A Girl's Journey Living in Japan

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Decorating ideas that bring light into any room

Few people want to live in a home that is dark and dingy, but how can you make a home that is rather small and cramped feel light and airy? Fortunately, there are a few interior decorating ideas you can use to bring light into any room.

Decorating tricks

If your room has small dimensions, you will inevitably want to make it both look and feel bigger. To achieve this, you need to start with the walls and decide on a paint color. Dark colors close a room down, while light colors push the walls out and help to bounce light—whether from an artificial source or sunlight—off the walls and back into the room. So choose a light color for the walls, such as a white, cream, light blue or green, rather than dark red, purple or pink.

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However, this is not to say there is no place for dark colors in a small room; the trick is to use them sparingly. You could, for example, paint three of the walls in the light color and leave the fourth as a feature wall painted with a strikingly different color. In the bedroom, such a wall works best when it is the one against which the bed is placed. Other rooms may have alcoves or recesses that would take a darker color well.

The next step is to make the most of whatever natural light the room gets. If the room is particularly small, take care not to permanently cover any part of the window, either with furniture or window dressings. This is a good reason not to hang curtains or drapes in a small room or over a small window, for they will block out the light. Alternatives include a roller blind or an adhesive frosted sheet for the window itself, but a far better choice is affordable wooden shutters. These are fitted into or against the window frame, providing complete privacy but allowing you to regulate the amount of light and air that comes into the room.

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Next comes decoration in the form of lighting and mirrors. Opposite a window is an excellent place to hang a mirror, as this will reflect light from the window around the room, thereby making the space appear a lot bigger. Use lighting to banish shadowy areas from the room, such as in corners or above fitted furniture. A central light is usually a must, but you can augment this with wall, side, table and alcove lighting.

Finally, review the room’s furniture. Is there simply too much in it? A room full of furniture will appear cluttered and dark, so ask yourself if that side table is really necessary and whether you need that footstool or extra chair. Once you have reduced the amount of furniture, the room will feel naturally larger and airier.

Cramped and badly lit rooms can become light and airy with a fresh color palette on the walls, clever positioning of wall mirrors and lighting, and a good clear-out of unnecessary furniture.

Gemma

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