when white isn’t right…
low-light solutions

The current trend for bright white walls is charming, and we love it. But white isn’t always right. Chances are, you have at least one space in your home that lacks an abundance of natural light. What to do with these dim spaces? The first step is simple. Don’t go all white.

White paint in low lighting is going to look gray, drab, and even dingy. Not the look anyone wants. All-white rooms work, they’re beautiful. But they need lots of bright sunlight to work. If white isn’t the answer to a too dark room, what is?

This charming farmhouse is a perfect example. The plain white walls are nice, but lacking abundant natural light, the room lacks punch and drama. It’s nice, but that’s it.

Instead of trying to lighten the room, think about intensifying the room. This is the opportunity to go for rich, saturated colors that you could never use anywhere else. It can create a deep, dramatic space, or the feeling of a cozy nook, depending on how you accessorize.

Start with heavily pigmented low- or no-VOC paint, often referred to as “full-spectrum”. The more pigment in your paint, the more opaque and intense the color, and the better the effect on the walls in your dark room. Heavily-pigmented paints reflect more light, which helps when you’re going a darker color.

Choose an eggshell finish for some extra punch. Flat is too flat, and semi-gloss too glossy. An eggshell finish is the perfect balance to reflect a bit of light, give your walls a subtle sheen, and still look rich. It’s almost like dressing your walls in a matte satin. Plus, eggshell is easier to clean than flat—great for when you’ve got pets or kids.

If you just don’t like the idea of going dark, consider a vibrant pastel shade instead. Choose carefully to avoid it looking dingy or muddy, and avoid extremely pale colors. True vibrant pastels turn muted and rich in dim lighting, making them perfect for creating a living space that works well, even without lots of natural light. Complete the look by adding colorful accessories with vibrant accent pillows and colorful throws.

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