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How To Brighten A Dark Room

A person in a dark room.

Natural sunlight is something that almost everyone needs and desires to get in their life. It provides a lot of warmth and energy, giving life to any space. Some houses are built without a window that faces the sun directly, either the windows are north or south facing. This does not mean that you should not be able to enjoy sunshine.

Window treatments come in many different types of fabrics, which range from light filtering, to sheer, to blackout, and to the latest style: solar fabrics. Many were intended to help reduce glare and keep the light out. But our goal here is the opposite, to invite the natural light in as much as possible.

We want to recommend for you some of our favorite home decorating ideas that will help your rooms feel bright and full of life.

Solar Roller Shades

Solar shades are similar to roller shades. They are a roll of fabric on a tube that goes up and down to cover your windows. The main difference is that solar shades use a very different type of fabric. While roller shades often use light filtering or blackout fabrics, solar shades use a solar weave, allowing plenty of light to pass through them and leaving you with a view of the outside.

The tightness of the weaves are given in percentages, with the lower percentage being weaved tighter and allowing less light to pass through. Unlike blackout fabrics, they allow sunlight to pass through them, allowing your dark room to feel brighter. 

As mentioned, solar shades also allow the distinct advantage of leaving you a view of the outside during the day. They have a one way see through ability of allowing you to see through the other side with more light. If you are worried about privacy at night, solar shades can also come in dual shades, which are two rollers in one. One roll can be the solar fabric, and the other can be blackout, allowing you to maintain privacy during night time hours.

Close up of a solar roller shade.

Light Filtering or Sheer Natural Shades

If your interior design calls for something that adds elements of earthiness to your home, then natural shades call out to you. As their name suggests, natural shades are made from earth bound materials such as wood, grass, bamboo and jute. On top of that, natural shades also come in roman-style shades, meaning that they fold in large pleats as they close. Both elements together really give natural shades a distinct look that anyone would love to feature in their home.

Natural shades come in sheer and light filtering fabrics. Both allow for plenty of sunlight into your room, but sheer fabrics are completely see through. You do still have a means to add light and privacy control if both are a concern. You are able to add a liner which can do either or both, letting you use these shades with peace of mind. 

Sheer Drapery

Like the materials from natural shades, sheer drapery uses materials that are see-through and allow maximum light in. Drapery is an older style, but nonetheless provides a great window covering for your dark room.  Again, if privacy is a concern, drapery allows you to double up on window coverings, whether using another drapery with the sheer drapes, or combining it with another type of covering like shades or blinds.

Drapery is installed using an outside mount, meaning that it goes above and over the window frame, not inside it. This style gives you a distinct advantage if you want to combine drapes with either blinds or shades. They can be installed using an inside mount, using the inside of the window frame to mount them. This combination gives you an extra dimension to your room decor and allows you to maximize your privacy and light control in the room.

Other Ways to Brighten the Room

Should changing the window coverings prove to be insufficient in brightening your room, there are several other ways you brighten up the space. First consider your room’s light fixtures. Sometimes if it calls for it, simply use a large overhead light. Or if the room is modest in size, use a couple of pot lights or a lamp.

Another simple trick you can use is to re-paint the walls with white paint or lighter paint colors. White is the best in terms of reflecting light, any light that gets into the room is reflected and not absorbed. Darker colors absorb light and darken the room further. Lastly, if you really want to reflect more light, find and install a large mirror in the most optimal position. Not only is this an energy efficient solution, but it can help to make the room feel larger.

Final Thoughts

A bright space is very inviting, and you will want to spend as much time as you can there. The dark room that you brighten up can become your own personal den, and you can really personalize it to your style and needs. For example, find a color scheme (that is bright) that you like, or add an area rug that really appeals to you.

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