How To Transform A Dark Room Into A Bright And Cheerful Space

I can recall the moment many years ago when I first viewed the house that was to become my new home. It was easily the best option I had found amongst the dozens of properties I had visited and I knew as soon as I crossed the threshold that I would buy it. It had a much more open feel and sensible layout that the other houses except for the second bedroom where the architect and house builder had clearly had a bit of a nightmare!

Lack of Light

The second bedroom had a small dormer window which restricted the amount of light in the room and the sloped ceilings around the window together with a bank of ugly fitted wardrobes opposite combined to make the space feel claustrophobic and smaller than it actually was. Something had to be done and it was going to take more than a lick of paint.

Going Coastal

It was with great joy that the cupboards were demolished and immediately the room felt larger and more open but the key to success was going to be choosing a decorative scheme that would have a light and airy feel and that would suit a modern home built in the mock Tudor style. I settled on the New England style with its bright and breezy feel and timeless qualities as it can be incorporated successfully into almost any style of architecture without looking out of place.

How To Transform A Dark Room Into A Bright And Cheerful Space

Blue and White

The walls of the room were originally a rather unpleasant and oppressive dark yellow and not helped by the 1980’s Artex ceiling but when the Artex was removed and the walls were painted white it was a very different story and suddenly that small window was easily enough to keep the room bright and airy. To avoid too much expanse of white and to add a focal point to the room I papered one wall in a jaunty blue and white striped design that was simple yet striking and added complementary striped curtains to the window.


Simple white New England style furniture and blue cushions and throws looked perfect in the space and limed wood flooring was reminiscent of driftwood and kept the room bright. The addition of a few nautically themed accessories like an oar and little boats added interest whilst a large porthole lantern filled the previously wasted space in the recess in front of the Dormer window. My favourite accessory was a gorgeous wooden lighthouse that sat perfectly on a chest of drawers opposite the door to the room.

The Finishing Touch

The final flourish was a large wall mirror positioned facing the window to ensure that light flooded into the room from all angles. Suddenly what seemed like a room that would always be a little dark and oppressive was now a light and airy space with a timeless feel and I couldn’t believe that it was the same room.

A Great Success

The entire project did cost over £3000 but it was money well spent and probably added a great deal to the value of the house. The second bedroom had felt small and dark and could have been a deal breaker when I came to sell the property. Now it was an amazing space that felt twice the size and would appeal to buyers of all ages.

Sally Stacey is a keen writer who is renovating her home room by room.