles to let in more light.

-          Remove inside obstacles. A large piece of furniture or large indoor plant in front of a window could be blocking light from getting in. Consider whether these obstacles can be relocated to let in more light.

-          Throwback the curtains. If the curtains are always closed, this could be an obvious reason as to why your home feels so dark. If you’re worried about privacy, consider options such as blinds or net curtains that distort the view while still letting light through.

Consider ways to reflect light

Reflective surfaces can help to further brighten up your home by reflecting natural or artificial light. A few different strategies for reflecting light are listed below.

-          Mirrors. This is the most obvious way to reflect light. A mirror opposite a window could help to create the illusion that the room has two windows and is certain to make it feel much brighter. If you haven’t got an available wall to hang a mirror, you may be able to use mirrored wardrobes or mirrored cabinets.

-          Laminated wood: Laminated wood also has reflective properties. A laminate wood floor and laminate wood countertops could be a great way to brighten up a gloomy kitchen.

-          Polished stone: Polished ceramic tiles or a polished quartz countertop could also be ways of reflecting light. Polished stone is most likely to be used in a kitchen or a bathroom.

-          Gloss paint: Gloss paint has become very popular in recent years and is equally guaranteed to brighten up your home by helping to reflect light. Most paint colors are available in gloss – white gloss is the most likely to brighten up a home.

-          Chrome steel: There may also be ways to incorporate chrome steel into your home in order to reflect light. This could include a chrome steel sink and faucet or even chrome steel countertops.

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Add more artificial lighting

A lack of artificial lighting could also be a reason for why your home is so gloomy. A single overhead bulb isn’t always enough to illuminate a room – by considering some of the following artificial light options, you may be able to make each room a lot brighter.

-          Use spotlighting to brighten up recesses. When it comes to shadowy alcoves and recesses under kitchen cabinets, spotlighting can be a great option. You should hire an electrician when wiring in these lights.

-          Use track lighting to brighten up an entire room from one fitting. A cheaper option to spotlighting is track lighting. This involves having multiple lights pointing in different directions from a single fitting, which can help to brighten up each corner of the room more effectively. You should similarly hire an electrician when fitting these lights.

-          Use table and floor lamps. You can also use tabletop lamps and floor lamps to provide extra light in a room. Floor lamps are ideal for brightening up corners of rooms, while tabletop lamps can be used either side of a sofa, either side of a bed and possibly even on windowsill and mantelpieces.

-          Opt for high luminosity bulbs. Bulbs with a higher lumen level are much brighter. They could be necessary when illuminating large spaces such as the area above a staircase or a large loft space. These bulbs do consume more power so bear this in mind. Avoid going too bright – a blindingly bright bulb is not going to make a room any cozier.

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