What To Do With a Dark Interior

One of the most sought after tools in an interior designer’s toolkit is natural light. Properties that receive lots of light are incredibly desirable, hence the popularity of skylights and roof lanterns in modern home design. Sadly, not all of us are blessed with an abundance of natural light streaming in through our windows. Maybe due to overhanging trees putting your property in the shade, or from adding an extension that blocks out some natural light. The good news is that you don’t need a whole lot of natural light to brighten up your dark interior. Below are some great design hacks that can help.

Light Calls to Light

Dark colours absorb light, while lighter colours reflect it. It stands to reason then that you’ll want to paint your room in a lighter shade. If white isn’t your cup of tea, try a cool blue or mint green tone. As well as painting, make sure your furniture is on the lighter end of the colour spectrum, too. Use lighter woods such as pine or beech, instead of dark mahogany or oak. That being said, it’s important to include some contrasting colours, to really show off the lighter tones. Consider adding some accent pieces in darker shades such as black, navy or forest green. Make sure these don’t overshadow the rest of the decor though. Nautical decor looks great in rooms that get less light, with the contrast between white and dark blue making a stylish impression.


Many designers use mirrorsbecause they can give the illusion of more space, as well as helping to reflect light around a room. This makes mirrors the perfect piece for smaller rooms, or spaces that don’t get much light. Choose a large, striking mirror to act as a focal point when hung on the wall. You could also invest in some mirrored furniture, or choose some accent pieces with mirrored glass or sequins to further the effect.

The Right Lighting

When it comes to any design project, finding the right lighting is key. Especially in darker rooms, where the lights are on earlier than in other rooms. Choosing the right lighting starts with identifying what you use the room for. For kitchens, where you need to see what you’re doing, brighter overhead lighting and under cabinet lights might be more suitable. Whereas, in a living room space, more ambient low lights might be better.

If you have dark alcoves, sconces are perfect for lighting those dark walls, banishing shadows and bathing the walls in light. And for shelves or cupboards, fitting lights underneath can provide a pleasant glow. Table lamps are great for making a statement with your decor. Don’t forget to choose light bulbs that give off the right shade of lighting. Warm for cosy spaces, true white for a brighter, more fresh look.

Let it Through

It’s important to do as much as you can to allow light to flow freely around your room. Heavy objects restrict the flow of light. Replacing them with glass furniture will allow light to flow through more easily. This could mean switching your wooden coffee table for a glass topped one or replacing your heavy desk with a contemporary glass model.

Hide the Dark

Rooms with hardwood floors can appear more dull, as the darker wood absorbs light and catches the eye. A simple strategy to remedy this is to cover up a dark floor with an area rug in a lighter shade or colourful pattern. You’ll still be able to see those beautiful wood panels around the sides, but the rug will help break up the dark shades and make the room appear brighter.

While light is a great design tool, don’t feel you have to go overboard to make your room look lighter. Shadows provide depth and interest to a space, so they shouldn’t be banished altogether. Try out some of these helpful hacks to give your dingy room a brighter future and make it a place you’ll love to live in.