​Five Ways to Brighten Up a Room

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Looking to lighten up a drab, dark, or dungy space? We've got some quick fixes to help you shed some light in even the darkest of rooms. Revamp your bedroom, dorm, home, or apartment with some of our easy design tactics below.

A splash of color can add a cheerful, fun look to your space. With a touch as simple as a single flower, you can jazz up a dark corner or add character to a neutral countertop. If medium tones like heather grey, light beige, or tan surround your space, try adding a splash of bright color -- even fluorescent orange can look nice in small doses. Like a bauble necklace or a set of sparkly earrings, the right accent colors can complete the look of any room.

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Add a splash of color to a neutral-colored coffee table to brighten it up!

Bright whites can wash out a room — but if done correctly, they can add warmth and lightness to your space. Think strategically when investing in white decor, though; cloth white pillows might be difficult to wash, whereas porcelain white vases and lamps can be wiped off easily. One of our favorite ways to whiten up a room: White picture frames. Try hanging a collection of black-and-white photos in white frames against a dark wall, and see how it adds depth and contrast to a room.

Window treatments are a fabulous way to brighten up a room. We often forget what an impact a set of curtains, drapes, or shutters can make in a single space! If you're on a budget, try buying your own fabric (we like light linen and sheer poly-cotton blends) and making your own window treatments — guides like this "no-sew window treatment" and this can help you along the way.

And don't forget plain old light! Light is, of course, a perfect way to lighten up a space. If you live in an older space with little overhead lighting, invest in a set of floor lamps and place them against your most reflective and darkest walls. Many older apartments have light switches connected to at least one outlet per room, so make sure you plug in your brightest light to this outlet. Table lamps, candles, Japanese lanterns, oil lamps, and even white holiday lights (when done right!) can add lightness and flair to your space. If you're like us, you might want to invest in a lamp timer — this inexpensive gadget can auto-program your lights to turn on and off when you want, so that you don't have to fumble finding switches and plugs.

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Mixing different types of light can add depth to a washed-out wall. Plus, a soothing candle makes tackling your inbox a much more soothing experience.

Flowers and plants are a natural way to add life and lightness to a room. Pick up a dozen daises and see how they add instant cheer to any room; or, buy a potted plant and enjoy its bright green leaves everyday. Not only do indoor houseplants look fantastic; they're also a way to keep the air in your house clean and fresh. Our favorite low-maintenance houseplants are peporomias and grape ivys; and our favorite funky houseplant is definitely the pilea peperomiodies. Don't be intimidated by having to care for a houseplant; as long as you purchase one that's right for your climate, all you'll need is water and sunlight to make it grow.

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We think fresh flowers aren’t a splurge -- they’re a necessity! Add instant cheer to a dull space with whatever’s in bloom.


So there you have it — go brighten up your abode with one of these tricks! What other light, bright design tips do you have? Let us know on Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram