What to Do If Your Home Feels Too Dark?
Despite living in sunny Singapore and a city with one of the highest light pollution levels in the world, some of us are still struggling with homes that feel too dark. Light, particularly natural sunlight, is known to improve our moods and can make us feel focused and energised. Not having enough of it can mean the opposite. So if you are looking to brighten your space, here are some tips to help you along.
Make sure there isn’t anything impeding the natural light source
Design: Fuse Concept
This may be an obvious tip, but it’s something we sometimes forget. Look at where your daylight is coming in from and make sure you don’t have things that blocking the path of your light. Common culprits are tall bookshelves, plants or even high-backed sofas.
Opaque room dividers are also potential offenders for blocking the sunlight from entering the rest of your home. Consider going with glass panels, collapsible dividers or doing away with room dividers all together.
Design: Fifth Avenue Interior
Avoid heavy, black-out curtains and window treatments that will block the sunlight. Get ones that are light and airy or have dual options that will give you the privacy you need while still allowing valuable daylight to stream in.
Lighten your flooring
Floors take up one of the largest area of your home so you will want to pay attention to them to prevent your home from feeling too dark. Go with light tones; pale woods are some of our favourite choices since they also lend warmth and a sense of cosiness. If you prefer dark-coloured flooring, pair that with light-coloured rugs to enliven your space.
Don’t do white
Design: Free Space Intent
White walls might seem like the clear choice to brighten a dark room, but avoid going all-white. A room without much light won’t have much to reflect even on crisp white walls, leading your space to appear dull and dreary.
Use warm, neutral tones like greige and taupe that feel everlasting and can mimic the warmth of sunlight. Or go with vibrant and dramatic colours that will invigorate your home. If the latter, stick with a light-coloured flooring and ceiling so as to give some visual breathing room.
Put up mirrors and other reflective surfaces and accessories
Design: Jubilee Interior
Mirrors and other reflective surfaces and accessories can add some bling to a dark home and incorporate plenty of personality and textures without sucking up sunlight. Think glossy backsplashes, mirrored furniture, small metallic décor, chandeliers and picture frames. Pro tip: Have your mirror face the windows so that it can better reflect any light that is coming in.
Decorate with airy, light-toned furniture
Design: Design 4 Space
Dark-toned and bulky furniture can look and feel visually heavy, while blocking sunlight from flowing throughout your home. When choosing furniture, look for visually light and airy ones like pieces with skinny legs, glass or see-through furniture, and open shelves instead of closed cupboards.
Layer your lights
Design: Arche Interior
If you have a particularly dark home, a main, ambient light that is meant to diffuse light in all directions is necessary. A ceiling mounted light, recessed lighting or cove lights are the best options.
Then, you want to think about task or directional lights that are meant for lighting up a specific area in the room. For this, you could use pendants, wall sconces or table and floor lamps. Install a dimmer to help adjust the brightness according to your needs and the time of the day.
Clear things up
Design: KURO + KAGI
A home full of clutter can seem dark and dreary with things taking up your sight lines. You want to keep your home clutter-free by doing your chores regularly and keeping things organised. Invest in hidden storage that won’t block out daylight and wipe down your windows (safely) every now and then so as to maximise sunlight coming in.