Windowless rooms can be dark, dreary, and just plain sad - but unfortunately they're a fact of some homes. If this is the case in your home don't graciously accept defeat - fight it! There are plenty of ways to detract from the fact there's no window and turn your sad cave into a cheerful retreat.
Here are a few tips:
Choose a Focal Point
First thing’s first – establish a focal point. It could be a fireplace mantle, entertainment unit, a bold piece of art – anything.
When people come into the room their eyes will be immediately drawn to the focal point and it will distract form the fact there’s no window. It will also be a big help when it comes to arranging furniture.
Fake a Window
Sometimes faking it is the best way to go. Find a large mirror that takes up a good amount of wall space and then hang curtains on either side. The effect can be twofold – one is that it can establish a focal point as discussed above, but mirrors also reflect light so you’ll maximize whatever light is on the room. Here's a great example.
Disperse Light Evenly
It’s important to have all types of lighting (table lamps, overhead fixtures, etc.) but in windowless rooms you also want to make sure the light is evenly dispersed. The best way is with pot lights spaced evenly throughout the ceiling. You don't want any areas of the room to be darker than others or it will lend to the dreary feeling you often get in rooms without windows.
Choose the Right Light Bulbs
The temperature of light bulbs can have a huge impact on how a room looks and feels. In a windowless room you’ll want to make sure to use “daylight” bulbs. These bulbs are a clear, bright light as opposed to the softer yellow that tends to work in living rooms and bedrooms.
Use Mirrors to Your Advantage
Mirrors reflect light, so use them and use them often. Hang several throughout the room in order to maximize the amount of light reflected. And don’t be afraid to think outside the box (or frame!) – mirrored furniture is a great way to get the same effect and add a little glamour.
Metallics and Reflective Surfaces
Like mirrors metallic finishes reflect light and add a little sparkle. Think about hanging some art or photos in metallic frames, or decorate with metallic accents like vases and candlesticks. Also consider reflective surfaces like crystal. A crystal chandelier (especially if the crystals are faceted) can reflect a lot of light.
Keeping the furniture lines clean and streamlined will help keep the room from looking crowded, fussy, and dark. Avoid overstuffed sofas and chairs, heavily carved casegoods, and unnecessary embellishments. A lighter-feeling room will help detract from the lack of a window.
Decorate With Light Colors
Decorating with light colors (light, not bland!) will help create an airy feeling. It will make the space feel open which will make the need for a window feel less important. Just be sure not to use too many contrasting colors.
Too many will be jarring and will make the space feel crowded. Just avoid gloomy colors at all costs!