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6 Tips to Make Your Apartment Instantly Look Brighter

Because your window faces a brick wall

In NYC, having an apartment with a big window is a huge luxury. Even if that window gets almost no light. Or barely opens. Or faces a brick wall. 

But now that it’s getting dark at, like, 4 p.m., we’re in need of a little more sunshine in our lives.

Put down the paint roller--here are six ways to brighten your space right now.

Swap In Light Rugs And Furniture

White is your new BFF--it reflects light, so it will magnify what little sunshine you have in your apartment. Too in love with your gray velvet chaise to replace it? White pillows and a light, textured throw blanket will brighten things up.

Design Sponge

Mirrors, Mirrors, Mirrors

This is the oldest trick in the book for making a room look brighter and larger--but before you get those tacky floor-to-ceiling mirrors installed in every room, remember that less is more. Go for a large, horizontal mirror above the couch, bed or mantle.

House of Turquoise

Say No To Dark Artwork

So your apartment doesn’t look out onto Central Park West. Ours doesn’t, either. But you can mimic a skyline view with large, bright artwork throughout your abode.

Apartment 34

Cut The Clutter

Is it beautiful (like your grandma’s antique vase)? Is it serving an important purpose (like this copper hanging light)? If not, say sayonara. Unnecessary clutter is only making your living space look darker and more cramped.

Cheat With Hanging Lights

Really wish you had a window instead of a wall? Experiment by hanging bulbs at different lengths in front of the wall instead. Your guests will be so distracted by the chic decor, they’ll forget there’s no view of the park.

Overstock

...but Don't Go Overboard

Get creative with your bright and airy new space, but remember: There is such a thing as a room that’s too bright. It’s called “lighting fatigue,” people. Don’t let it happen to you. Instead, mix and match with lights of different heights, and cast more light on specific pieces of furniture or artwork to create vignettes.