These work! Here’s 15 great ways to make a dark basement feel brighter. From QUICK & EASY DIYS to remodeling ideas to brighten a basement.
Ways To Make A Dark Basement Feel Brighter
Basements can be a real bummer if they feel like a dark dungeon. Especially when you’re family doesn’t even want to go down there.
But, there are tons of great ways to brighten a dark basement and turn it into the comfy family retreat that it can be. In fact,
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Be sure to check out my list of ways to brighten a dark bathroom, if you need tips for that room too. OK, let’s get started on my favorite ways to make a basement feel brighter.
16 Ways To Brighten A Basement
1. Use Mirrors To Bounce Light Around The Room
You’ve probably heard this before, but it really works! Hanging a few well placed mirrors can brighten a dark basement by reflecting more light around the room.
Before you hang the mirror, try holding them up in different parts of the room, during the day, to see where you get the most light reflected.
Having mirrors opposite windows or near light bulbs will help to reflect more light.
2. Are Blinds And Curtains Blocking Your Light?
Basements typically don’t get much natural light. So, be sure you let as much in as possible by keeping curtains open and blinds drawn ALL the way UP during the day.
Blinds left down with the slats open will still block some light. So, pull them up, especially during dark winters.
If your curtains are hung so that they still partially block your windows when open, try hanging them wider to let as much light into your dark basement as possible.
3. Give Your Windows A Deep Clean, Inside and Outside
You might get a BIG boost in light in your basement by just cleaning the outside of your windows.
Every Spring, our windows are covered in a coating of green pollen. I’m always shocked by how much brighter every room in my house is once I clean those windows inside and out.
So, if you have lots of Spring pollen or dusty Summers, try cleaning your windows to let more light in. It’s a cheap and easy fix for dark basements.
4. Clear Anything Blocking Sunlight Outside The Windows
Once those windows are clean and the blinds and curtains are out of the way, check for anything blocking sunlight OUTSIDE the windows.
Overgrown bushes, trees, and landscaping can easily block the sunlight at your basement windows.
Try trimming bushes and trees, removing some plants, or moving plants around to have beautiful flower beds and lots of light in your basement, at the same time.
5. Install Bigger Ceiling Lights
Here’s a pretty cheap and easy way to make a dark basement feel brighter, if you are comfortable replacing your own light fixtures. Replace any 1-bulb ceiling light fixtures with 3-bulb lights.
I’ve been doing this with the dark hallway, bathrooms, and dark closets in my house. Adding 2 extra bulbs in any area is a GAME CHANGER.
Don’t forget that dark stairway your basement too. Switch out all of the ceiling lights you can with ceiling lights that have more bulbs. Check out the 3-Bulb Drum Light I installed in our closets on Amazon.
6. Don’t Forget Table Lamps and Task Lighting
Make sure that you spread some table lambs, floor lamps, and wall lights around the room too. Proper lighting is critical when you want to brighten a dark basement.
Try to put a nice-sized lamp near any seating in your basement. Skip the tiny lamps that don’t produce much light.
If you don’t want to wire in for wall lights, you can find BEAUTIFUL plug-in and battery-powered wall sconces now. So, you can literally put them anywhere!
See a GREAT, Budget-Friendly LED Plug-In or Wireless Wall Sconces On Amazon.
7. Pick The Right Light Bulbs
Once you have enough lighting installed, you can improve the BRIGHTNESS of the light by switching to Daylight LED light bulbs. I’ve tried a bunch of different LED “color”.
In my opinion, DAYLIGHT LED bulbs produce a nice, natural-daylight feeling in a room. I’ve tried the other colors. They range from a yellow-light to a blue light.
The white light from Daylight bulbs can really help when you want to make a dark basement feel brighter.
8. Are Your Lamp Shades Light Enough
One more tip when it comes to lighting a dark basement, pick light shades too. Dark lamp shades, dark glass, or dark drum light covers will block some of the light.
So, whenever possible pick clear glass, white glass, or light fabric shades. Darker versions may look great, but they will block some of the light when you’re trying to brighten a dark basement.
9. Install An Exterior Door With Windows
Now, let’s talk about something a bit more expensive than the first 8 recommendations. If you are lucky enough to have a walk-out basement, can you install a door with a half or full window?
My parents have a walk-out basement with 2 full window French Doors. Those doors let SO MUCH light into that basement, it doesn’t even feel like you’re below ground level.
10. Try White Walls
I’m a HUGE FAN of the power of white walls. In fact, I’ve been slowly painting every room in my house white because I always think it improves every room I try it in.
White walls help to reflect light and they make it easier to see everything in the room. So, they’re a great background color that helps to make a basement feel brighter.
11. Switch From Flat To Eggshell Paint Sheen On The Ceiling
Using paint with a light sheen is also a nice, budget-friendly way to reflect light around a dark basement. I use Eggshell sheen on everything in my house, trim, walls, ceiling, doors, and everything else.
Eggshell is one of the lower sheens. But, it really reflects a lot of light and makes the room feel brighter without being so shiny that it highlights imperfections in the paint texture.
12. Remove The Screen, If Possible
I’m lucky enough to have a nice big window above my kitchen sink. But, I hated that the screen was collecting bugs and blocking my view. So, I removed the screen in that window (and a few others).
Removing the screen instantly improved the view and LET MORE LIGHT in. I never opened these windows, anyway. It’s too humid and hot for that in Houston.
Getting rid of the screens also prevented the yearly build up of dead bugs and spiders that I get between windows and screens
If you never open your basement windows, try removing the screens as a way to let more light into the room.
13. Remove Walls When Possible
If your basement is in need of a remodel anyway, try to redesign the layout in a way that keeps the windows in the rooms that need them.
Bedrooms and basement family rooms need windows a lot more than a basement home theater, bathroom, or closet.
Try to remove unnecessary walls, when possible. And, look at whether or not you can open up the stairway wall.
The stairs to my parents basement have the minimum amount of walls with 2 nice big windows halfway down the stairs that really helps to brighten a basement.
14. Lighten Up The Floors
Light flooring can also make a dark basement feel brighter. A light background makes it easier to see everything in a room, which tricks your brain into thinking the room is bright and open.
Light flooring is also a great background for a colorful area rug.
15. Go For Bigger Basement Windows Or Basement Window Wells
And, last but not least, if you have the budget for it, install bigger windows or large basement window wells. You can even have window wells installed with glass covers to prevent drainage issues.
I LOVE a good basement window well. They look great and they let tons of light into your basement. I also like that basement well windows are larger, which makes them a more functional escape route.
Check out popular examples of Basement Window Wells on Amazon.
Now, here’s a few more posts that will help you DECORATE your home.
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- 8 EASY Ways To DRY Paint Cans For Disposal (How To Harden Paint)
- 21 Cheap And Easy Ways To Make A Home Office Look Better!
- How To Put A Rug On Stairs LIKE A PRO: 10 Must-See Tips!
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Feeling inspired? Now you’ve seen this list of ways to make a dark basement feel brighter, get to work. And, good luck!