Natural light is often considered one of the most desirable home design features. But the truth is, dark corners in areas like the living room or bedroom are a common reality for many of us, despite what our Insta photos might show. Not only can they look moody and drab but they can make the whole room appear smaller as a result. So if you're dealing with a dark corner, less-than-desirable nook, or gloomy unused space, there are a few smart ways you can use furniture to make it look lighter, brighter, and more inviting. Find out what they are ahead!
Just like how a strategically positioned mirror can make a small space look bigger, it can also make a dark space look brighter. If you can, try to place your mirror directly opposite a light source, like a window or lamp, in order to reflect as much light as possible. And don't be afraid to get creative! A single leaning or hanging mirror works wonders, but you could also create a gallery wall with an array of mirrors or even use mirrored furniture.
Avoid chunky, dark furniture in favor of smaller, light-colored pieces. Shades of white, beige, taupe, and gray won't absorb all the light in the area like a dark wood or black furniture piece can. And go matte if possible — matte finishes reflect light in all directions, unlike glossy surfaces, which can create a glare. However, if you wanted to incorporate a few metallic touches here and there, they can help reflect light similar to the effect of a mirror. For example, you could use a small marble table or upholstered stool to display some gold decorative objects, hang a gold picture frame or light fixture, or bring in a plant displayed in a light-colored planter — or all three.
If you want to go a step further and transform a gloomy corner into one that's visually appealing and functional, add seating. A light-colored accent chair angled into the corner paired with a small side table will open up the space and instantly make it more inviting. Now, it's the perfect little nook to cuddle up with a book or take a videoconference call!
A dark corner is usually the furthest space from natural light, so you can supplement any natural lighting with artificial lighting. But placement is key here. Whether you opt for a standing floor lamp or a wall sconce, aim all lighting upward, either at the ceiling or wall, to help minimize shadows and to make the space look brighter and bigger. A torchiere lamp is ideal, but you could also go with a shaded or bulb wall sconce — just make sure any lampshades are light in color and texture (for example, white linen) and that the fixture design is visually light rather than clunky (nothing big and dark) to achieve an airy vibe.