Windowless rooms can be made brighter with careful paint and lighting choices.

How to Make a Windowless Room Brighter With Paint

by Lisa Fritscher

Windowless rooms can feel drab and stifling, especially if the paint is dark or dull. Repainting the room is an easy way to add drama and flair, opening up the room to make it seem brighter and more airy. Use lighting and furniture arrangements to enhance the look, turning even the smallest room into an inviting space.

1. Light Colors

Light paint colors make small rooms appear larger and create a bright, cheerful look. Avoid stark white, which appears lifeless in artificial light. Instead, choose a mix of neutrals, warm colors and cool tones to give the room a sense of depth. Think about how you will use the room most often, and then choose shades that enhance that use. For example, you might choose sunny yellows for a breakfast room or relaxing blues and greens for a reading nook. To further open up the room, paint the ceiling and trim a few shades lighter than the walls.

2. Dark Accents

Too much dark paint will close up a windowless room, but a splash of deep, rich color spices up a windowless space. Choose a saucy red to add drama, a bold orange for a sense of warmth, or a royal purple for a bit of luxury and mystery. Don’t rule out black. Although it is overpowering in large quantities, a tiny bit of shiny black paint can highlight a particularly striking architectural feature or piece of furniture.

3. Paint Sheen

Paint is sold in a range of sheens from flat to high gloss. Glossier paints have higher reflectivity, making them an excellent choice for windowless rooms. Semigloss and high-gloss paints are also moisture resistant and easy to clean. However, glossy paint highlights imperfections in the underlying surface. Unless your walls are in excellent condition, choose an eggshell or satin paint for the best blend of reflectivity and ability to mask imperfections.

4. Lighting and Decor

Make the most of your paint job by choosing lighting and décor elements that further open up the room. Use uplights, lamps and other directed fixtures to bounce light off the walls and ceiling. Choose clear glass light covers rather than heavy shades. Use mirrors and decorative glass items to further reflect light. Furnish the room with lightweight, airy pieces rather than heavy or oversized items. Create clean, simple lines with one or two defined focal points. Consider choosing lacquered furniture to help distribute light around the room.

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