For lovers of natural light, a north facing room can be quite the interior design challenge. You must find ways to make the most of the light you do have so that the space doesn't feel dark or small. The following tips can help you overcome this issue so that the room is as beautiful and functional as you desire.
Tip #1: Add mirrors
Mirrors are the number one way to increase light in a room. The best place to put the mirrors is opposite of your natural light source. This makes the most obvious option to be directly opposite the north-facing windows in the room. Of course, in a home with a more open floor plan, you can also use mirrors to maximize light from other rooms. For example, if you can see an east-facing window through the hallway that connects to your dimly lit room, place a mirror on the west wall of the room to capture some of that eastern light from down the hall.
Tip #2: Go light
Light colors will help brighten the dimmest room. Start with your wall color – opt for lighter shades of paint or wallpaper so the room seems brighter. Light colored furnishings also help brighten the room. Save dark, bold colors for the accents, such as throw pillows or small décor items. Even here, though, bright bold colors, such as vibrant oranges, greens, or reds, will make a room seem brighter as opposed to duller accents, such as dark browns or black.
Tip #3: Increase reflectivity
The materials you use in the room can also reflect more light and make it seem like a brighter space. For example, opt for smooth, satiny or shiny fabrics on pillows, throws, and curtains instead of rich velvet or dull tweeds. Photographs displayed behind glass reflect more light than an uncovered canvas on the wall. Even your paint can add to the reflectivity – opt for a semi-gloss instead of a satin or flat paint.
Tip #4: Use artificial means
Don't underestimate the power of artificial light to brighten your north-facing room. Sunken canister lights in the ceiling and lamps placed strategically around the room can help give light and ambiance where you need it most. Make sure to use daylight bulbs in these fixtures as well, as the light from these bulbs most closely mimics natural sunlight.
For more help in solving your lighting conundrum, consider contacting an online interior design specialist. Contact a company like The Designers Envelope to get started.