How can I make a small, dark livingroom look bigger and brighter?

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My living room has dark wood paneling, only one window, ceiling fan/light and only 2 electrical outlets, all at the far end of the room. How can I brighten and lighten this room to make it more inviting and less dark?


  7 answers
  • Amanda Amanda on Jan 18, 2018
    Hello. I would prime and paint the dark paneling. Adding mirrors also helps.

  • 26061930 26061930 on Jan 18, 2018
    We had a bed room in one of our house that looked like a steak house! Black and red shag carpet, dark wood paneling, small window, ugly light fixtures. We had great success painting the paneling a light turquoise, replacing the light fixture including a dimmer switch. We painted the ceiling a semi gloss white and removed the carpet to find a hardwood floor which we refinished glossy. With some bright at work on the wall, it became a very attractive and functional bedroom for my young daughter.

  • Kelly Denoyer Russell Kelly Denoyer Russell on Jan 18, 2018
    Got to go light! Painting the paneling will brighten and make the space look larger. Add a big wall mirror.

  • DesertRose DesertRose on Jan 18, 2018
    We had wood paneling and we painted it to brighten the room. We calked the seams and cracks then used aroma free Kilz primer to cover it. Then we painted it a light/bright color. You could consider some standing lamps placed by the seating area. Lights do not use a large amount of electricity, you might consider some surge protectors to plug in more lamps or even another ceiling light that plugs into one of the outlets with a decorative chain also hanging by small cup type hooks to cover or hide the wire. We did this in an older home and it looked great. My husband hung a light from the ceiling and wove the cord through a decorative chain we got at a home improvement store. It looked nice.

  • Fiddledd224 Fiddledd224 on Jan 18, 2018
    Paint your walls a lighter color and add more lighting fixtures. Use sheers on the window.

  • Emily Emily on Jan 18, 2018
    Paint the panelling a light color and add mirrors which will reflect what light there is. If it is a small room the outlets can't be too far away from where you want lamps. We have a small sitting room that has 3 outlets and we have those multi outlet things plugged in two of them. We have 4 lamps and a t.v. with its roku and all that other stuff. Rooms look nice if they have kind of a layered look to the lighting, so try to have lamps that have more than one setting.

  • Mogie Mogie on Jan 18, 2018
    Paint the paneling, get some power strips that will give you more plugins to work with.

    • Kje28889281 Kje28889281 on Jan 21, 2018
      Thank you. Power strips will not work -- circuits would then be overloaded and blow fuses. The entire downstairs is wired in one continuous circuit. Can't use blow dryer in bathroom if TV in livingroom is one