Let there be light: tips for decorating dark rooms

A dark room can be a bit of a burden. It’s one of those rooms that you don’t really know what to do with because it’s not a nice area to relax in and you can’t really use it as an office space if it’s dark and dingy all the time. More often than not, those rooms end up being used as a storage space for old junk because people don’t know what else to do with them. But a dark room with small windows isn’t a lost cause. There are plenty of things that you can do to bring more light in and make the room a lot nicer. Before you give up on your dark room, try some of these simple ways to bring more light in.

Replace the windows

Often, the room is dark because the windows are too small and they don’t let that much light in. It might also be that the side of the house that the window is one doesn’t get much sunlight during the day. The simple solution is to replace the window with a bigger one or move it to a different side of the room so it gets more light in. Just bear in mind that it’s going to cost you a bit of money, especially if you’re moving the window entirely because you’ll have to brick up the old window and put a new one in elsewhere. You should think of this as a last resort, so before you start moving windows around, try some of the below cheaper and easier solutions.

Let there be light tips for decorating dark rooms


Clean the windows

This sounds a bit obvious but you’d be surprised how many people don’t consider it and how much difference it can make. If you haven’t cleaned the window for years, it’ll have a covering of dirt that is blocking out a load of light. Just get a professional window cleaner in to clean it up and you might find that it improves the situation massively. It’s not going to solve the problem entirely but if you combine it with the rest of the tips on this list, you should have a nice bright room.   Our window cleaner comes every 6 weeks and costs £13 so it’s not a huge expense.

Pale colours

When you’re painting a small, dark room, colour choice is very important. If you go for darker shades, the very limited amount of light that you do have is all going to be absorbed. You want the opposite effect so paint it in lighter shades. They’ll reflect the light around the room and make it a lot brighter. If you’re worried about not having enough colour in there, use accessories to inject colour and keep the walls a fairly neutral light shade or even white.


This is probably the oldest piece of interior design advice there is, but it’s still relevant. Light coloured paint is a great way of reflecting light around the room but it’s not going to be as effective as mirrors. A couple of well placed mirrors opposite the windows and artificial light sources in the room will make no end of difference. Just don’t go overboard and end up with a hall of mirrors instead of a nice relaxing room.

Decorating a dark room is always a struggle but these simple tips will help you to get around it.


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