“My room is dark therefore I’ll paint it in white to bring some light into it” is one of the most common mistakes I hear formulated over and over. Color has many virtues and can change tremendously the appearance and quality of a room, but color itself doesn’t bring light. The blunt truth is that a room that doesn’t get much natural light simply doesn’t get much natural light. Plain and simple. Meaning that whatever color is on the walls won’t get much natural light. White or any sort of off white/ very pale color used will therefore look greyed down and dirty, which you’ll agree isn’t the best in terms of decorating base.
So what solution do you have to offer you must be wondering. What I advise clients who start of with the idea of using white is to use mid-range intensity colors. Those, don’t mind getting a little less light and help creating a sense of coziness. Speaking of, you could also go towards very dark colors but I assume that if you had the idea of painting your room white, it might be a stretch to envision the same room in chocolate brown, charcoal or ink blue. I might be wrong, so if I am know that very dark colors also work very well in rooms that are not well lit.
You have to be aware of one thing: the rooms and houses you see in magazines or on the internet all seem to be flooded by natural light: this is true for white rooms but it is also true for dark painted rooms. Those rooms don’t look like this in real life. It’s the way the pictures are taken that make them look like this. Interiors pictures are taken without flash (very bad for the color rendering) but with a long shutter speed opening which allows more time for light. Even I do it! Do you really think that our bedroom looks this bright on a normal (rainy) day in Belgium? It’s easy to spot: An overexposed picture will show a window as a big square of white light pouring into the room. Let me know if this ever happens in real life in your home.
So how do I make a room lighter? Well actually you don’t. You learn to appreciate it as it is, you make it into a cozy darker nest, a place to rest and relax, to watch TV, to read a book or to work with a good reading light. Because the secret to making this un-gratifying unwell lit room into something you’ll look forward to, is its lighting. You’ll have to invest into a few table, reading or standing lamps. Having many different light sources brings character to a room, yes it does. I’ll have to devote another post on this subject. Meanwhile have a lovely time browsing around and share the site with your friends if you like what you’ve been reading.