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Brighten your mood by brightening your living room


With the summer coming, you might think it’s time to refresh your living space.  Sparkling white walls may suggest this summer style and would undoubtedly offset beautiful interior furniture like a velvet accent chair.  Yet, if you are wondering how to brighten a dark room, there may be other colour schemes and themes that will work wonders on your mood.  You can draw on inspiration from the outside to bring welcome mindfulness to your living space.

Bring the coast indoors

Being inspired by the outdoors does not mean being bowled over by bright colours.  Not all of us feel relaxed in bold hues, and this may work to darken your room if you are not careful.  You could draw on the colour scheme of the coast, using the stones and pebbles from the beach to give a muted palette of greys and light blues.  Importantly, you should seek to give depth to this design by also capturing some of the textures too.  For instance, you could use distressed woods and baskets, as well as glass accessories to glisten in the sun.

Having such muted colours on the walls, floors and windows, removing heavy drapes and materials, opens a room.  It also allows you to have one bright piece of furniture to act as a feature piece. If you feel braver, then you could genuinely invigorate your living room by using bright blues and vibrant yellows – really bringing the seaside home.  You could even accent these with hints of white with some moments of lime green.  This might seem far from relaxing, but you will definitely bring the holiday into your home.

Feel inspired by Prickly Plants

If you include succulents, which you might know as cacti, you will be right on trend.  These are hardy plants that are easy to live with and will transform a once dour winter space into a summer haven.  You can go small and choose mini Aeonium, or you can take on the majesty of the giant sculptural cactus on the American desert west.  If you mix this with open windows and wooden, stripped back floors, you will bring a modern brightness to your space.  Remember, even in a room of white walls and wooden floors; you can add a hint of colour with a vibrant sofa or a distinctive coffee table.

If the interior designer includes cacti, then they would layer colours around this feature.  The small touches of colour in the rugs and the seat covers will hint at the succulents and give a sense of fun to your area.

Be bold with orange

The idea of using orange may feel a step too far.  It could more effectively be called a step back in time, as it might shout 1960s pop art.  However, orange accessories in a white room are on trend and do a lot to bring sunshine into a darkened space.

You do not have to choose the most garish of oranges.  If you took a more burnished orange, you could get the lightness of mood but without going too over the top.  Remember, the orange is there as an accent colour, to counter plain walls and floors.  This is a great cost saving approach, as when the winter comes and you fancy something cosier, then you can change the covers, cushions and curtains and change that accent.

Lighten up and brighten up

One of the simplest ways to attract light into your space is to remove darker colours.  A mixed palette of lighter colours can not only bring the sunshine in, but it also gives a classic colonial feel to a living space.  You can always mix this up a little.  You can add some large leafed ferns to give a tropical feel to this everyday space.  If you want a more country-style, then decorate with some flowering house plants.  Remember too that the choice of prints on your walls can move you from colonial, to tropical, to the cottage.  A small detail could make all the difference, and the plain colours could act as your perfect backdrop.


Let’s make this simple.  Bright or light colours will make your space happier.  If you choose muted tones, then add statement pieces that bring the intensity.  If you have a plain backdrop, then you are free to play with accessories that can draw sunlight into your living space.

Anna Sharples

Office and marketing manager for Sloane & Sons Stylish Chairs, who sell a range of high-quality tub chairs, accent chairs and more.


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