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10 Simple Ideas for Brightening a Dark Bedroom

Bedroom a touch on the gloomy side? Check out these ways to lighten the mood in your sleep space

Houzz Ireland Contributor. I’m an an Architect and House Consultant based in Dublin…. More

While we may long for a dark bedroom for the perfect night’s sleep, we’re naturally drawn to bright, fresh and airy spaces for our waking hours. From using mirrors to painting your floorboards a pale shade, here are some simple design tricks to help you bring light into the darkest of bedrooms.

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Introduce monochrome
A monochrome palette works surprisingly well where light is an issue. These colours are used frequently in Nordic countries, where long, dark winters demand that every spark of light is exploited.

The secret to using it successfully is to balance definite areas of pure white with highlights of black, off-white and grey in the form of cushions, rugs, framed photographs and so on.

In this bedroom, crisp white linen and a snowy sculptural light shade have been used as a base. Layers of toning textures, such as the covered headboard and thick-pile rug, lend cosiness to the scheme.

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Lighten up your wooden floors
Bedrooms receive little foot traffic, so you can afford to think about going for a lighter coloured floor. Painting and liming are both great choices for timber boards. Gentle colours, such as duck-egg blue and soft grey, will reflect light beautifully, while a pale rug, as here, will add softness and warmth.

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Tread softly
Carpet will help to turn your bedroom into a luxurious cocoon. Choose a soft shade of mushroom for visual warmth, too. Combine with a lighter, toning wall colour, as here, for a space that feels bright but cosy. A large mirror placed strategically opposite the window will bounce the light all around the room.

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Mirror your wardrobe doors
Mirrors are a great resource for a light-starved room. A fitted wardrobe with large mirrored panels, like this one, is not only useful for clearing your boudoir of clutter, but will reflect light and increase the sense of space in the room.

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Open up the space
If your roof profile allows, you could consider a skylight, as it will allow extra light to enter. A roof facing east, west or south will also trap some bonus and welcome sunlight. Soft colours, such as off-white or pale grey, will reflect light beautifully and help to create a bedroom that’s a joy to sleep in.

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Balance light and shade
Whatever the size of your window, you’ll want to balance the need to let in as much light as possible by day with creating a dimly lit bedroom at night.

Pale-coloured curtains will help to reflect and magnify the light coming in at source. Using a blackout lining or blind is an easy way to darken the room for sleeping.

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Go for simple blinds
A simple blackout blind works well with all sizes and shapes of windows, allowing maximum light to flood the room when the blind is fully rolled up. If you feel the look is too stark, add softness with sheer drapes, which will lend texture and volume.

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Tear down the walls
Minimise barriers and allow space and light to flow by creating a clear enclosure for your en suite. Curtains can be fitted for privacy when necessary.

When planning your bedroom, make sure you place large objects – such as wardrobes or, as here, the en suite, away from windows, so as to allow the maximum amount of light to enter the room.

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Add warmth with colour
A warm, neutral wall colour will create a light-reflective backdrop in your bedroom. Whites with undertones of green will reflect light beautifully; undertones of pink and yellow are best avoided, as they can create a harsh, stripped feel in a dark room.

Add colour through bed linen and accessories to create a space that feels bright and fresh all year round.

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Banish clutter
Go for clean, simple lines and clear surfaces to maximise the opportunities for light to be reflected around the room. The resulting calm will add to the harmony we strive for in our sleep spaces.

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Do you have a dark bedroom? Share any tips or tricks for bringing in more light in the Comments below.
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