One of the best ways to improve the overall look of your home is to use colors and lighting.  Changing the color of a room or how light is used can make a huge difference on its appeal and the atmosphere it produces.  The great thing with using lighting and color is that you can make it work even with a small budget.  Here are some tips on how to maximize the use of lighting and color to change the look of your home.

white ceilingWhite Ceiling

How can painting the ceiling white improve your home?  Darker colors on ceilings or putting dark-colored wooden beams will give the room a gloomy ambience.  About two cans of white paint can give a fresher look not only to the ceiling but the entire room in general.  Bright white will also be able to reflect light to make it look bigger.  Even if the walls are white, using white on the ceiling will still have a positive effect.

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Limit Accents

Most of us have our favorite colors and would want to use it as the theme for our rooms.  However, when playing with colors, it is important to remember that bold and bright colors work better when used for walls or trimmings.  Rooms that have a dark color will have a feeling of space or emptiness.

Do you really want to use dark colors?  Settle for green, red, dark blue, or some rich color and use it for a smaller wall.  Use lighter colors on the other walls.  Incorporating colors will eliminate the feeling of darkness especially if the accent trim is placed along the ceiling.  For a more festive mood, use contrasting colors for the door trim and the baseboards.

natural light

Natural Light

Working with a dark room means dealing with limited amounts of natural light.  Windows are the best sources of natural light, but, if they are blocked with blinds or dark shades, you have to find other ways of brightening the room.

One way to brighten the room is to choose light-colored and airy window covers.  This allows for ample amounts of light to enter the room without sacrificing its ability to filter it.  You can also use blinds, but stick with cloth blinds made from light fabrics and not totally opaque.  Wooden and plastic blinds will completely block out all natural light.

overhead lighting

Overhead Lighting

Opt for soft perimeter lights for your overhead lighting.  Harsh overhead lights will only emphasize the natural dark characteristics of the room.  Be careful in choosing the type of artificial lighting you use.  Do not overdo it with fluorescent lights, you want to preserve a pleasant and natural look as much as possible.

Track lighting is an option you can explore because of its ability to brighten the room without the harsh atmosphere effect.  Strategically place floor lamps fitted with light-colored shades to allow light to be diffused to the entire room.

brighter bulb

Brighter Bulbs

Another way to brighten and liven the room is to replace your current bulbs with higher intensity ones.  There was a time when CFL (Compact Fluorescent bulbs) were the choice because of their lower wattage and significantly higher light output.  However, today, LED (Light Emitting Diode) lighting are more preferred because even with a lower wattage, it can still produce higher intensity light levels compared to CFL bulbs.

lantern and cozy

Dark and Cozy

If you truly and really must or want to go dark, at least make it dark and cozy.  Adding a more natural feel will make the room more comfortable.  Use deep and rich colors with heavy decorations will give it that old-fashioned appeal.

With a bit of creativity, you can actually mix and match these tips to find what works best for you.  Home improvement after all is still a matter of preference.