Easy Way To Brighten Up Dark Decor

I have always liked a natural, earth-tone look in my home, and I still do. But lately, I’m getting really sick of all the browns and darker colors. I know the transition is going to be gradual, so I’ll share it in stages.

My first area to tackle is the entryway.


Dark wood. Dark basket. Dark Star. Dark dried floral.

I decided to start with the floral basket because it was the least intimidating.


The first thing I did was remove the eucalyptus and the star and clean the basket. Then using a paint brush and white paint (I just used latex paint), I painted a light layer of the paint on the outside of the basket.  I rubbed the paint with a wet rag to blend it and give it a more weathered look.

DSC05673Then I painted the dark red star with white primer.


And spray painted it silver with a metallic paint.


The hardest part with this basket was finding flowers to put into it. It’s hard to find bright, artificial flowers that don’t look fake and all of the dried ones seem so dark. I settled on these.


I ended up cutting off the big leaves and other parts that looked fake and adding some dried sticks and curly willow to it.


This basket gave me the confidence to take on this piece.


To start, I removed the glass and hooks and used newspaper and painters tape to cover the mirror. Then I just used light brush strokes to paint the wood with white latex paint. I purposely painted in light layers to match the weathered look of my basket. I left some of the dark wood showing through to give a white-washed appearance.


Then I replaced the old hooks with these hooks I already had sitting in the garage.


Then I added a couple black and white photos and I now have a whole new piece!


It is amazing what some paint and a couple fixture changes can do to totally transform a room. I love how much brighter this entryway is now.

Here it is before:


And now:


Much better.


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28 thoughts on “Easy Way To Brighten Up Dark Decor

  1. Pingback: Dining Room Update (before and after) | Maggie May's

  2. Oh my gosh. Sooooo….can you come to my house. Like, stat! These pieces are gorgeous, and I would consider BUYING THEM from the store. I sometimes struggle to see things, especially “older” things in a new light. You have a knack for this for sure. This looks so lovely. Can’t wait to check out what else is on your blog and get more ideas. 🙂

  3. Cute! I do not have the patience to paint. I always mess it up by putting on a second coat to soon, or starting but never finishing. I love that your door and trim are white too.

  4. This is really neat. I love how the colors make all the difference. I have been watching way too much HGTV lately and everything looks so hard and expensive. But this is perfect and simple. And most importantly something that I can do. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I love this! Redoing something inexpensively is so satisfying and little changes can make such a difference. Everything turned out great!

  6. We have a lot of browns and earth tones too. We recently changed our brown walls to a light blue gray. So much brighter and happier in the room. Love your changes to the entryway! Even small things make a huge difference!

  7. Do I have this right…..you just had a baby boy and you have 2 toddlers and you’re doing redecorating hints with paint ? What don’t I understand ?
    I salute you, Jill

  8. I can totally relate to that. My couches and furniture are all brown/dark. I loved earthen tones. But then it started feeling too stuffy and I’ve been craving (for lack of a better word) some blues and greens. Throw pillows are the easiest way to incorporate any decor change. And of course, DIY art, if you have the time! I love how your entryway turned out!

What do you think? I would really love to know!!

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