What happens when a room is devoid of windows? With no access to the outside world, natural light has no way to reach inside, oxygen is nowhere to be found and on top of it all the enclosed space can become claustrophobic! It sounds a very dark place do be, doesn’t it?
One of the hardest tasks for a home is to decorate a windowless room, whether that is the basement, bedroom, bathroom or dressing room. One must be very savvy to replace the natural benefits that windows give in ambiance, warmth and freshness. But being savvy is far away from being impossible! There are numerous decorative tricks to be used to mimic the benefits of windows from playing with colour schemes to using large mirrors.
Hence, we decided to compile a list with 7 ways to brighten up your windowless room.
Thus far, we have discussed ways of simulating light in absence of windows. The oldest trick in the book for imitating the influence of window is by placing a large mirror in the room. Windows, as smooth surfaces, have the amazing ability to reflect light and great an enlarging perception to the enclosed room.
If you ever feel that the walls are closing in on you, a mirror will break the claustrophobic sensation by adding dimensions to the room. In essence a faux window, the mirror can be placed up against a wall, behind the seating area or transform it to the centrepiece of the room. If the walled room suffers from a low ceiling, an oversized mirror close to the ceiling can distract the eyes from the close proximities of the space.
When choosing colour schemes there is one principle that you should have in mind: reflection. Since there is no natural light to penetrate inside, you can imitate it with white or pale blue hues on the walls that will bounce off light from any other light source.
You can opt for a unison colour scheme for both walls and ceiling, so as to drive attention towards the objects that they surround. But in a windowless room, apart from choosing colour schemes you should also consider the finish.
Having in mind the principle of reflection, satin, semi-gloss or high-gloss paints will help light bounce off better than flat or egg-shell finishes. There is one catch though his gloss finishes; they highlight imperfections. So, you need to prepare your walls meticulously before glossing them up!
Since the absence of windows means no natural light, it falls to reason that the room should have adequate lighting sources with a few twists. For example, if a pendant light hangs in the room, lower it a little bit more so as the proximity with the objects helps it achieve a soft glow. You can also strip the pendant and expose the bulb for an extra touch of brightness.
To imitate sunlight coming from a window, you can place floor lamps behind furniture, tuck hidden lights between beams or hide them next a bookshelf. It will trick your senses in believing that the indirect glow is natural light. Not to mention it will add a secretive allure! As the image above depicts, the pendants were abandoned for the hanging lamps to give an extra glow while they have been asymmetrically lowered to highlight the table.
For more lighting inspiration, you might like to check out: Home Lighting Designs You'll Love.
In a windowless room walls aren’t the only features that you will take into consideration for brightening up the room. The way you will treat the floor will make a lot of difference. Thus, if you have rugs or carpets, go for bright accents of red and blue to bring a playful character into the room.
The same will go for tiles. In the picture above, for example, the bathroom has adopted tiles in blue hues that go beyond the floor and cover the walls. It gives it a sense of maturity while it reflects the much needed light. Another option for floors will be vinyl, which comes in an array of colours and designs. However, be careful with vinyl as it has proven it self very stubborn to be removed once it has been installed.
As well as flooring, another feature to consider are the furniture. Try to adopt simplistic lines and patterns on the furniture as it will make the room appear less crowded. The same will apply for their size. It’s a simple equation: the more open the room feels, the brighter it will appear. Regarding their colour, once more the principle of reflection will come in play.
Use furniture that are made of glass, polished nickel, dark marble and translucent acrylic to help light bounce off and highlight the room. The image illustrates how a glass top coffee table surrounded by white side tables and a couch in grey hues can bring brightness to a room, while the simple lines of the furniture help in amplifying the space.
It is fairly obvious that without fresh air rushing into the room, you will need a source to remover toxins and introduce oxygen. There is no other better, healthier and natural way to do it with plants!
Notwithstanding the freshness they will breathe into the enclosed space, plants can also add to the brighter mood you are trying to set. However not all plants are suited for windowless rooms. The best choices will be cast iron plants, snake plants, Chinese evergreen and peace lily as they can all tolerate low-light conditions.
An art piece can have similar effects with a mirror in creating a faux window on the wall. However the mantra in decorating a windowless room is: the less the merrier. If you overfill the space with personal accessories, whether that is art, furniture or even plants, the lack of windows will make it feel crammed.
Thus, opt for a single large painting and if it's possible try to include a white or metallic frame. In the picture, a clever themed painting separated in three parts has been erected upon the wall to bring together the minimalistic attitudes of the room.
While it seems to be a difficult task to decorate a windowless room, by adopting a few tricks the need of windows will feel redundant. Perhaps, redundant is a strong word to use, but in any case the room can replicate the benefits of windows!