How To Brighten a Dark Room /// Decor on A Budget

How to brighten a dark room on a budget

This is Not a Sponsored Post, & As Usual, All Opinions Are Entirely My Own!

Hi everyone! So one of the projects that I’m going to be working on over the next few months is re-working my Guest Room/Office. If you’re like me and love bright and airy spaces, it can be really hard to figure out what to do when you have a room that doesn’t have a lot of windows, or if it faces southeast and doesn’t get much sun throughout the day. The room has one window on one wall, and another small window (which is part of a door) on the other, but neither are really big enough or positioned in a way that lets much light in.

Right now, the walls in the guest room are a pretty dark green/brown/gray shade of paint. But since the rest of the walls in the house are pretty light & bright & white, I think I definitely need to repaint the dark walls to make it match.



If you’ve ever searched Pinterest or Google for ways to brighten up a space, you know that there are A LOT of different opinions on which shades to use in dark spaces. Sometimes white can make a dark space feel dingy, but darker hues can make it feel dark(and cold if it’s the wrong color)

Personally, I like using shades of white and gray in all my rooms, but it definitely needs to be the right shade… This list from PopSugar has some great examples of ways to get a “Pinterest Perfect” shade for your walls!

On the flip side: Whites and other light paint shades tend to show a lot of shadows, which can be warmer or cooler depending on what kind of light your room gets; whereas darker colors absorb the shadows, so they don't feel as dingy (like a white with warm shadows might).  I'll use Behr Paint, its what I've used in the rest of the rooms, and I love the coverage I've gotten with the light walls, so if I go with a light pigment I know it'll be good, but I'm also sure that a darker shade would have the same result!

Now you see my dilemma with picking paint colors... I like whites, but a dark color might end up looking nicer... It could also make the room too dark if i'm not careful... but that might still look better than a light shade that makes the space feel dusty. 



So obviously, re-working a room on a budget probably isn’t going to involve adding recessed lights or any major changes to the light fixtures.

One of the things I'm going to do is change out the light bulbs that are currently in the over head, and my various sizes of lamps, to these LED bulbs(like these EcoSmart 60W Equivalent Daylight A19 Energy Star bulbs from Home Depot!) Which will A) be more energy efficient than the current bulbs, and B) will be brighter than the soft light ones I currently have. 



Strategically placed mirrors are a great way to brighten a dark space! They visually expand the room, and bounce light back inside, which makes it feel so much brighter and more spacious! I’m currently kind of obsessed with these sunburst mirrors. They have such a cool, mid-century modern look about them! And I think – if I go with a darker gray hue – the gold of the “bursts” would be a really great pop of color for the walls! 

So, for a little peak into my brain... I wanted to give a quick sneak peak of my two current Mood Boards for the room, and hopefully get ya'lls opinions on them! 

White Walls:

Canvas Art | Wayfair

I love the look of this one! I would probably use this as inspiration and paint my own, but I think this gives a good idea of what I might do!

Lamp | Target

I love the glass globe of this lamp! I think something like this would keep the lamp from feeling too "heavy" which I think is important for rooms that tend to feel really dark!

Gray Walls:

Sunburst Mirror | Wayfair

I really love shopping at Wayfair -Their free shipping is so great! They also have great sales that happen pretty often, so be sure to keep an check on their website! This sunburst mirror would work so well to brighten a dark wall, and I think would really "pop" paint a gray blue wall, but it would also look really nice on a lighter color too! 

White Curtains | Walmart

In order to balance out the dark gray on the walls, I would use some white curtains like these from Walmart! Hanging the curtains around 6" above the window sill will make the ceiling feel taller, and letting the bottoms of the curtain rest on the ground(above a half inch longer than they have to be to touch the floor) gives the room a cozy feeling. 

What do you think? Do you have a room in your house that you've found a way to work with? Let me know in the comments!

xo, Lauren