How to Lighten up a Dark Room – My Before & After Photos

Now that I managed to single-handedly tackle my kitchen/dining space transformation, let’s now move on to the adjoining rooms and hallway, shall we? Let’s find ways to lighten up a dark room.

From Dark to Bright

One of the ways to lighten up a dark room is by using a pale shade of paint.  Cool color such as gray, tend to make your walls recede, thus, causing the space to appear larger and brighter. I used BM Edgecomb Gray on the walls of my living room and my hallway. While most gray has a cool feel to it, Edgecomb Gray has a warm beige undertone.  It gives us out that cozy and comfy feeling.  Moreover, the color blended in well with the stones on my living room fireplace.  That was a plus!


To lighten up a dark room, we need lights of course :). My living room was too dark as the only light source was a single spotlight that was over the fireplace. The natural light coming from our large side window and the sliding door was not sufficient.

I had the electrician replaced the old spotlight with a dimmable LED recessed pot light and installed three additional of the same fixtures in the middle of the room, all purchased from Home Depot.

The old bronze shaded fan chandelier that was hanging above the front entrance door, was replaced with chrome finished chandelier.

Window Covering

I left the white blinds covering the side window. I replaced the red curtains that were covering the glass sliding door with white. These white sheer curtains softened the space and made the living area looked lighter and brighter.

Faux or Leather Furniture?

I was contemplating whether to buy new furniture or just keep the old ones. Luckily, my hubby read my mind :).

I found these gorgeous set of brown faux leather and two chairs.The brown color added contrast to the surrounding. I matched them with the rectangular set of coffee table and a side table. As a final touch, I added the floating cubes on the wall, the wall arts, lamp shade, and the artificial hydrangea.


Choosing Area Rug for the Living Room

I purchased a rectangular cream area rug to cover the floor. It added a finishing touch and a positive contrast to the theme across my living room space. Moreover, it felt good walking over it than on the hardwood floor.  Choosing the right area rug is sometimes a little tricky, but there are some tips that you can follow.  

From a Dining to a Family Room

Our living room fireplace is two-sided. One side faces a room which served as an extra dining area. This space was hardly being used and a wasted space in our home. It appeared dark and gloomy that no one seemed to notice :(. For that reason, I decided to convert it into a casual/family room where my kids can hang out.

To lighten up a dark family room, I had the walls painted with the same BM Edgecomb Gray as the living room and hallway. I replaced the old bronze light fixture hanging in the middle room with a nickel finished chandelier similar to that by the kitchen/dining space.

For furniture, I purchased a more casual and kid-friendly set. I found a love seat and two chairs with removable covers that are machine washable. I placed an area rug as we liked it soft and warm under our feet and it was made of a material that was perfectly suitable for that space. So as not to cram it up with too many furniture pieces, I opted for a small, round coffee table. Got a couple of portable laptop desks that are very convenient, handy and very light to be carried and moved in and out.

For a final touch, I added a large wall clock and white sheer curtain to add texture and interest to the room.  I really love this wall clock as it is quiet unlike other clocks I had before.  The sheer curtain is made of good material and I use it for light control.  I have blinds behind those curtains for privacy and if it gets bright and sunny.

Things to keep in mind when picking the right curtains:

1. Lighting and Privacy – For an area like a living room, pick a sheer curtain to allow light into the space while a heavier one is more suitable for a bedroom to keep the light out and for more privacy.

2. Material – For a casual look, consider a lightweight fabric like linen as it creates an airy feeling to space. A heavier material such as suede creates drama and add a more formal setting to space.

3. Length – Short curtains should just touch the window sill. To pool at the floor, a curtain draped over the floor at two inches or more. To break the floor, its edges should carry an inch or two over the floor, and to brush the floor, it should be slightly touching it.

4. Curtain style – Pick one of the hues from your palette. It could be a patterned or bold color to make a statement or a neutral color for a more subtle style.

                      Pictures Before & After

Looking at the Bright Side 🙂

The room was finally complete! Guess who got to sit down and try the chair first? Me of course.

After a long day of decorating the room, I finally sat down. I grabbed the small footstool, picked the chair facing the window, sat down and laid my feet on the stool. Looking out the window, my eyes started to gaze over the pink hydrangeas; a ray of sun was radiantly gleaming over them. That view was very enchanting,  enough for my exhaustion to diminish and I started to feel content.

Did you use to have a dark room in your home?  In what ways did you manage to lighten it?  Please share your ideas in the comment section below, we are interested to hear them! 🙂


(4) Comments

  1. Hi Archie,
    You’re welcome. I’m glad I inspired you!

  2. Archie says:

    The room really livened up! The warmth radiating from the new paint is almost palpable. Thank you for the inspiration and tips for brightening up the tone of the room, it’s certainly useful!

  3. Kris says:


    Amazing transformation! It looks brighter, bigger and has a cleaner look.
    Good choice of colors, it’s inviting and relaxing place to come home to.
    Thanks for sharing and giving me an idea for when I need to upgrade my paint and decor.

    1. Thanks Kris. I am glad that I inspired you. So, what are you waiting for, grab a brush and start painting 🙂

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