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No windows, few windows or little to no overhead lighting?

These issues can make a room or space feel overly dark. They are especially enhanced in small rooms or spaces that traditionally lack an abundance of light, such as basements or lower levels.

A below grade space is lightened through the use of transparent surfaces and light fabrics and textiles.
A below grade space is lightened through the use of transparent surfaces and light fabrics and textiles.

Scott Gabriel Morris, TNS

What are some ways to overcome the issue of a lack of light? Here are some top tips to help bring a sense of brightness and light into dark spaces.

1. Paint walls a light color. Light colors will help reflect light.

A lower level is made brighter through a creative placement of multiple mirrors.
A lower level is made brighter through a creative placement of multiple mirrors.

TNS

2. Use mirrors. Mirrors, especially hung in a series or grid, will go a long way in creating light and the illusion of more windows in a space.

Interior windows help add light to a space with few outdoor windows.
Interior windows help add light to a space with few outdoor windows.

TNS

3. Incorporate interior windows in rooms that don't have a window to the outside.

4. Consider installing a glass door to a room or space that doesn't get much light.

A bright, cheery recreational room is created in a basement with few windows.
A bright, cheery recreational room is created in a basement with few windows.

TNS

5. Choose light-colored fabrics, finishes and textiles.

6. Opt for glass or transparent surfaces, as this will help make a space feel lighter and less heavy.

7. Choose bright, cheery colors that can help mimic sunshine such as yellow, red and orange.

8. Incorporate artwork to bring light-colored elements into a space.

9. Install overhead recessed lighting if possible.

10. Go minimal. A room full of furniture will feel even smaller and darker than one in which less is more.

Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design and home staging expert.