In a city where finding the “perfect apartment” may take years of searching, it’s no surprise that New Yorkers end up in apartments lacking certain features, like large windows or well-lit rooms. Fortunately, Mirador agent and amateur designer, Jessica Milton, has shared with us 6 room-brightening tips and tricks she has seen over the years as a NYC real estate agent.
1. Paint your walls with a bright, high-gloss paint.
Everyone knows how much a fresh coat of paint can transform a room, but using glossy paint can make all the difference in a dark apartment. “Glossy paints allow light to bounce of the walls in really beautiful ways,” Jessica says. Making sure you choose a bright color is also super important while repainting. “I just repainted my living room two weekends ago from off-white to white and it made a huge difference,” she says. Jessica adds another exclusive tip: “I bought Kraftsman paint from this little landlord paint shop called Selbowitz & Glaubiger Paints in Brooklyn. It’s so much cheaper than Home Depot,” she says.
2. Choose decorations that emphasize the best parts of your room.
Emphasize positive, open parts of your room through strategic placement of stylish decor. “If you have high ceilings, decorate to the top to pull the eye up,” Jessica says.
3. Create pockets of lighting on walls and ceilings.
Light from walls and ceiling lamps can spread to brighten up the entire room. “Avoid floor lamps,” Jessica advises, “Light coming from a source that isn’t a wall or ceiling can draw attention to the dark around it.”
4. Choose the furniture that blends with your walls.
“A white shelving unit on a white wall will keep a room more open feeling [as opposed to] a walnut shelf,” Jessica says. The stark contrast between furniture and walls can make a room feel cluttered and dark.
5. Use accent colors.
While too much contrast with colors can make a room appear darker, using an accent color will “add a feeling of depth and make the brighter tones pop,” Jessica says, “just make sure it is glossy.” Another great way to use accent colors is with tapestries. “Recently I was showing a unit with a dark bedroom. The girl hung [a] woods scene tapestries in the corner of the room and it opened [the space] up tremendously,” she says.
6. Use mirrors.
A classic way to add light to dark apartments is by adding mirrors. “The goal is to bounce light...mirrors help tremendously with that,” Jessica says.