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Tips for Adding Light to a Dark Apartment

Posted: Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016 | Filed under: interior design, natural light, nyc apartment, Roller Shades, Solar Shades
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Apartment Lighting
With space at a premium in NYC, many apartment residents face the challenge of adding light to a dark space.  When natural light is maximized, rooms feel more spacious and comfortable.  Following are tips for adding light to a dark apartment.

Select a Light or Monochromatic Color Scheme

Dark walls can make a room feel claustrophobic and absorb light, while white paint is reflective, creating an airy feel.  If the thought of minimalist, Scandinavian rooms doesn’t appeal to you, keep in mind that upholstery and other design elements can warm up a space with color.  Large-scale artwork also can lend color, but if you make the mistake of covering most of your walls, this has the same effect as painting walls dark.  For apartment residents who prefer to use bolder color on the walls, stick to a monochromatic scheme that will make light seem to pass seamlessly throughout your apartment.

Keep Windows Unobstructed During the Day

Leaving windows unobstructed during the day will maximize the amount of natural light that enters your apartment.  Opt for treatments such as motorized roller shades, solar shades, and other styles that allow you to leave the majority of the window exposed during the day but covered at night for privacy.  Drapery is a way to add texture and color to a space, but heavy window treatments can block light from entering and obstruct city views.  In a small apartment, install hardware so that curtains hang at the edge of the window.  When they are opened, the window will be fully exposed, letting in natural light from top to bottom.

Incorporate Multiple Lighting Sources

While there is no substitute for natural light streaming through your windows, weather doesn’t always cooperate, and the sun sets earlier during the fall and winter.  When you incorporate multiple sources of lighting, you ensure that your apartment is bright even on a gloomy, rainy day or the darkest days of winter.  Even on sunny days, overhead fixtures and table lamps can make sure that room corners are well-lit, visually opening up a space.

Add Reflective Surfaces

Strategically placed mirrors help light to bounce around a space, particularly when there are additional reflective surfaces in a room.  Consider incorporating furniture that have glass or chrome elements.  Pieces such as a glass-topped coffee table or accent table with chrome legs work well for this purpose.  When these pieces are placed opposite a window, light is reflected back into a room.

Use Matte Paint on Ceilings and Walls

While reflective surfaces are a smart addition to dark apartments, glossy paint finishes don’t offer the same advantages.  They create glare rather than an even reflection of light in all directions.  Matte paint is the best choice for ceilings and walls.

NYC apartments can be dark, but incorporating these tips will help you to transform your space.  Your window shading specialist can help you decide which treatments will maximize natural light and create a bright, airy environment.

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