Decorating & Furniture/HELP


I have a very big dark problem. My husband and I have just rented a 3 bedroom 1 bath home. It is a rental so painting is not and option. The home was built in the 80’s and the entire house has wood paneling on every wall and has very dark rugs. The house is very cozy, I don’t hate the paneling but the space is very dark. Natural light is very limited due to small windows. I am not sure what style of décor would be good for the space. I would like to try a vintage cottage country look but I have no idea how I can use that décor to lighten up the space. Please help me. Thank you!

Hi Ari,

You have a typical problem that renters around the world face!  Thanks for writing me for some suggestions and "help".  

To lighten up the space, consider using a simple series of curtain rods or wire and clips around the perimeter of the room, hanging inexpensive fabric (ceiling to floor) or curtains to a couple of walls.  These would hang as close to the ceiling as possible and the walls would suddenly lose the wood and gain the fabric color.  

Another suggestion is stapling fabric at the top and bottom of a couple of walls.  As long as you do this carefully, you'll be able to remove the staples and/or hardware when you leave.

One other option is to use large canvas art forms from your local craft store as wall art.  They can become a backdrop for a mirror (hang the mirror on the canvas form through the canvas and into the wall for safety) or other object of art.  The natural color of the canvas would lighten up that wall as well.  

Lastly, light the place as well as you can afford to.  Uplights in corners, light coming down from the ceiling, and task lighting (lamps) where you'll be sitting.


PS:  Drop cloth (canvas) is an inexpensive way to cover a wall or two.

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Jennifer Taylor Wojcik


Visit my web site at: Decor: I've written about it, planned it, designed it and colored it, and I've never stopped loving it. It's not what you spend, or who made it, it's how it makes you feel.


College, advertising, public relations, marketing, free-lance writing and a plethora of creative endeavors have led me here. As an entrepreneur in decorative product design, I learned the hard way how tough it can be to be in business for yourself. A stint at a law firm taught me humility too. Some three thousand questions ago, I wondered if I could really help. Obviously, I'm still here and still taking your questions. God Bless You!

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BA, Psychology

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