Art 101

How to Brighten up a Dark Room with Paintings

Discover how to brighten up a dark room with paintings using these five easy tips.

By Sophie Heatley

Figuring out how to brighten up a dark room with paintings can be difficult, especially if your space is absent of windows or has little natural light. That said, don’t underestimate the transformative power of art. Here are five ways to make a dark room lighter with paintings.


Let there be light 

Go for Bright Colours 

Regardless of interior design or aesthetics, studies show that spaces with minimal natural light can negatively impact your mood. Now that we’re spending more time working from home, it’s of paramount importance that we weigh up the effect of our home decor on our well-being. Paintings with bright palettes are a great way to lighten up moody interiors. Cheerful colours such as yolky yellows and brilliant blues can pop out against ill-lit walls, elevating both the feel and look of the space.

Get the look with paintings by Roseline Al Oumami (courtesy of Elizabeth Hagins and Elle Decor)


Explore Warmer Aesthetics 

Alternatively, rather than just brighter, think warmer. Make summer a permanent fixture in your home with uplifting, serotonin-boosting sunset scenes. Warm orange hues like burnt apricot or pumpkin can bring a little fire and flame to a space – ideal when you’re craving some sunshine during the cold winter months.


Invite a Little Nature Inside 

Take a leaf or two from nature’s book and invite organic textures and tones into your space. Viridescent shades and oaky accents can supplement a lack of natural light. For a welcome whisper of the outdoors, choose nature paintings with greens, golds and other organic blends.

Get the look with our collection of botanical paintings (image courtesy of Frances Schultz and Flower Magazine)


Add a Metallic Touch with High Gloss Paintings 

Create the illusion of more light and space with metallic touches. Metallic surfaces can pick up and reflect light and colours, livening up dark rooms. Create a DIY light display by teaming paintings with a high gloss sheen with mirrors.


Play With Patterns 

Go for maximalism and add some contrasting visuals for an energetic boost. Opt for more saturated colours (without black as a base colour) rather than just lighter colour schemes to give the room a bit more oomph. Botanical paintings or eclectic Pop Art portraits are a good place to start. For alternative textures and added dimensions, create your own motifs by juxtaposing patterned wallpaper with bold, block paintings.

Get the look with our collection of abstract works (image courtesy of Architectural Digest and Frank di Biasi)

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