How To Brighten Up A Dark Basement

A basement is an incredibly useful space in a home, providing everything from extra storage to an additional room in the house. But the lack of natural light can significantly impact the appeal of a basement, transforming it into a place where you don’t really want to visit. Here’s how to make a dark basement seem more desirable by brightening it up.

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Install An Egress Window

Egress window installation is a fantastic way to introduce natural light into a basement. If your basement is slightly above ground level, you can install an egress window to allow natural light to enter the space. An egress window is one which a person can use to safely exit a property in case of fire. This also provides your basement with additional safety features. They are also a large source of natural light. 

If you already have an egress window or basement window, make sure it is clean. Any dirt or debris on the window can significantly impact the natural light that enters your basement. You should also check the outside of the window and make sure any foliage or debris blocking the window is removed to allow natural light to enter the property.

Paint Your Basement Walls Or Ceiling White

Painting walls with light colors can help your home seem brighter and lighter. Refreshing any of the walls in your home can transform spaces from unappealing dark spots to the home of your dreams. There is nowhere in your home that can benefit from white or light paint more than your basement. It will simply create the illusion of lightness, but this is far better than adding to the gloom. You can also paint your ceiling white, or a shade lighter than other walls to create the illusion that your ceilings are higher than they are.

Use Lighting Correctly

The problem with a basement that’s poorly lit is the dark corners or spaces that are created. Consider ceiling lights that cover every corner of the basement. Basement lighting will be best if it’s got numerous adjustable lights that can be directed into each area of the room so there are no parts left untouched. Consider plinth lights on cabinets and even the floor to really light up those unreachable corners.

When deciding on the bulbs to use, try not to go with bulbs that are too artificial to create the illusion of natural light. In a light space, artificial light can hurt your eyes and make a room appear even less desirable. Instead, consider ambient and softer lighting to benefit from more natural tones.

Utilize Wooden Floors To Create High Shine

Using light hardwood floors and polishing them to a high shine will really help brighten up your basement. Lighter colors can help create the illusion of brightness and more space, while high shine floors will also create depth and reflection within a room. When cleaning a hardwood floor, avoid excessive use of wax polish, as this can have the opposite effect and make the wood dull. Instead use a basic water and vinegar solution, and use a microfiber mop afterwards to make sure the surface is dry.

Use Bright Accent Features Or Furniture

If your floors and walls are light, then it’s time to add a spot of brightness to draw the eye in your basement. The use of accent features can be as minimal as bright throw pillows, blankets, or rugs. If you’re feeling bolder, opt for bright sofas or artwork. When using accent features, be smart with which colors you are using. Try to keep them bright and light, rather than using dark materials. Reds, oranges and bright blues will pop against a light background. 

Keep It Clean

This sounds obvious, but keeping a basement clean is integral to keeping it bright. Clean your floors to create a high shine, keep the windows clear if you have them, and even wash the walls. Your basement is also more at risk from dirt than the rest of the house, with opportunities for debris or even wildlife from the outside to come in. Pay special attention to your basement’s cleanliness to keep it looking brighter for longer.


An egress window can help keep your basement safe and add in some natural light. If this isn’t possible, use light floors and walls, and maximize the use of lighting to make sure every corner is lit. Avoid dulling your floor polish and instead use a simple water and vinegar solution to keep the wood at a high sheen. Finally, consider bright accent colors to draw the eye, and pay special attention to your basement’s cleaning to keep it looking fresh and inviting.