Ideas for Maximizing Light in Northern Exposure Room?

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Q: I'm about to move into a new apartment in Arlington, Virginia. I'm really excited about my new apartment. It has dark hardwood floors throughout, and the typical white plaster walls. However, the living room faces north while my bedroom/bathroom face south. The north-facing living room is where I'm struggling. I'm prepared to purchase a new couch and some area rugs. And my preference for rugs and couches is lighter in color, as I love a light living room, and I feel it makes sense for contrast with the dark floors. I'm just really worried that the northern exposure of the room will suck the energy out of the space:

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Any ideas on how to help make a room with a northern exposure feel more full of light/energy? The photos were taken on a very bright spring day, before any foliage.

Sent by Ryan

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(Image credits: Ryan)

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Regina is an architect who lives with her husband and children in Lawrence, KS. As a LEED Accredited Professional and longtime contributor to Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn, her focus is on healthy, sustainable living through design.