Using natural light, brighter fabrics and clever furniture ideas can have a great-looking effect around your house.
1. Let in the sunshine
Install curtain ties to maximise daytime light, freshen up the paint on the window frame to draw eyes to the brightest part of the room, and choose bright but natural shades for your curtains.
2. Uplighting is uplifting
In dark rooms, rather than creating a large pool of light from the centre of the ceiling, use wall lighting to spread the effect. If your room is dark naturally or because of your décor, use uplighting to bounce light off the ceiling.
3. Create light spots
For an instant effect without having to re-wire your home, try cordless 'anywhere' lights. These bright LED lights can be mounted on walls, on the underside of cupboards or ceilings, and run on AA batteries. The lights work by remote control and are an inexpensive way to turn room under stairs or in a dark corner into a lovely bright space.
4. Go soft with mood lighting
Fairy lights can be used all year round to create twinkling effects – especially in a conservatory or in front of a window where at night, the reflection in the glass adds to the magical glow.
5. Paint for light
White or cream walls make spaces bright and spacious, but you can be more savvy by mixing other light shades effectively: pale greens and oranges, or pastel pink and blue. Adding light blue above a high dado rail and over the ceiling creates a charming 'sky' effect in a bedroom.
Decluttering makes the whole home look more spacious and clean. Check out our tips for Home looks: clean, modern spaces.
Pass it on – choose the right lightbulbs
Apart from checking you're buying the right wattage for your fittings, there are other things to consider before replacing lightbulbs.
- A pearl finish gives a softer effect, especially useful for bedside lamps.
- If you need to add light that compensates for a lack of sunlight, go for halogen bulbs, which give brightness but with a little more warmth than fluorescent lighting.
- For interiors where you want a more gentle, cosy light, incandescent bulbs are best.