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HOW TO ADD More Light to a Dark Apartment

How to Add More Light To a Dark Apartment

Why does light matter so much to our dwellings? Well, it all comes down to science. While most people know that Vitamin D helps produces melatonin and regulates sleep cycles, fewer know that studies also show similar positive changes when being exposed to bright and even artificial light. Studies have proven that by increasing the light in your space, you’re less likely to suffer from oversleeping and energy loss. (Which makes us think that we are essentially plants, but that’s another article for another day.)

Even if your home doesn’t have a huge amount of natural light, there are ways to replicate and enhance the light you do have. And while there’s no such thing as the perfect place (unless you watched that one episode of MTV cribs with Mariah Carey), you can get close. In fact, there are lots of hacks to spruce up your space and add in more light — so your space looks less like the crypt keeper’s cave and more like a scene from Architectural Digest. Read on for our favorite tips.

Find your light(ing)

This one might seem obvious, but there are so many ways to add light to a dark apartment through lights, lamps and lighting fixtures. The right lighting can transform and open up your space. Plus, studies suggest that colored light plays a part in boosting our moods and decreasing heart rate (aka calming us the F down), while white light enhances our alertness. Not to mention that finding the right lighting aesthetic for your space is a great way to express yourself — you didn’t think you were just getting a bulb and an average desk lamp, did you? Nope, we’re talking about creating a whole mood. Literally.

Try adding lamps that are metallic or made of metal (for that bounce effect), or using lamps that are made to look open and airy to add to the feeling of spaciousness.

Pick your pieces

On that note, if floor and wall space is a premium at your apartment, why not try incorporating pieces in your space that perform a dual function? One fun, creative way to enhance the light in your apartment is to find furniture and accessories that have reflective elements. We’re talking cross-functional purpose!

Bulky or blocky furniture can also block the natural flow of light in an apartment, while colors like white and cream naturally reflect. (Darker colors actually absorb the light … How rude!) There are a number of wonderful accent pieces that can bring a brightness into your home without having to go wild with all white furniture (if you have children, pets, or a penchant for red wine, you know the struggle is real). Trying small pieces that brighten up a place is a quick, affordable life hack to bounce light naturally. From throw pillows to vases to extra seating, there are endless ways to get creative with this idea.

If you are in the market for larger, functional furniture, there are open-vibed options that accentuate the light available by being light and airy (read: not bulky). The furniture game has been majorly upped since our grandparents’ generation (I’m side-eyeing you, plastic covered floral couch) — and there are a wide variety of simple, beautiful, open styled pieces that help a space breathe. You’re creating the illusion of more space, while filling the space. What is this magic?!

Foliage and floras

“Foliage” is just a fancy way of saying “plants” — but you know these beautiful creatures bring major life to the party. Adding plants to your space can add to a feeling of light in your home — since, hello, you’re essentially tricking your brain into thinking you’re outside. Not only do plants have health benefits, like cleaning the air and increase your focus, one study showed that having plants in the home reduces stress and anxiety, too.

If your home is natural light challenged, there are so many options for plants that thrive in low light, like the cast iron plant, devils ivy (be careful of this one, it can choke other plants outside if it’s left to its own devices!), and the Chinese evergreen. And if you are nervous about having plants in your home or the maintenance and attention plant babies require, don’t fret! The world of amazing artificial options has exploded — because everyone should get to enjoy the benefit of feeling like they’re living in a sun-dappled jungle.

Mirror, mirror

Obviously, you want to check to make sure you still look gorgeous (spoiler alert, you do), but did you know that mirrors are also a great way to enhance the light in your dark apartment? Mirrors add light and space wherever you need it. Positioning a mirror in a strategic way can reflect the sun’s beautiful rays into the darker recesses of your room, and make the space feel larger.

If you have the floor and wall space, large mirrors or mirrors with light or metallic frames will seriously enhance any room. We are especially fond of vintage-inspired mirrors for that Instagrammable selfie.

When positioning mirrors, it’s important to be aware of how the energy in your room flows. Mirrors hung in the bedroom should ideally not face the bed (in Feng Shui, it’s believed that this can cause restlessness), nor should you place a mirror directly behind your bed or behind your sofa as this can result in an “unsafe” feeling of energy. It also might be tempting to have a mirror facing the front door, but some Feng Shui masters believe that the Qi (aka good energy) will be repelled right back out the door — and we want to invite as much positivity and light into the space as possible!

Lighten up!

Picking a lighter color for your walls will immediately up the brightness of any room. It can be hard to paint an entire apartment, so focusing on accent walls or using wallpaper are great alternatives. Combining a light print or light wall color with your new lamp will help uplift even the darkest of spaces.

And just like adding a light wall to a room, light carpets bounce light beams upwards and bring an apartment from drab to fab. If you have dark wood floors, you’ll notice the change immediately. Just be careful of spills — but if they happen, never fear! There are ways to correct even the biggest oopsie.

Clean your windows!

If you’re on a budget and all else fails, our final, super simple tip for adding light to your space is a window clean. After all, if your eyes are the windows to your soul, your windows are the eyes into your apartment — which will benefit hugely from cleanly scrubbed glass. No smudges will dim your light as you sashay into the sunshine!