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Dr Dulux - How to brighten a dark room with white and off-white paint

If one of the rooms in your home has small windows, low ceilings, awkward angles or is north facing without much natural light, then it can easily feel darker than you’d like it to. But choosing the right paint colours can instantly uplift a room and make it feel lighter, brighter and nicer to spend time in!

This might seem obvious, but a light-coloured paint, rather than a darker one, will do the best job of brightening a dark room. And white paint is the best colour for the job. There are countless shades of white paint, from Absolute White to off whites with a hint of blue, purple, yellow or grey, but in a dark room it’s best to choose a warm white paint.

As well as paint, good lighting can go a long way in brightening and warming your space. Mirrors are also a great way to bounce light around your room, so hang mirrors on your window-facing wall to enhance the natural light in your room.

1. Relax in a cosy living space

Create a statement wall

A living room without much natural lighting doesn’t have to feel dingy. With the right colours, it can in fact feel cosy and welcoming. Paint your walls in an off white with a hint of yellow, like Morning Light or Primrose White to warm up the space.

Generally in a dark room we’d recommend painting the ceiling in a light colour too, however if you have high ceilings, a dark ceiling paired with bright white walls can in fact add to the cosiness of the space.

Add floor lamps for soft lighting that’ll help you relax.


2. Cook comforting meals in a calming kitchen

Create a statement wall

If your kitchen is feeling dark and uninspiring, then a fresh lick of white paint will soon change that. Try off white with a hint of lavender for a contemporary and soothing kitchen, like Chalky White 3.

If you’re prepared for a full kitchen makeover, replace your kitchen cabinet doors with fresh white ones, and opt for a shiny finish to help bounce light around the room.

Add low-hanging pendant lighting over areas where you’ll be working the most – not only will this help you to see what you’re doing, but it’ll also add a nice brightness to the room. Your kitchen will soon be transformed it into a room fit for creativity – prepare to be amazed at what you rustle up!


3. Sleep soundly with soothing tones

Create a statement wall

Your bedroom should be a place that helps you to feel instantly calm and relaxed, and while you might think that a dark bedroom would have that effect, dinginess can in fact feel oppressive and uninviting. To brighten up a dark bedroom, paint the walls in a warm and relaxing off white with tones of cream or peach, like Fine Cream or Jasmine White.

Accessorise the room with other soothing tones, like blissful blues, peaceful lilacs and sunny yellows, and add bedside lamps for mood lighting come night time.

Discover more white and cream bedroom ideas.

4. Indulge in your delightful dining room

Create a statement wall

Mix and match different shades of off white for an interesting and contemporary dining room scheme that’ll instantly uplift a dark space. Pair a cooler shade with a grey undertone, like Delicate Veil, with a warmer shade with a beige undertone, like Almond White.

To maximise the feeling of brightness, furnish the room with light-coloured furniture, a white tablecloth and other neutral-toned accessories.

Discover the perfect shade of Dulux off white paint, and explore the Dulux Easycare range. It’s our most durable paint, and will keep all those high traffic areas stain-free for longer.

In need of more white paint inspiration? Discover how to make the most of white shades with our white and neutral decorating ideas.


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