Darkness works best for a low-lit man cave or a cool bedroom. Other dark rooms can look gloomy and unattractive. But they don’t have to stay that way. Decorators have all kinds of tricks up their sleeves to brighten a dark room.

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Here’s the scoop:

1. Paint the Ceiling: A dark ceiling makes a room feel closed in and small. Administer a fresh coat of white or a very light color, like mint green or pale yellow, and the space instantly dazzles.

2. Change the Floor: With dark floors you can either refinish them in a lighter color or stain, but if that’s not possible cover as much of the floor as you can with a lighter colored area rug.

3. Swap out the Window Treatment: Replace heavy draperies with cloth blinds or roman shades that let light in. An opaque treatment can also improve the feel of the room.

4. Install a Skylight: Not as expensive as you might imagine and the natural light filters in with just one fix. You can even opt for a skylight that opens and ventilates the room with fresh air.

5. Think about Adding a Window: This, of course, depends on the location of the room, but definitely brightens up a dark room.

6. Switch to a Glass Door: Either a door totally made of glass or a door with a window in it encourages whatever light there is to filter into the room.

7. Hang Mirrors: The reflection a mirror creates illuminates dark areas and makes the room feel light and spacious.

8. Mix the Lighting: Targeted accent lights, task lighting, uplights and downlights with clear covers increase the airiness and brighten up a dark room.

9. Go Sparse with Furniture: Dark, heavy furniture contributes to a dim atmosphere. Instead add pieces in light colors with sleek, crisp lines. You can also change the furniture by covering them with light-colored slip covers.

10. Mount Shelving: To create storage without adding furniture, install wall-mounted shelves in a light color. Or you can paint them white yourself.

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About the Author:

Pro.com is a full-service home remodeling and construction general contractor serving the greater Seattle, Denver, Phoenix, San Francisco, San Jose and San Diego area. Home improvement is hard, and we make it easier for you every step of the way. That starts by understanding your goals, whether it’s making a space more livable, expanding your home, repairing damage, adding room for relatives, or something completely different. We’ll work with you to ensure you’re happy with the project from start to finish.