Today we’re going to look at what to do with a dark room or kitchen if there’s not enough natural light. What do you do if you have a window, but the room still feels dark? For example, the window faces north, or your part of the house is shadowed by the house across the street, or the window is obscured by a large tree.
You can think of good artificial lighting, but no one will keep it on all day. So let’s break down 5 design tricks that will make natural light work for you and the room will not be perceived as so dark.
Using the right color scheme
There is an opinion that for dark rooms, it is better to choose finishes in light colors. There is one important secret here. The room is perceived as dark, including because of the falling shadows, and any light tone that will be used will go into gray in contrast to the sunny side of the apartment, and there is also a greater chance that it will go into another shade, especially if there is a tree or a bright tone house behind the window.
For example, gray will turn lilac. Therefore, both paint and upholstery color should be chosen a little more lush than for a sunny room. In fact, there will be no bright spots, highlights, and will look muted.
Try to avoid light intermediate tones. For example, light beige, light gray and light blue. A soft room in pastel colors with subtle transitions of tone will look less advantageous if there is a lack of natural light. Here is a light gray color will look like a dirty white, because there is not enough light to adequately recognize the color.
If it is better to use slightly muted shades for sunny rooms, for dark rooms it can be the brightest shade of white or colors a tone brighter than usual.
A combination of bright white and prominent accents, such as turquoise, purple looks good. Well, if you want to use muted tones, it is better to do it through white contrasts. For example, cushions with white edging, hang a composition of white photo frames on the walls.
Reflection of light
When there is not enough light, you can try to reflect it. But you should not use mirrored or glossy ceilings for this, it does not work. The gray room will just reflect again in a more gloomy way, because the ceiling is poorly lit. In addition, you will get a well effect, with the height of the room relative to the floor area.
What to do. Mirrored or reflective surfaces make sense only where there is light. If you make a mirrored sash by a cabinet that is sideways to a window in the far corner of a dark room, you will just reflect the darkness in it.
And where do we have the most light? Near the window. And this is where the mirrored jambs are quite interesting. It is not necessary to make all the contour with the window sill, only the inserts on the right and left of the window, so that the window is reflected in them, and it makes the effect that it is larger, and goes somewhere further.
In this case, the curtains should slightly cover the border of the window opening, so that the effect works.
If the window is small and the room is dark, try not to cover it completely. You should understand that despite its airiness, tulle will eat up some of the light.
Try to open the window completely. If you are not used to using tulle psychologically, you are not comfortable to live with an open window.
For example, there is a house opposite the window or you live on lower floors, then when choosing pay attention to the properties of the fabric. It is best to use a combination of several types of curtains depending on the situation. Use blackout curtains at night and remove them as much as possible during the day.
Selecting the type of paint
What kind of paint is better for a dark room, matte or glossy? If you decide to do wallpaper or tile, the principle will be the same. Matte paint absorbs light, glossy reflects as much as possible.
Which in our case is better to use? If the room has too many glossy surfaces, it will look vulgar. The plastic breaks, you find yourself in a reflected maze.
Glossy paint is best used in small details, regardless of the lightness of the room. At the same time, ultramatte paint absorbs light, and in a dark room can look bad and distort the overall perception of the subject.
If in the far part of the room to place some matte volume, such as part of the kitchen, especially if the cabinets are back or side by side to the light, it will turn into one big cast spot.
The optimal option here is medium. Semi-matt paint or wallpaper. It should not shine, should not work like a mirror, otherwise the dark corners will become even darker.
The furniture should be as light as possible. A sofa or bed on legs will look easier, some light table, maybe glass surfaces. If there is no way to brighten the room itself, then you need to reduce the amount of extra heavy shadows. When you enter such a room, you will see more of the floor, especially if it is light, it works well.
If you choose fabrics for furniture, it is better to refuse velvety ones like velour, they look better in light rooms. Much more advantageous in a dark room will look medium-toned sofa made of natural fabrics. Avoid dark furniture, it will look even darker.
You may have noticed that today’s rules are based on the laws of physics.
We avoid hard volumetric shadows and matte coverings, let the light, which we do not have enough of, penetrate further into the room, let it pass through the furniture as much as possible. We use light reflectors only where the light hits.