Choosing Paint Colors for a Dark Family Room

I would like to paint our family room, except I don't know what color. Because the family room is in the basement, the only natural lighting is what comes down the stairwell. The only other lighting is from a fluorescent lamp. --iVillager sholmes


I know the dilemma you're in. I have faced the same one in my own home, as some of the bottom rooms are dark. I have three tips that will get you on your way:

  1. Choose color by painting a big swatch -- I call them "paint boards." Purchase one large foam-core board for each color on your list. Paint each board in a color you're considering, and let the boards dry. Lay them up against the wall in the family room so that you can see how the light hits them at different times of day. You can move the boards around until the right color becomes obvious.

    Watch Video: Color Your Home



    Because you don't have natural light, stick with a light or bright color. Stay away from browns, burgundy, dark green and muddy colors. Pick a pastel or a bright shade, like yellow. You can go to the paint store to look at samples and narrow down your choices.


  2. Once you've painted the room, bring in some halogen lighting to add more brightness. This can be in the form of track lighting or even a stand-up halogen. This will add nice light and is better than fluorescents, which cast a very cool, bright-white light.
  3. For additional color, add bright or light pillows to the neutral sofa, which will brighten up the room as well.
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