Seeing the Light: Best Tips for Brightening Up a Dark Space

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I’ve recently found myself in the dark. I work in a windowless office (well, those who have windows keep their shades down because of “glare”) and I am temporarily living with my boyfriend who has a lower-floor apartment with no direct sunlight. I’m dying.

I live in foggy San Francisco too, so needless to say I’m craving light in a bad way. In the meantime, I’m dreaming up ways to brighten my bf’s pad. We bought some sheer curtains yesterday to start, and will work on replacing his bulbs with daylight ones. Today, I decided to dig into the Apartment Therapy vault for more ideas:

1.  In 5 Ways to Make a Small, Dark Room Feel Larger, tips include using accessories to emit and reflect light (like mirrors, glass, and metal); making a window appear larger by flanking it with floor-length curtains; and choosing low-profile furniture, which will help with our low ceilings too.

2.  In How to Lighten Up a Dim Apartment, readers offered up using lots of table lamps rather than overhead (table lamps = my design fetish, so thanks guys!). Some also suggested light-colored walls, artwork and floors. Painted floors aren’t practical in a rental, but I like the idea of adding a light-colored shag or rug.

3.  In Tips for Lighting Your Home from a Pro Designer, designer Melanie Freundlicho suggests keeping different parts of a room at different brightness levels to prevent lighting fatigue.

4.  Finally, in Small Space Lighting Solution, AT contrib Susie Nadler shows some IKEA rooms that mix pendants lamps at different heights to increase lighting and create a cozy and warm effect in a space. 

Do you have more lighting tips for a dark space? Please share below!

(Image: Addie's "Sealskin + Ivory" Room/Room for Color Contest 2012)

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