5 Ways to Lighten up your Living Room
There’s no more important room in the home to accentuate comfort and openness than the living room. It is there that families tend to gather after a day at work or school and relax with some family time. Whether it’s to watch movies, curl up on the couch with a book, play boardgames or welcome guests; the living room is a multi-purpose space that is enjoyed by everyone. Because these rooms are used so often, they need special attention when it comes to comfort for everyday living. One of the main ways to lift a living room and create a more inviting space is by developing a lighting plan.
Lighting plays a big role in creating a bigger sense of ‘space’ as well as to improve your overall well-being. A well-lit living room helps to boost your mood, lighten-up a dark space and attract more natural light for a clean, welcoming space. Here are 5 tips to lighten up your living room that you can begin to incorporate today:
1. Paint the room lighter colours
While it may sound like a ‘no brainer’, painting your space a lighter colour is one of the most effective ways to brighten things up. The reason why a light, neutral shade such as white is a great choice is because it naturally reflects more light. Shades of white also gives the illusion that a space is bigger – which is helpful if you have a smaller living space. Light Reflectance Value (LRV) can range from 100% for a pure white shade down to 0% for a black shade. The reason why dark colours are your enemy when it comes to lightening up your living space is because natural light is absorbed by it. So, while it may seem more modern or interesting to colour the ceiling or wall in a statement shade, if your goal is to attract more light into your living room then using a white paint is your best option.
2. Use light-coloured fittings and furnishings
Another clever way to attract more light into a dark living space is by opting for light-coloured furnishings. In order to create a natural airy and open room, use neutral colours like whites, light browns and greys in your sofas, tables and fixings. Natural timber floors, wooden bookcases, light lounge chairs and marble table tops all help to attract more light and give the feeling that you’re in a brighter, more open space. Keep in mind that while white and neutral tones lighten a space up, there’s also a risk of it looking too sterile. In order to add some contrast without compromising on natural light, using metallic accessories or reflective surfaces such as a statement mirror, artwork or decorative gold objects throughout the room will further reflect light while adding warmth and interest.
3. Open up your living space
One of the greatest roadblocks to attracting more light into a living space is if the room is too narrow or small. The best way to open up a small or narrow space is by widening the doorway or by knocking a wall down, allowing the living space to flow into the kitchen. This will significantly brighten your living room by enlarging the room and allowing for more light to flood in. If your living room has direct access to the outdoors, you may also look into installing a bifold or sliding door or sliding door to create an indoor-outdoor living area.
4. Install a skylight
Skylights are an effective way of bringing in natural light, especially if your living room lacks windows or sufficient light. In fact, skylights are often referred to as ‘windows for the roof’ and they can emit more than three times as much light as vertical windows of the same size. Since they are fixed to the ceiling, skylights offer additional flexibility to architectural design. If your living room is restricted in size or the windows fail to let in enough sunlight during the day, a skylight will instantly allow light to enter your living room from above.
5. Add mood lighting
While you should aim to maximise natural light, using soft lighting as a supplement can be another way to brighten up a living room. Using a continuous LED lighting strip along your living room ceiling can create a soft glow while also acting as mood lighting. Recessed lights can also be fixed to coffee tables, fireplaces and artwork to strategically add lighting to the room. If the aim is to lighten the living room, it is best to have a large number of small lights spaced around the room than to have one big central light, as is traditional. That way, you can create a brighter space during the day and also be able to fill the room with soft light when night rolls around.
From house to house, every living room and its exact purpose within the family home is different. Depending on the size of your space, your approach to decor and whether your living room is more relaxed or formal, any tips from this article will likely need to be modified a bit to your home’s style. Regardless, lighting up a living room with the goal of maximising natural daylight is the best way to create a more welcoming, comfortable oasis for the whole family and guests to enjoy.