For starters, choose lighter paint colors.
open living room showing doorway leading to office space
Credit: Getty / Katarzyna Bialasiewicz

Interior rooms without natural light can be difficult to decorate. Colors typically feel more saturated, and décor can look bulky in the shadows. The most common windowless spaces are bathrooms and basements—which makes them some of the most difficult spaces to lighten. Even so, it can be done. Rebecca Zoet, designer and owner of This New Old House, offers a few suggestions on how to brighten up a windowless room.

Pick Light Paint Colors

"Start with a light backdrop," Zoet advises. "Select a wall color that will reflect light around the space, not absorb it." Alternatively, take advantage of the uninterrupted wall space and get creative with wallpaper. "You could add texture with grass cloth or go bold with a patterned design," she notes. And while the bathroom floor is often overlooked, it can have a big impact on the overall feel of your powder room (for example, a rich wood floor grounds the space, but it can also make a dark room feel smaller). Incorporate a neutral rug for a touch of bright softness.

Add Light Fixtures

The next step is to boost lighting in the room. "If you're remodeling or building a new home, talk to your designer or contractor about installing layers of lights, especially in darker spaces like a basement," Zoet says. "Consider wall sconces and decorative lights in a bar or seating area so it feels as well-lit as a room on the main floor." Not interested in gutting your space to increase your number of light sources? "A stylish lamp will brighten the space and infuse a little personality into the room as well," she adds. "LED strip lighting is also easy to install under shelves or cabinets."

Decorate with Mirrors

Mirrors and other reflective items (that can act as wall art!) can bounce that layered light around nicely, making a windowless room feel more open. With Zoet's three-pronged approach—introduce light paint colors, add multiple light sources, and decorate with mirrors—you'll have a brighter windowless room in no time.


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