How to make a dark room brighter


There are few areas of the home that feel gloomier than a persistently dark room. Whether it simply doesn’t get that much natural light throughout the day or it lacks any form of windows at all, a room without any real light can make for pretty bleak surroundings.

Of course, sometimes a dark room is unavoidable. Maybe it was designed that way, or perhaps it was an accidental by-product of past renovations. Either way, the good news is that there are plenty of ways to brighten up a room that’s too dark for your tastes.

So, to get you started, we’re going to walk you through our top suggestions on how to make a room lighter, both decoratively and with the addition of proper windows, as well as how to maximise the amount of natural light being let in throughout the day.



Perhaps the most obvious choice when it comes to how to make a room brighter, installing new windows or upgrading your old ones is by far the easiest way to let more natural light into your home – though it’s also the most expensive.

However, if you do have a budget that allows for new windows, then you’ll likely find that you can utterly transform your space with one or two new windows, even if the room in question lacks any form of windows to begin with.

  • If your room already has windows, but you can’t reposition them or add another set to allow a greater degree of light throughout the day, then you might actually want to consider the addition of a roof lantern skylight or similar glass roof system.
  • Not only is the addition of a skylight or roof lantern a great way to capture low-light levels in the morning and evening, but the open space it provides means that even if you don’t get direct light, you’ll still get more light overall throughout the course of the day. Lounges and kitchens in particular will benefit greatly from a roof lantern (if you’re interested in learning more, explore our complete guide to roof lanterns).
  • If you do just want to overhaul your current windows or strategically install new ones, then pictured or shaped windows are both excellent options. Both offer full and uninterrupted panoramic views and both can be easily shaped to fit the space required, allowing you to get as creative as you need to in order to fit said windows into your home.


When it comes to how to make a room lighter, a fresh set of aluminium windows is often enough for most homes. But what if your budget and home are big enough to truly open up a dark space?

Regardless of whether your darkened room has windows or not, if it has an external facing wall, then opting for a brand-new set of bi-fold or sliding doors can entirely revolutionise its function.

Sliding and bi-folding doors provide all the same great benefits as shaped and picture windows, welcoming huge quantities of natural light over the course of the day while opening up your room to the outside – in this case quite literally.

With the ability to be folded or slid aside, you can rapidly transform an otherwise unused room into a second living space or entertainment room, one that’s just a few steps away from your garden, making it the ideal spot for summer parties or relaxing on those lazy Sundays.

You can find out even more about the benefits of these doors in our article on how to welcome the outdoors inside your home.



Ok, so if new windows are not an option, what else can you do to lighten up a dim room? Well, one of the most common methods used when it comes to how to get more light into a room is to decorate using bright and airy colours.

Although rich colours can make a room feel snug and cosy, they don’t lend themselves well to adding light. Instead, a set of brightly coloured walls and furniture will help to provide a more spacious feeling, invigorating a room with a more relaxed mood.

If you’re so inclined, you can go the whole distance and revamp your room in a pure bright white for a minimalist aesthetic. However, white isn’t to everyone’s taste, so you could instead opt for a palette of neutral greys and creams that still provide the same effect without the stark contrast.

And if you want to go even further, think about adding extra pops of colour with a rug, cushions, or new furniture, just so long as they don’t overpower the neutral tones.



Reflective surfaces are one of the best addition to your home when looking for how to get more light into a room. From metallic and mirrored furniture in the lounge to those shining granite worktops in the kitchen, you have plenty of options when it comes to glossy materials.

Metallic and mirrored furniture in particular will help bounce what little light your room does get onto the walls, making the whole space feel much bigger. Alternatively, glass furniture helps increase the perceived size of a room because you can literally see through it, giving the illusion of spaciousness.

However, be careful not to go overboard on the number of glossy materials you use, otherwise, you’ll end up feeling like you live in a hall of mirrors. Choose one or two key pieces of furniture and combine them with light colours where appropriate.


Again, this may sound obvious, but when it comes to how to make a living room look bigger and brighter, or indeed any room of the house, cleaning your skylights and windows should be your go-to first option.

Cleaning your windows on a regular basis will ensure you’re always allowing the maximum amount of natural light into a room, rather than obscuring it with muck and grime. They might not even look dirty to the naked eye, but upon closer inspection, there’s almost certainly going to be a layer of dirt interfering with the amount of light being let in.

With big windows, you might be able to get away with irregular cleaning every other month, but for small windows, you want to be cleaning them as often as is feasible.


Of course, illuminating a room doesn’t just mean seeking out ways to increase the amount of natural light coming in. As we’ve already established, this might not even be feasible in certain rooms. If this is the case, you’ll want to rethink the current lighting layout of your dark rooms to provide as much light as possible. For instance, a dim bedroom could benefit from the following:

  • A main light with plenty of spotlight bulbs to light up the whole room
  • One or two side lamps for reading
  • Low mood lighting for ambience
  • Wall sconce lights above the bed for lower levels of illumination in the evening

Excellent lighting design will help make it feel like your home is useable even in the absence of natural light, though if you want to be sure that the warmth spreads to every corner, be sure to aim what light sources you do have at the walls.


Finally, if you’re still seeking those finishing touches to make your room feel bigger and lighter, then we have a few more things you might want to consider.

First, adding literal life to a room in the form of plants not only gives you that extra colour pop without the need for new furniture, but their leaves will again help reflect further light around the room. For the greatest impact, place them near windows and lights while ensuring they’re sat in light-coloured planters.

On top of this, slim furniture will give your room more space in general, as will decluttering an area. This will also come with the added benefit of reducing the number of shadows in the room by keeping things simple.

Finally, assuming you don’t use your darker rooms as bedrooms, you should drop the heavy curtains. A set of thinner curtains, blinds, or shutters can still provide privacy while allowing much-needed light in from the outside.


And there, you have it; these are our key suggestions to take onboard if you’re looking to brighten up those dark spots around your home. Many of these can be done yourself, but if you are considering getting new windows or external doors, then why not get in touch with our experts?

With over a decade of experience in making and installing doors and windows, the team at Express can help you every step of the way when bringing your dream project to life. Why not visit us at one of our showrooms to see our entire product range, or head over to our blog for more articles like this one – including 5 easy ways to conserve energy at home.

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