It’s past noon. The sun shines its brightest outside, but your living room just can’t feel the heat yet. It is perhaps because of the heavy curtains you put in your windows, the wrong paint color you used for your walls or the direction your house is facing. Whatever that is, the living room should not be deprived of the natural light it deserves.

Ideally, the living room should be the most refreshing part of your home. It is the place where you bring your guests for juicy conversations and where families gather for recreation. The vibe should be fresh, open, and inviting, and bringing natural light in is essential in achieving a better atmosphere.

a bright living room

If you have a dark and gloomy living room, you may consider these eight simple tips to give your interior a brightening boost.

1. Leave the windows undressed

If you have a scenic landscape outside, why cover your windows with heavy drapes? Take those window coverings to your bedroom and leave the windows of the living room bare to catch natural light and natural views. It is crucial for the living room to be open, light, and inviting since this is where social gatherings often take place.

2. Or just be clever with window treatments

If privacy is your concern, you may choose lightweight window treatments. Instead of thick and dark curtains. go for white sheer curtains and roller blinds to cover your windows and diffuse light. Another tip is to use curtain rods that are long enough to bring the curtains back beyond the window frame when not in use.

3. Lose walls and dividers

Walls and dividers work best in organizing your space. One of the biggest disadvantages though is they obstruct natural light from filling up the room. This is the reason why open plan layouts rock if you’re going for a lighter and airier vibe. Know the direction where your house is facing and the area where the light shines during the day. With this, you know where not to place your dividers or bulky furniture to have a fair share of lighting.

4. Be transparent

If you want a brighter room, the glass should be your friend. A house made of glass are perfect, but it is quite expensive. To let natural light in without breaking the bank, invest in large glass windows, glass doors, and skylights. Even simple glass furniture and decors like tabletops and vases help reflect light.

Divisions are said to block sunlight, but going for transparent partitions would make a valid exemption.

5. Use lighter color scheme

Light neutrals like white, mushroom, gray, and cream are known to make dark spaces brighter. Use these lighter colors for your walls and contrast them with rich neutrals like espresso brown, tan, and metallic colors for your ceiling, floor, and accents.

You may also lift the light levels in your living room by using light colors for your textiles. Use washable fabric such as faux leather or faux suede if you’re concerned about getting them dirty.

6. Go all-white

If using light decors and finishes isn’t enough, go all-white. Just picture your living room with white walls, white floors, white textiles, and upholstery – is there a more sophisticated way to brighten up your room than this? White opens up a room and creates an illusion of a larger space.

However, white can be intimidating and may cause your space to look sterile. To give a little contrast to your white living room, you may add a few black and gray accessories to form a subtle monochromatic style.

7. Use mirrors and other objects that shimmer

Aside from creating the “large square footage” illusion for small spaces, they can also do some tricks to brighten up dark rooms. Large wall mirrors (floor to ceiling) can be used to throw light back into dark areas. Place them either opposite or diagonal to glass windows, glass doors, and other light sources for maximum luminosity. Other decors that shimmer like shiny metals and glossy finishes can also be a light-infusing accessory to a shady spot.

8. Switch the lights on

Aside from relying on natural light, you can also be creative with your artificial lighting scheme, especially if you lack a sunny aspect. If your home has a dark painted or wood paneled ceiling, contrast it with recessed lighting fixtures or known as “can lights.” You can also have an integration of ceiling, floor, and table lights to improve illumination and install dimmers to create a versatile ambiance.

Author Bio: A large house on a hill, surrounded by trees and chirping birds is what Carmina Natividad hopes for in the future. She devotes her time writing for Pilcher Real Estate, a growing agency of six real estates professionals based in Australia to feed her broad imagination.