Ways to Brighten Up a Dark Loft Desk

Ways to Brighten Up a Dark Loft Desk

Taryn Williford
May 25, 2011

When your place is tight—like really tight—squeezing your workspace underneath lofted sleeping quarters can be quite the space-saver. But as with all good things, there's a trade-off. A loft desk layout can turn out to be really cave-like and dark—so not conducive to, you know, working. Here's a few ways to brighten it up.

Use Light Colors
The first step in making your desk loft look more like a room and less like a tech cave? Decorate with light colors. Paint the "walls" a bright color and swap out your espresso-wood desk for a white one, just like our own blogger Mike Tyson in Mike's Clear Task at Hand Tech Tour (pictured directly above).

Add Light
By propping your bed up above, you're blocking a ton of ambient light. So it should come as no surprise that the best way to brighten up a dark loft desk is by adding lights in your work cave. Here a a few good solutions:

  • NATURAL LIGHT Your bed is probably blocking any overhead lights from shining on your desk, but you might be able to get some natural light to help brighten the space. Angle your loft so the open end catches the rays from a big window. Or, just like in Mike's Clear Task at Hand Tech Tour (above), add a window to your loft design for a little unexpected extra light.
  • DESKTOP LAMP It's the go-to for any other type of desk, so why not yours? Put down a task lamp to light up your workspace. Check out our roundups of Colorful Task Lights and Great And Unusual Desk Lamps for some ideas. Just make sure you double-check your desktop height clearance.
  • CLAMP LAMPS No room for a lamp on the desk? Try using a clip-on clamp lamp instead. They're the perfect solution to clip on to a bed frame or ladder. We've rounded up a bunch of our favorites right here.
  • "CEILING" MOUNTED LIGHTS Ok, so there's no "ceiling," but you can still make use of the bottom of your lofted bed to hang some overhead lights. IKEA has a slew of small can lights to mount under cabinets. You could even build 'em in to your loft, like Joel Vardy did in this wired-up loft desk (below).

(Images: Flickr member Magic Madzik licensed for use under Creative Commons, Mike's Clear Task at Hand, Loft Desk Maximizes Space in Smaller Rooms)

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