"I used to decorate my house with accessories I already have. But I would like to lighten my decor, but I still don’t know what to do. What should I begin with? Paint? Furniture?"
Roger - Moncton, New Brunswick
To increase the feeling of space, use bright neutral colours – keep feature zones painted plain and add patterns with artwork and accessories. Painting a low ceiling two or three shades lighter than the walls will increase the feeling of height while dark flooring and light walls will have a dramatic effect on the overall feeling of space.
To increase space and light, allow natural illumination to flood through windows without obstruction. As such, wave goodbye to clusters of windowsill ornaments and heavy curtains and say hello to clear surfaces with smart blinds or simple drapes. Clean windows will also make a huge difference. Use mirrors to reflect and intensify the amount of natural daylight and place them opposite windows for maximum effect.
Good lighting will create atmosphere, so opt for something more versatile than a single pendant hanging from the middle of the ceiling. A spread of spotlights will add a modern vibe to even the dowdiest room and should be fitted with a dimmer switch to alter the mood from flood lit to cozy cool at the twist of a dial. Lighting such as directional spots can also be used to highlight architectural features, paintings and furniture to dramatic effect.