Guide to lighting a windowless room

Rooms that do not have a lot of natural light can be a challenge to decorate. The colors of your walls and furniture can feel slightly saturated, and the decorative elements can even seem bulky because of the ‘thicker’ shadows that result from not having enough access to natural light. So, if you are looking for ways to light up your room with beautiful lamps or decor, read this guide to lighting a windowless room to inspire you. 

Some rooms may not allow a lot of natural light due to their positionings, such as bathrooms and kitchens. So, if you have smaller windows facing north or many trees that block the sunlight from entering, you naturally want to do anything in your power to make use of the little sunlight that does reach. 

Luckily, interior designers know a few tips and tricks to light up your room with artificial light. The secret is to invest in quality lighting – for example, a nicely designed table lamp can make a huge difference. Let’s take a look at how exactly wall decor, paint, and various lighting may help.

Light paint colors are the way to go

Light paint colors will instantly lighten up your living space. If you ever owned a white car, you have surely noticed that they heat up less in the summertime than black cars. This is because dark colors absorb light more than bright ones. The simplest and most effective thing you can do is refresh your walls with a new coat of paint, preferably in a light or pastel shade. 

If you have large furniture pieces and do not have the time to bring in a painting crew, you might consider wall art to brighten up the room. Charming wall decor, such as a poster or artwork, may brighten up the given space. 

On the other hand, if you really want to change up the color of your walls, you could do it yourself or with the help of friends. In that case, you may want to consider putting away some of your furniture to be sure that it does not get stained. Renting a storage unit can be a sustainable solution for getting extra items out of the way while you work on your home.

a white apartment with small windows
Small windows do not have to be an obstacle to achieving a bright, pleasant atmosphere in your apartment. 

The type and color of your flooring and furniture can make the room appear light or dark

You might want to consider changing the flooring. For instance, hardwood flooring is always the preferred material to place inside your room. However, if the room or the windows are not large enough, dark wood can make the space feel smaller. In case you want a quick but stylish fix, compensating with a hand-blown gas lamp or a crystal chandelier could bring in an interesting contrast, especially if paired up with a nice rug that brings in a touch of bright softness to the room. 

Furthermore, it is better to buy furniture that is warm or light in color and hue. Dark furniture can appear bulky and heavy, so elements made of natural, light wood ‘open’ up the space considerably, making the room appear lighter overall. For that reason, it is best if you avoid dark flooring. Therefore, put away any dark carpets that might be in the room and let the light wood do its thing.

a room with a table lamp and two chairs
Flooring also contributes to the appearance of your living space. Opt for light, natural materials for your flooring.

Good lighting is an essential tool for lighting a windowless room

A basement that only has a tiny window can still be remodeled to make for a lovely, cozy workroom or even bedroom. The key is to add layers of lights, so wall sconces and table lamps, and a strong buffet lamp are more than enough to support the few rays of light that enter the room in the afternoon. Opt for lamps that can put in strong, high-watt light bulbs – the yellow hue that cheaper light bulbs tend to produce adds weight to the room, especially if the lamp and the lampshade are smaller.

If you want to lighten up whole areas in individual rooms, LED strip lighting may add an interesting, modern vibe to your bathroom or room, especially in the afternoons and evenings. Also, a good quality candle can add a fresh scent and a source of light at the same time and make your bubble bath especially enjoyable. A chic solution is to buy a crystal lamp – the beautiful glass material naturally amps up the light from the light bulb, making it extremely practical while also an exceptionally tasteful lighting method.  

a big, bedside lamp on a white bed night table
A stylish but practical lamp can enhance the lighting in a windowless room

Add mirrors to your walls

A quick way to make your living space brighter, besides investing in adequate lighting, is to place a mirror in the given room. Mirrors are as important to the general impression of your room as your wall art may be. A good canvas adds a touch of personality, whereas a well-framed mirror can act as both a reflective surface for the natural light that comes in and as a statement piece to accompany the artwork you already have.

So, mirrors add to the overall atmosphere of brightness, especially when combined with things we have already mentioned. Light or white paint on your walls serves to ‘attract’ light, while light rugs, curtains, duvet covers, or towels can add to the feeling of a warm and clean room. You can then retain this atmosphere with several table and buffet lamps with white light bulbs placed in strategic places. Finally, adding lighting to a windowless room with mirrors and furniture made of warm or light wood is the perfect finishing touch. 

Author bio

Dana Lucas is an interior designer specializing in urban interior decor. She frequently collaborates with moving companies such as pmsmoving.com by educating members of their moving crews on effective furniture placement. She is known for employing horticulture, stylish color schemes, and some elements of Feng Shui-inspired decor to visually improve the living space of smaller living units – apartments, garden houses, basements, cellar apartments, etc. 

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