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How to Brighten Your Home

Find new ways to make your home feel brighter during any season

Kitchen with bright lights
Posted on Oct 17, 2023, 5:23:03 PM GMT

As the fall months pass by and the days grow shorter, there are less daylight hours available to enjoy. Finding new ways to take advantage of the daylight you do have can be a great springboard for redecorating. Here are our ideas for brightening up your home, using both natural and artificial light.

Make your windows accessible

If your home already has access to natural light via windows, make sure you’re decorating in a way that can be fully enjoyed. Start by cleaning your windows regularly, both inside and out. While you’re outside, trim trees or greenery back to keep them from blocking your light. When it comes to furniture, stick to end tables or couches that are no taller than the windowsill.

Assess each room’s color palette

Lighter wall paint colors are a great way to build a bright foundation in a room, to liven up a space. If you do decide to paint, a satin or glossy finish is more likely to reflect light.

If painting is too much work, light-colored furniture or furniture made of natural elements—like lighter woods—can still make your home feel radiant. Couches with open legs or chairs with open arms can make a room feel airier, and in turn, brighter. Plus, this style of furniture is often lighter in weight, making it easier to rearrange and more efficient to vacuum under. If your floor is dark, try a light-colored area rug or pops of color throughout the room with throw pillows or accent pieces on tables.

Increase your lighting options

Window treatments are one way to control incoming natural light, but you can increase your choices by adding artificial light from different sources. Overhead lights are common, but adding table lights or task lighting in corners ensures your home will be well-lit, no matter where you sit. String lights or candles can add a twinkle and make a room feel cozy.

For additional options, try adding a dimmer switch to your existing lights. That way, you can adjust how much light you have, adjusting it for specific activities or for how high the sun is in the sky. Don’t forget to read the packaging on the bulbs you buy! You can check how bright a bulb will be by its lumens: The more lumens a bulb has, the brighter it will be. Similarly, a light’s color is measured by color temperature with a “K” symbol for Kelvin. The warmer the light is, the lower the Kelvin number, while cooler, white lights have a higher Kelvin number.

Install doors with windows

If you want to tackle a bigger project, try replacing certain doors in your home for doors with windows. This works best for rooms that don’t require privacy, like dens or sitting areas. However, open space and additional lines of sight can make a room feel more luminous.

Decorate with reflective surfaces

Mirrors go a long way to making a space look bigger and brighter. A mirror placed at the end of a hallway can amplify the space. If you place a mirror opposite a window or near a table lamp, the mirror will reflect the light throughout the room. Silver or gold frames or accents can, similarly, help a room shine.

Bring the outside, in

Adding plants to rooms, especially those without windows, can breathe a little life into darker rooms. There are plenty of house plants that require little-to-no light, like snake plants or spider plants. They also don’t require too much water and can be appealing when placed on end tables or tucked into corners. Plants like pothos or ivy are great for spaces where their leaves can spread out, like the top of a bookshelf. If taking care of a real plant is too much responsibility, fake plants work, too.

Whatever you choose to do, we hope these tips will help make your home a cozy, radiant place for you and your loved ones to enjoy!