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11 Ways To Make Your Home Look Bright, Even If It's An Actual Dungeon

No sunlight? No problem.

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1. Hang mirrors strategically so you you can reflect light in all the right places.

Not only do mirrors give the illusion of more space, but they also bounce light around a room. Increase your natural light by hanging a mirror directly across from a window. You could also hang two mirrors across the room from each other to really bounce light around your space. Or, if you've been #blessed with two windows in the same room, hang a mirror in between them to act as a third window and maximize brightness.
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Not only do mirrors give the illusion of more space, but they also bounce light around a room. Increase your natural light by hanging a mirror directly across from a window. You could also hang two mirrors across the room from each other to really bounce light around your space. Or, if you've been #blessed with two windows in the same room, hang a mirror in between them to act as a third window and maximize brightness.

2. Mount shelves perpendicular to a wall that has a window.

Positioning things like bookshelves perpendicular to a window helps promote the flow of sunlight throughout the room.
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Positioning things like bookshelves perpendicular to a window helps promote the flow of sunlight throughout the room.

3. Clean your windows and lampshades.

This may seem like an obvious tip, but when I really think about the last time I cleaned my windows and light fixtures, I...feel a tinge of shame. They can build up dirt, dust, and stains, which seriously dim the precious, precious light they offer.
Fotoduets / Getty Images

This may seem like an obvious tip, but when I really think about the last time I cleaned my windows and light fixtures, I...feel a tinge of shame. They can build up dirt, dust, and stains, which seriously dim the precious, precious light they offer.

4. Use floor lamps aimed at the ceiling.

A torchiere floor lamp aimed at the ceiling and placed at the back of a room can work wonders in a dim space. It'll fill in some gaps where the sunlight on your ceiling begins to fade.
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A torchiere floor lamp aimed at the ceiling and placed at the back of a room can work wonders in a dim space. It'll fill in some gaps where the sunlight on your ceiling begins to fade.

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5. Decorate with light-toned, hairpin-leg furniture.

Dark, bulky furniture adds a ton of visual weight and blocks lots of valuable sunlight from flowing throughout a room. Hairpin-leg furniture, on the other hand, is a stylish way to give the illusion of more space and allow more light to ~penetrate~ a room. This look is All The Rage at the moment, too, so you'll seem chic as hell. Here's a DIY approach to adding hairpin legs to a desk.
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Dark, bulky furniture adds a ton of visual weight and blocks lots of valuable sunlight from flowing throughout a room. Hairpin-leg furniture, on the other hand, is a stylish way to give the illusion of more space and allow more light to ~penetrate~ a room. This look is All The Rage at the moment, too, so you'll seem chic as hell. Here's a DIY approach to adding hairpin legs to a desk.

6. Or, decorate with acrylic furniture.

If hairpin-leg furniture opens up a room, just imagine what transparent acrylic furniture can do. This style doesn't have much visual weight, nor does it obstruct any sunlight from — here's your favorite word again! — penetrating the room freely. It adds a cool, retro touch to the room, too.
wayfair.com

If hairpin-leg furniture opens up a room, just imagine what transparent acrylic furniture can do. This style doesn't have much visual weight, nor does it obstruct any sunlight from — here's your favorite word again! — penetrating the room freely. It adds a cool, retro touch to the room, too.

7. Opt for open-shelving instead of cabinets.

Just like furniture, cabinets can add heavy visual weight and darkness to a room. So, stay ~on trend~ and go with open cabinetry to let light flow freely through your shelves. This can lead to your dishes getting dirty or dusty more quickly, so it's ideal for people who will use and wash those items frequently.
Malkovstock / Getty Images

Just like furniture, cabinets can add heavy visual weight and darkness to a room. So, stay ~on trend~ and go with open cabinetry to let light flow freely through your shelves. This can lead to your dishes getting dirty or dusty more quickly, so it's ideal for people who will use and wash those items frequently.

8. And opt for matte finishes instead of glossy.

That shiny finish absorbs sunlight and doesn't spread it anywhere. Instead, choose a matte finish for your walls, which reflects light in all directions.
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That shiny finish absorbs sunlight and doesn't spread it anywhere. Instead, choose a matte finish for your walls, which reflects light in all directions.

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9. Use Venetian blinds.

Instead of using heavy curtains or thick shades, opt for Venetian blinds, which can open at an upward angle and help direct any sun toward the ceiling, where it'll spread the most light. Make sure you don't block the top of the window with any drapery either, since the light up there reaches the farthest into your space.
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Instead of using heavy curtains or thick shades, opt for Venetian blinds, which can open at an upward angle and help direct any sun toward the ceiling, where it'll spread the most light. Make sure you don't block the top of the window with any drapery either, since the light up there reaches the farthest into your space.

10. Avoid hanging lots of prints on the wall.

*Janis Ian voice* They're light-stealers. They steal people's light. But really, if you hang too many posters or paintings on your walls, they'll absorb whatever sunlight the room is getting. Lucky for you, minimalism is in right now.
ian dooley / Via unsplash.com

*Janis Ian voice* They're light-stealers. They steal people's light. But really, if you hang too many posters or paintings on your walls, they'll absorb whatever sunlight the room is getting. Lucky for you, minimalism is in right now.

11. And, while white is the usual choice, consider painting your room a more saturated color, like gold.

It's a common misconception that you have to paint your walls white or a light color to reflect more sunlight and brighten a dark room. That'll work to an extent, but according to Sherwin-Williams, if you don't have a lot of light to begin with, there isn't much to reflect anyway. So! You might consider going with a brighter, more pigmented color to help illuminate a room. One that can really enhance a dim space is gold, specifically a "clean" gold — the cleaner the color, the less black it contains, which keeps things light and bright. (Sherwin-Williams recommends Jonquil.)
sherwin-williams.com

It's a common misconception that you have to paint your walls white or a light color to reflect more sunlight and brighten a dark room. That'll work to an extent, but according to Sherwin-Williams, if you don't have a lot of light to begin with, there isn't much to reflect anyway.

So! You might consider going with a brighter, more pigmented color to help illuminate a room. One that can really enhance a dim space is gold, specifically a "clean" gold — the cleaner the color, the less black it contains, which keeps things light and bright. (Sherwin-Williams recommends Jonquil.)

Now, let there be light!

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