How to Brighten the Room with Dark Furniture?

by Barbara
(Birmingham, AL)

Corner of room

Corner of room

Corner of room
Center of big wall
view of room from entrance


We looked at furniture in a store and it looked light brown there, maybe because it was close to a picture window. We ordered it and now it is very dark brown. I already know I made a mistake having sofa, love seat and chair all in the same fabric. The furniture is nice but the room needs help. The walls are ecru and I have very tall ceilings. Painting is not an option right now. All trim is bright white. Suggestions on how to brighten the room a bit? Tables, rugs and accessories are an option. Pictures are not the best, but I hope you can get the idea.


I’m sorry for delayed response; I was out for a week and couldn’t answer you earlier. I hope it’s not too late now. Thank you for your pictures, they definitely help to visualize the interior. First, I think your room is very nice even with the dark furniture. It doesn’t look gloomy. The wall painting is OK, since the colors are light and neutral, the wooden floor looks beautiful and overall room appearance doesn’t look too dark. It’s just a little bit boring. So all you need now is to find right home decor, which could enliven your interior. I recommend you to decide first about colors and patterns you would like to add to the room. Since the existing color scheme is mostly natural you may easily bring some additional shades to it. You can go for bright ones, such as red, burgundy, gold, bright green, yellow, turquoise or blue. Or, instead of bright colors you may keep the room light by choosing white, cream or light beige items and some wrought iron elements that will match your existing wall art and will bring an additional interest to the room. After deciding about colors and ornaments, you can start to look for right accessories. Here are some ideas for you:
  • Wall decor - you have a stunning wall art above the sofa, but it looks alone now. You may complement it with some other decorative wall pieces, such as wrought iron wall sconces or metal art. Click here to view some items you may consider.

  • Rugs - a large area rug, either traditional or contemporary can become a focal point of the entire room, or could just go together with other decor in the room.

  • Textile Decor and Window Treatment - table runners, slipcovers, and decorative pillows can bring light and elegance to the room and will create a feeling of comfort. Another advantage you may get with such accessories is that you can get several sets of them and can change them occasionally for creating different atmosphere in the room. The same will work with your window treatment: you may change your existing valance to more bright and vivid one.

  • Lighting - consider to bring additional lighting to brighten up your room during evening hours. As I said above, you can add wall scones with iron elements that will match your iron wall decor, or put table or floor lamps with attractive colored shades.
Browse also these books for additional ideas of how to decorate your room, how to choose the right colors and accessories, browse these books.
Happy decorating,

Still can't find what you are looking for? - Let Google search for you!

Comments for How to Brighten the Room with Dark Furniture?

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Jun 17, 2011
I did most of what you said
by: Barbara

Thank you so much for your response. I had family coming in so I worked like crazy accessorizing the room and they were like "wow". I am not sure it's a "wow" but it does look much more inviting. I found a contemporary rug with beautiful colors and it did become the focal point. I worked with the colors in the rug without overwhelming the rug. I wanted it to be the focal point. I put pops of green throughout the room. I also added very slight touches of blue and burnt red. Behind the brown chair is pulled a dressy green sheer to one side giving just a little color in the corner. Overall it turned out well.

I debated about the gorgeous metal art behind the sofa. I gave the piece to a daughter-in-law and instead put a picture there, a picture that continued to subtly bring in the green I used. I still think that picture needs more, so your ideas of wall sconces or metal art on the sides is great. I'll start looking. I like the idea of the table runner for the coffee table. That beats getting new tables right now.

You have been helpful with suggestions of what else is needed, and confirmed some of what I did. I will post new pics soon.

I am so glad I found this site. I love it!

Jun 17, 2011
Thank you for compiments!
by: Alina


Thank you for your kind words about my site. I'm so glad you found it helpful! I wish you to find really "wow" decor for your room. Go ahead and don't afraid to experiment. And please don't forget to post pictures of your new decor (click here to share them), I will publish them on their own page on my site and I'm sure my visitors will love to see them!

Good luck with decorating!

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Ask a Decorator.

[?] Subscribe To
This Site's Feed

Add to Google
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My MSN
Subscribe with Bloglines

Bookmark this page!

Join Us on Facebook

What's New:

Related Pages:

Photo Galleries: