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Unless you’re balling out in a penthouse, we bet you’ve got at least one room that’s darker and gloomier than the rest. (Damn you, northern exposure.) Want to make said room a little more cheerful?

Hot tip: To trick the eye into thinking your space is brighter than it actually is, paint the room or hallway that leads into the room in a high-contrast, dark color.

Maybe that means painting the walls, doors and crown in your hall a rich, cozy blue to frame the pale pink nursery beyond. Or maybe it means painting the partition walls and bookshelves a chalky gray to define the adjacent white living room (as with this gorgeous Shannon Tate-designed space above). Whatever your setup, the gloomy room will look lighter (by comparison) every time you enter it.

RELATED: The Best Paint Colors for Dark Rooms, According to Designers  

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