If there’s a room in your house that looks eternally gloomy, no matter how bright it is outside, there are plenty of tricks you can use to breathe more light into the space.
From making the most of the natural light available, to sneaky cheats that create the illusion of light, even the dingiest room can appear bright and airy.
“Architectural influences, such as the direction in which your home faces and the size of your windows are obvious ways in which to get light into your home," says Rebecca Tucker, interior designer and co-founder of Suna Interior Design.
"However, there are plenty of ways to enhance the light that you already have, creating a feeling of lighter, brighter rooms, without completely rebuilding and repositioning your home.”
And brightening your living space is not just a question of aesthetics. Research suggests it can have a major impact on your mood, too.
Previous studies have found that people are more optimistic about the stock market, report higher wellbeing and are more helpful during sunny days, whereas being exposed to gloomy days for long periods of time can result in depressive feelings, according to Alison Jing Xu, assistant professor at the University of Toronto.
Ling, who carried out a study on the effects of bright lights on the emotions, also found that in a brighter room, people feel emotions more intensely.
Jemma Cowen, interior designer and founder of JC Decor agrees that a brighter room can have a positive impact on our wellbeing: “Light bright rooms are essential in lifting and brightening our moods and getting us motivated for the day ahead.”
We asked Rebecca and Jemma to offer their expert tips on bringing a little extra sunshine into our homes and our lives: