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Cool walls

How to make a dark space feel brighter

If one of your rooms feels darker than you would like, see how to brighten it up with these clever paint tricks.

1.  Keep things cool

Cooler colors help walls to recede, making the room feel more spacious and light. Go for pale shades of grey and blue for best results.

For maximum effect, choose a paint from our range, which reflects light back into the room to make it feel even airier.


Which colors?

LN.02.77 / 94GY 66/038
ON.00.81 / 08GG 72/006

2. Bring the sunshine inside
 

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Yellow living room


If it’s warmth you’re after, don't be afraid to use light terracotta or yellows – a sunny hue can brighten and warm a dark, dingy space. Just be careful not to clutter the room with dark furniture so the scheme doesn’t become overpowering.


Which colors?

F3.03.88 / 35YY 88/050
F1.35.65 / 21YY 45/405
F3.24.75 / 28YY 62/321

3. Paint your ceilings pale
 

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Grey hallway


The aim is to make the room appear larger and lighter, so avoid dark colors on the ceiling. White is always a safe choice, but you could also go for pale tones of other colors, from greens to golds.


Which colors?

E4.05.55 / 02YY 32/054
SN.02.67 / 95BG 49/025
ON.00.58 / 53BB 36/004

4. Reflect the light you have
 

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Gloss surfaces


In dark rooms you have to make the most of the little light you get. Opting for paint with a glossy finish [LINK TO: PRODUCT PAGE] is a great way to reflect light back into the space, making it feel brighter. Plaster pink tones work particularly well for this. To find out more about how light affects colors, read this article [LINK TO: Global article ‘How light affects our favorite colors’].


Which colors?

FN.02.82 / 98YR 78/041

5. Don’t forget the details
 

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White detailing


Paint architraves, skirting boards and any other moldings in light reflective colors, perhaps in a subtly contrasting tone to the color on the walls. This will give some structure to the room without detracting from its brightness. 


Which colors?

J2.04.59 / 37GY 38/050
HN.02.83 / 89YY 80/090


To help shed some light on stubborn dark corners, try furniture that is either mirrored or painted in light colors. Styling with carefully placed lamps and mirrors will also help make the room feel more welcoming and uplifting by illuminating spaces and bouncing the light around.

When thinking about decorating ideas, use our Visualizer app to see how colors will look on your walls.