A bedroom deserves to be a place of light, warmth and comfort, a place to relax after a long day and prepare for the day to come.
Brightening a dark bedroom may seem like a difficult task, but there are steps that can be taken before needing to make any drastic measures such as installing new lighting fixtures.
Instead, there are much easier solutions available. The key is to decorate the bedroom strategically. A few design changes and mindful furnishings will bring light and warmth into the room, creating a welcoming space for rest and relaxation.
In this guide, we highlight six tips for how to brighten a dark bedroom, using simple but sophisticated techniques.
How to Brighten a Dark Bedroom
There are two simple ways to bring light into a dark bedroom. One is by offsetting the darkness in a space with elements that maximise the light available. Secondly, using mirrors throughout the bedroom can create new sources of light without needing to install new fixtures.
Tip 1 | Offset Darkness with a Bright Colour Scheme
Carefully planning the colour scheme of a room is the first step in offsetting the natural darkness of a space. If the bedroom is filled with shades of grey, black, brown or other dark colours, the room is going to feel darker and smaller than it really is.
Instead, consider a palette of bright, or light colours and add touches of white to the elements that already exist in the room. One may also want to consider adding:
- Vibrant and lively artworks such as spring and summer landscapes, sunrises, or colourful and abstract pieces.
- Energising wall colours that complement the artwork and add an extra dimension of light within the room.
- Bold linen & bedwear that matches or pairs well with the colours of the walls and works of art.
It’s important to remember, that sometimes, less is more – so when working with vibrant colours, do so sparingly. Extra light is good, too much light is blinding.
To reduce the overall brightness of the room while still welcoming new light, try painting the walls a pale colour. These are great at reflecting light and provide a neutral palette that pairs well with more vibrant signature colours for the rooms individual colour scheme.
Visually speaking, such an approach can make a bedroom appear more expansive. Regardless of the bedroom’s size, a brighter colour scheme can work wonders.
Tip 2 | Amplify Light Strategically With Mirrors
Once a palette of bright colours has been introduced to the bedroom, mirrors can be strategically placed to direct light into dimly lit corners.
Hanging mirrors adjacent to bedroom windows adds depth and accentuates the light already coming into the room. This is a guaranteed method to instantly brighten any space.
Additionally, darker rooms lend themselves well to focal or gallery walls, so consider hanging several mirrors of different sizes throughout the bedroom to see which best suits the overall aesthetic.
Tip 3 | Select Furniture That Naturally Brightens the Bedroom
When considering the floor plan for any bedroom, it’s important to think about which pieces of furniture will be best suited to the space. Try to select pieces that complement the bedroom’s shape and overall design while naturally guiding light through the space.
Of course, the first piece of furniture to consider is the bed. Opting for frames supported by thin, short legs — such as the Andersen Bed — adds an airiness to the room that allows light to easily crawl beneath the bed and eliminate shadows.
The Andersen Bed’s sleek lines and raised base gives the illusion that it’s floating, making the room feel bright and airy | Designed by Rodolfo Dordini for © Minotti London
With a sleek, mid-century style, the Andersen Bed frame and headboard are elevated above the ground on four corner legs. Pairing this design with the Shinto-inspired pieces featured in the Torii collection will help bring a sense of weightlessness to the furniture as pieces appear to float above the ground.
Choosing furniture with raised and reflective legs or bases also helps to reduce the dark shadows that can form around the bottom of larger pieces, which in turn welcome light and brightness to the space.
Some pieces among the Torii collection include:
- Inclined sofas with a combination of two different depths
- Stationary armchairs
- Swivel armchairs
- Lounge chairs
- Coffee tables
- A slender, oval-shaped console table
The extensive Torii collection features many different styles of sofas and chairs, all of which are supported by a similar leg design that works to keep light unobstructed | Designed by nendo design for © Minotti London
Each of these pieces includes thin, finely detailed legs that are raised 25mm from the ground. These can be oriented at a straight or diagonal angle, both of which help to naturally draw attention toward areas of greater light.
Styling Tips: How to Decorate a Dark Bedroom
Decorating a dark bedroom effectively with delicate curtains, strategically arranged furniture and indoor plants helps to make the light entering the room appear more natural, adding an extra layer of comfort to the bedroom.
Tip 4 | Opt for Delicate Curtains
Curtains play a significant role in determining how bright a bedroom is. Heavier and darker curtains, while often luscious, are prone to excessively darkening a room. On the other hand, lighter curtain colours and materials allow more light to enter the room.
Three types of curtains to consider when brightening a bedroom include:
- Translucent curtains;
- Sheer curtains;
- Curtains made of iridescent materials, such as chenille.
These curtain choices allow more light to filter into the room and reflect off of the mirrors and bright colours that have been installed.
Tip 5 | Strategically Arrange Furniture To Brighten a Dark Bedroom
Another element to consider is the positioning of furniture as this can have a considerable effect on how bright or dark a room feels.
Minimize Clutter & Opt for Sleek Designs
A bedroom with too much furniture can feel overcrowded and appear cluttered. This is particularly true when there are multiple large pieces of furniture such as bed frames and armoires, which tends to trap and restrict the light moving through the room.
This sense of clutter can work against one’s best efforts to brighten a room as it will likely appear darker than it truly is.
By avoiding ‘blocky’ furniture and opting for more sleek and streamlined pieces, like the Andersen bed or pieces from the Torii collection, the room will become immediately brighter.
Amplify Light With Reflective Surfaces
Additionally, angling furniture to face sources of light, including windows and light fittings, allows the light to reflect off those surfaces and move more freely through the room.
However, light can easily become trapped within and around furniture. While a neutral colour scheme and sleek furniture designs are essential, non-reflective furniture surfaces can trap light and create pronounced shadows around the piece.
The Kirk Nightstand sits high above the flow with non-obstructive legs that allow for light to flow underneath it | Designed by Rodolfo Dordini for © Minotti London
While pieces in the Torii collection serve this purpose well, so does the Kirk Nightstand. This unique piece uses a hybrid of reflective and sleek elements with a raised structure. In doing so, the Kirk nightstand naturally diminishes shade and radiates an elegant aura of contemporary style.
Among its most prominent features are:
- Elegant metal legs, painted with a bronze finish;
- A lacquered granite finish for its structure;
- A glossy ebony finish on the front of the drawer.
Considering the strategic use of reflective materials like metal, lacquered granite, and ebony for other pieces will ensure brightness throughout the bedroom.
Tip 6 | Add Indoor Plants to Elevate Light Naturally
Bringing indoor plants to the bedroom is an effective way to energise and brighten the space. For example, eucalyptus hues are known for bringing serenity and harmony, making it the perfect plant for livening up a dark room. They also reflect light into the room while adding beautiful greens to an interior design.
Indoor plants pair especially well with a bright colour scheme. Choosing plants with colours that match the walls and artwork not only adds new light into the room but creates a sense of unity that brings calm to anyone who enters.
Even a small and simple bouquet can go a long way in bringing an understated vibrancy to a pale room, giving it an added freshness that makes it feel brighter. Interior design by Louise Holt, featured by © Minotti London
To avoid using real plants in the bedroom, it is possible to achieve a similar effect by introducing green accents to a room. One may even consider hanging large leafy prints on the walls instead of living plants that require watering.
Final Thoughts on Brightening a Dark Bedroom
Brightening a dark bedroom is not as difficult as it may seem. By applying the tips above, any dark space can be transformed into a sanctuary of light.
To summarise, here are our top six tips for brightening a dark bedroom:
- Introducing a bright colour scheme allow for light to reflect off surfaces and move more freely through the room.
- Well-placed mirrors can help to direct the light into all dimly lit areas.
- Selecting furniture that elevates and amplifies light helps to reduce shadows around pieces of furniture.
- Strategically arranged furniture ensures light can move freely through the room.
- Using delicate materials for curtains and draperies will allow more natural light into the bedroom
- Indoor plants add life and vibrancy to dark spaces
By following these tips it’s possible to bring out the beauty in any low-lit bedroom, without needing to install new light fixtures or windows.
Want to read more? Find out how to decorate a room in general, or more specifically how to turn your room into a hotel room.