DIY Bedroom Makeover ON A BUDGET (PART 2)

Once Spring is nodding it’s head with sunny highlights, your home can sometimes feel dark and dim. It might be that you have a dark room or a dull corner within a room, which usually becomes an unused space that feels cold and unloved.

Most of us want a light and bright room because it makes you feel uplifted, positive and happier. It can also help your focus better and lowers anxiety. If you’re anything like me, you love seeing holiday images of sunny rooms, with big open windows and an amazing view, that encapsulate holiday time to rest and relax.

Photo: Pexels Rachel Claire

You can’t always be on holiday but there is a wealth of things that you can do to make your home happy, bright and sunny.

When your space is dark, it’s caused by a variety of reasons that factor into poor lighting, so I’ll give you my DESIGNER LIGHTING TIPS that will help you create your light and bright space.

These are the 3 most common reasons why your room is dark:

  • Not enough natural light getting into your room
  • Natural light being blocked (usually by curtains/blind) in your room
  • Artificial light in the wrong place

Let’s take a look at each of these issues and I’ll show you how to fix them.


It might sound too simplistic, but if your room is dark then the problem could could be that you’re not getting enough light into your space. This is often overlooked if you focus on the light that’s in your room rather than the how the natural light enters your space. It’s usually caused by trees/plants or tall buildings outside the window that are preventing natural light from flowing into your home.

Photo: Pexels Charles Parker

Take a look at this photo with the window on the left beautifully adorned with flowers in a window basket. It looks lovely but that room will be very dark because the plants are preventing about 90% of the natural light from entering the room.

If you have a dark room, firstly take a look outside to make sure that there are no plants blocking the light. Can you trim a tree/bush/plant to allow more natural light into your home?


Once you’ve had a look outside, to make sure all of the available natural light can firstly enter your window, it’s time to analyse what might be blocking that light inside your home. It’s often a problem with the style/fabric of your window treatments (curtains/blinds) or your choice of paint.

This was a bedroom that I was asked to review because it was dark, dated and drab.

Photo: GA Interiors (Before Makeover)

The curtains, although beautifully made, took over the window so that any natural light struggled to enter into the room. The paint colour was also a weird green that sapped the energy in the space. It needed to be bright and cheerful, so here’s the transformation.

Photo: GA Interiors (Bedroom Transformation)

I changed the colour scheme in the room with pale grey on the walls and crisp white bedding, highlighted with a sumptuous calming blue for the curtains and accessories.

To add a designer touch, I designed automated curtains so that you don’t even have to get out of bed to adjust them. This helps you wake up gently as the soft filtered light enters the bedroom. It’s far gentler than having a stark artificial light waking you up.

Lighting, particularly in your bedroom, is not just on or off but a light show of subtlety to gently help you sleep or wake feeling invigorated. Check out my CURTAIN VIDEO to see how the curtains softly close and open.

In next week’s blog (Part 3), I’ll share with you STRESS FREE WAYS FOR CHOOSING WINDOW TREATMENTS for your CHALLENING WINDOWS.


I see many homes and I’m always intrigued with the lighting choices for each room. Take a look at this bedroom that I recently modernised. The room only had one sad and dull light bulb for lighting.

Photo: GA Interiors (Bedroom Before Makeover)

The pendant light was useful for general light to move about the bedroom safely, but it wasn’t attractive and didn’t provide task lighting for reading in bed. It was also in an unusual position in the room because it wasn’t central to anything – it wasn’t in the centre of the room or centred over the bed. As well poor lighting, it also looked odd in the room. So, it needed to be changed.

When choosing lighting in your room, think about the furniture layout and how you’re going to use the room. For example, if you have a favourite chair then you might position a light nearby for reading. But, if you have a breakfast bar island in a kitchen then you might need overhead lights that look lovely but also provide you with sufficient task lighting for mealtimes. How you use your room will influence the type of lighting you need and where’s best to place it.

With this being a bedroom, the main feature would be the bed and any reading lights would be either side of the bed so that there’s a light for each person in the bed. Options for lights include table lamps or wall lights. As the owner has seizures, I chose wall lights so that the bedside tables would be clear of anything that might be knocked off during a fit.

Photo: GA Interiors (Bedroom Transformation)

The wall lights were flexible, enabling them to be moved to different positions. This can be particularly useful of you have different height partners or want to adjust the light to a variety of places. You could also choose lights that are dimmable if you prefer the flexibility for subtle or stronger light.

Notice the ceiling flush pendant light that’s white to match the wall lights. This creates a sense of symmetry, blending the lights together as a stylish group rather than individual pieces. The inside of the pendant light has a silver reflective coating that helps to throw light around the room, rather than just keeping it focused downwards onto the bed.

It’s now a comfortable and relaxing bedroom that looks bright and refreshing – a perfect bedroom sanctuary.

If you’ve recently moved into your new home and you’re finding it difficult to settle, read CHAPTER 5 of my interior design book – A HOME TO CHERISH. It will guide you on how to create A SENSE OF BELONGING for any room in your home.

I hope this has helped you understand how to transform your room from dark to bright:

  • Review the outside of your window to ensure natural light can easily enter into your home
  • Check your window treatments and paint colours so that you’re not blocking the natural light
  • Ensure any artificial light supports how you’re going to use the room

If you’re modernising your home and don’t know how to stop it feeling dark, drab and dated,
just phone me for a chat and I’ll help you create your perfect brilliantly light and stylish home.



BIID Interior Designer & House Dr Consultant

M: 07841 519802