HOW TO LIGHTEN A ROOM

8 Tips On How To Make A Space Look Brighter

There’s something to be said about the potential a good light has; from spotlights on the theatre stage cast onto the lead actor to the ambient candlelight dinners, the amount of illumination in a room is one of most crucial components and in creating and controlling the right illumination, one must be in tune to the art of it. Lighting in any room is important due to its ability to change a room and set the tone and mood. Whether you want a bright, vivid and exciting environment or a sombre, subtle ambience, each nuance is brought out and enhanced by the amount of lighting in a room. This style guide is a curation of tips and insights into what makes good lighting, how to control it and its outcome.

1. BUILD FROM THE GROUND UP

Let’s talk flooring. You may have never considered it but floors play a key role when thinking of lighting in a room. A floor can either light up or throw shadows across the room depending on the material, colour or pattern. For a more in depth understanding on flooring, read Art & Living’s column on ARTRA Magazine’s 56th Edition, Oct/Nov 2020. Most often, tiles with a gloss finish or a marble gloss-finish increases lighting as it reflects the natural or artificial light around the space. Other types of light increasing floors include hardwood, stone or ceramic with polished finishes. When choosing a colour palette for your flooring, choose bright colours to obtain the most reflection. In spaces where carpet is used, choose light and neutral colours to make the space look warm and bright.

2. WALL UP RADIANTLY

Walls are vital, even in an open-concept space; the colour, pattern and material of the wall can either make or break a bright and reflective concept. If you’re looking to lighten up a room, using the colour white is one of the most basic rules of interior design. White walls are huge light reflectors and are able to enhance any natural or artificial light. However, there are other options as well. When choosing the colour palette, remember to choose warm, neutral and light colours like light greys and warm browns or beiges and whites. As long as you have warm and neutral colours, your space will look larger and brighter.

3. LET THE LIGHT IN

What better to brighten up a space than daylight? Imagine a bright, sunny day and light streaming in through the windows – another tip to increase light in a room is having more windows or larger windows in a room. Floor to ceiling windows can not only turn the brightness up a notch but also increase ventilation making it seem as though you’re basking in sunlight on a warm summer’s day. Arched or radius, and transom windows can increase light without compromising on privacy. Windows have now evolved and are manufactured in a way that makes minimal framework for more light. You could even choose bow or bay windows.

4. DRAPE AND DECORATE

The whole point of installing more windows and open spaces to reduce light might make covering them up with curtains a tad redundant. However, curtains are used for both artistic and functional purposes too, and these can be done in a way that increases light instead of blocking it out. When choosing the type and material of curtains for your space, voile curtains, with their thin, net-like pattern and material allows more light to seep in and its white colour further increases the brightness of the space. Other curtains may also be used, however, in a light colour palette. Go for off-whites and eggshell, or beiges and pale browns. You could install blinds over windows to control the amount of light coming into the room. 

5. MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE WALL

As we’re now well versed in the power of reflection and light, it is commonly known that the most reflective surfaces are mirrors. If you want to make your space look lighter and radiant, make sure to have an appropriate number of mirrors. Mirrors are one the few interior design key components to make a room look larger and this notion allows not just artificial light but also natural light to reflect off the surface and illuminate the room elegantly. A few examples could be statement mirrors, which are both functional and decorative; full length mirrors make the room appear larger but also has more reflective surface; mounted mirrors placed in a dark corner can reflect artificial light, in turn illuminating the corner; mirrored walls add depth to your hallway while allowing it to not appear so dark and eerie, you can also spice it up by adding artistic framework.

6. TURN THE LIGHT ON

A more obvious approach to increasing light in a room is the installation of light fixtures like lamps and wall mounted illuminations. These are more typically used and are functional while simultaneously adding an artistic flair. The kind of light fixtures you use generally depend on the theme of your space. If your room is vintage, choose hanging lanterns or old-school filament bulbs, draping lamps. If you’re space is made to look elegant and rich, fancy and regal, perhaps you’d choose a crystal chandelier. Chandeliers are most efficient in lighting up a room due to their material’s capacity to reflect off every surface. Choose the kind of lighting based on your theme or colour palette but don’t forget to think of its artistic capabilities.

7. COLOUR IN SUBTLETY

One of the most essential and fundamental laws of designing a home is picking a colour scheme. Your colour scheme will set the tone of the room and surround the atmosphere with either warm or winter ambience. If you’re looking to make a room brighter and lighter, your best choice is the subtle colour palette of whites and light browns, beiges and pale yellows. When considering furniture, choose light browns and warm hues. For more information on colour palettes and schemes read up on our Art & Living column on ARTRA Magazine’s 55th Edition, Aug/Sep 2020.

8. DECLUTTER FOR BETTER

Often, having too many things in a space can make it look confining and chaotic. While there’s beauty in a mess, it must be done right instead of haphazardly. Too many objects can make it look like the room is starved of storage space, like your attic or basement has thrown up in your living room. Organize and arrange, sort your objects into the most essential areas from living to accessories. You don’t need too many couches in the living room or too many chairs in the dining are. Remember to prioritize. This way, the light has more room to flow and reflect giving it a bright and warm, lighter look.

If you’re sitting at your desk or on the couch, wondering why things are dull and gloomy, now is the best time to get to it. Light in a room plays a major role in stimulating your brain and thinking process; if you’ve been feeling lethargic and uninspired lately, you might want to consider making more space for light to come in or redecorate to make your space look brighter. Brighter rooms make for brighter ideas. Keep an eye out our Art & Living segments on our digital and print platforms for more ideas on designing your spaces. Our latest edition included a thought piece by founders of Art & Living, James Balmond, Creative Director of Balmond Studio and Azara Jaleel, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of ARTRA Magazine, on how art and design can enrich your life.

21st October, 2020 Applied Art

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