Unless you live in a glasshouse, you probably have a room in your home that’s a little too dark. You’ll know if you have trouble reading in that particular place.

Dark rooms can have a negative effect on your mood and productivity. Natural light plays a role in making you feel more awake and energized. Being in a dark room can feel like being in a cave. During the day, your body will feel confused by the darkness.

Dark rooms can be caused by small windows, obstructions such as trees or buildings from outside, or position against the sun.

Here are some workable elements to lighten up the dark area in your home:

  1. Choose curtains that will maximize lightHeavy or dark curtains will limit light even more. If you can, do away with curtains altogether. If not, use sheer curtains or blinds that go all the way up.
  1. Stay away from deep or intense wall colorsStick to light colors that will make the room feel wider. White is the simplest option, but other light neutral and pastel shades work too.
  1. Make use of mirrors, glass, and glossy surfacesThink about where the light comes in from and place reflective surfaces accordingly. Items you can use include mirrored closet doors and glass tables. Try to place mirrors adjacent to the light source.
  1. Light and reflective applies to other items in the room tooIf you’re in a bedroom, stick to white or light bedsheets. If you’re in the living room, keep the glossy floors mostly uncovered. Use reflective frames on the wall.
  1. Help artificial lights shineGo for spotlights or shades that are barely there. Don’t go for complicated lights as they will limit light even more. Keep in mind that even a dark ceiling can make a room feel heavy, so make sure artificial light can reach there.
  1. Think about what’s in the framesKeep paintings and photos light colored and not intense.
  1. Keep the room unclutteredClutter will make the room look even drabber and feel more energy-draining.

What do you do help lighten up a dark room? Do you work better in dark places or light places?