How To Brighten Up A Dull Home


If you're looking around your home, and it makes you feel sad – it's a sign you need to take action and make some changes that will brighten it up.

Bethany Armstrong, interior designer at Hue Designs, offers some tips and tricks to help you brighten up your home.

Out with the old.

''Remove all tired, well-worn materials such as old pillows, throws, and accessories. Replace them with a mix of patterns, colours and textures to add interest. This works in any room, such as the bathroom where you can remove the bath mat, shower curtain, towels, etc. ''

Consider your overall colour scheme. Is everything the same tone?

''Brightening doesn't always mean you need to paint everything white. It means you need to mix it up! There should be a base colour and accent colours so your eyes are engaged.

''You might always gravitate to turquoise blue but if everything is that same colour, it doesn't do much. Add an accent colour like a vibrant red-orange, deep magenta, grass green, or bright white. By doing this, you now have a wow factor.

''Even if you have monochromatic colour scheme, it will only be successful if you have layers of tones, textures, and patterns.''

Add metal and accent furniture.

''The reflection of a metal accessory or piece of accent furniture will help to bounce light and colour. If every piece of furniture is the same, it can feel dull. Accent furniture is a great opportunity to bring in a bold patterned fabric that you might not use on a large couch. It's also easier to replace if tastes change. An ottoman or side chair can be just enough for a bright colour or bold pattern to energise the room.''

Light, light, light.

''It's important to layer light in any house. Your task lighting is crucial but not always the most decorative. Layering ambient and accent lighting with the task light sources give you options, depth, dimension and interest. Whether you're reading a book, cooking, or entertaining, you need to have various light sources. It helps change the mood and feel of any room.''

Entrance envy.

''Your front door is the first impression and if it's dull and tired, your house will feel the same. Front doors are the perfect place to add colour that you love but wouldn''t want to use in large applications.

''Don't be afraid to add colour or drama to your front door and choose wisely. If you go for a super bright, high energy chartreuse green door with your grey exterior, you don't need to paint your shutters that colour also. You can, however, bring in that bold green in the planters on your stoop paired with a welcome mat. It's all about balance.''

Plants, plants, plants.

''Bring in house plants to add life and energy to your home. There are so many choices that range from basically zero-care to downright finicky.

''Make sure you pick the ones that make sense for your lifestyle and they will add joy to your house.

*Plants provide life and freshness to any interior space. BONUS , they never go out of style!

Declutter and organise

'' A dull feeling may be the result of too much stuff. Go through your rooms and remove anything that isn't being used often. A room can feel dull and weighed down by having an overabundance of furniture.''

Other tips:


Gwen Kenny of Dublin's Divine Design says ''the least expensive update to a room is painting. You can not only change the look but also the feel of the room with paint.

''Painting outdated wooden furniture, fireplaces and doors with modern and on trend colours is a great way to update on a budget.''

Brighten up your bedroom

Paint is one way to brighten up any room, but if you're looking for a less intensive project, try going through your old photos and choosing a couple to display. Whether you want all landscapes, family photos, or a mix, choose your favourite pictures and frame them. Keep in mind that the more personality your pictures have, the more they will add to your room.

Your bedroom will quickly go from dull and drab to exciting.

Maximising light from windows is key.

Interior designer, Mary Schulte says, ''utilising sheer curtains instead of heavy fabric brings the room together and ensures you're not holding back that beautiful natural brightness of the day.

''Mirrors help reflect the light and give the illusion of space. It's also helpful to keep tall items away from the windows and maintain a clutter-free home for optimal everyday brightness''

Add a sense of movement to the home

Feng shui expert, Donna Stellhorn feels it's important to add a sense of movement to the home.

She says, ''this can be done by adding things that move , like a fish tank with happy fish, or pictures of things that move (cars, boats, plants, etc.)

''You can also get a sense of movement and energy from moving water in the house in the form of a fountain,'' she adds.

Brighten up your kitchen

The easiest way to brighten up your kitchen and make it more inviting is to paint your existing kitchen cabinets. You don't need to go through the hassle of a full kitchen renovation, just add a little colour to your dark or old cabinets to instantly freshen up the space. Depending on your style, a fresh coat of white or even a fun, bright colour will turn your kitchen into the place guests want to gather and spend their time.


Evan Harris, CEO, SD Equity Partners.

Donna Stellhorn, Feng Shui Expert

Shane Pliska, President, Planterra

Bethany Armstrong, Interior Designer, Hue Designs

Mary Schulte, Interior Designer, Open Home.

Gwen Kenny, Interior Designer, Divine Design.