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story.lead_photo.caption Light bedding and large mirrors make a master bedroom with only an interior window as its light source feel open and bright.

Typically dark, drab and cavelike, windowless rooms tend to pose a challenge. In many instances they cannot be counted as bedrooms in a home and often become the space that is most difficult to determine proper function and, of course, how to add light. Here are some tips on ways to shed light on windowless spaces.

DO

  1. Add plenty of mirrors. Mirrors in a windowless space instantly act as "windows" and will make a small space feel larger.
  2. Consider size and scale. Proper scale is key in these spaces, so they don't feel stuffed or closed in.
  3. Add plenty of extra light. Light sources -- ideally three to four different types -- will help prevent a windowless room from feeling overly dark.
  4. Consider adding an interior window or clerestory. Adding an interior window will help as far as emitting some light.
  5. Go light and bright. Light colors such as white, taupe and beige will help make a windowless space feel brighter.

DON'T

  1. Overdo it with dark colors. Dark or darker shades of warm colors will cause walls to visually recede and will close in a space.
  2. Discard windowless rooms. These spaces can still be functional and purposeful. Common uses can be home offices and even nurseries.
  3. Overlook artwork. Artwork plays a key role in adding interest to a windowless space.
  4. Forget greenery, accents and accessories. These spaces should shine and be presented just like any other room in your home.
  5. Introduce too many colors into a windowless space. A palette of two to three colors will help the space maintain a clean, fresh look.

Cathy Hobbs, based in New York, is a television host and interior design and home staging expert.

Photo by TNS/Design Recipes
A light-colored area rug and light-colored furniture make a windowless lower level feel bright and welcoming.

HomeStyle on 05/11/2019

Print Headline: Shedding light on dark rooms

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