What Does “Bright” Design Mean?

Happy Friday, everyone! Today I want to talk about what it means when people say “bright” in reference to the feel of a room. A few weeks ago I did a post about moody design, so I figured I would now go the other way and delve into what the opposite – bright, means. Similar to moody design, brightness is a ‘mood’ as opposed to a style in and of itself. This means that it can be applied to any style.

Unlike moody design, bright design is completely oversaturated (get it??) in the design scene these days, so I’m going to try to break it down into just a few key elements:

#1 Natural Light

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Obviously when talking about “brightness” the element of light will be the most important. Duh. This is one that in my opinion, you can’t have too much of, and I know you’ve heard that from every designer ever. Maybe one day there will be a deviant trend where dank dark basements become a covetable architectural feature, but I doubt that will happen and if it does, I quit.

#2 White

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Second most important is lots of white! One of the most common things I hear is “Not white! Its too sterile.” or sometimes “Really? Just boring white?” The truth is that white is the best equalizer that I know of. Period. Painting your walls white allows you to add 10X more color and texture than you otherwise would’ve been able to. To make a sweeping generalization (because who doesn’t love those), unless you are going for a ultra minimalistic, dramatic, or editorial look, white is always best for a functional home. Here I include some examples of homes with tons of warmth and color that are not boring at all, and also use white on at least the walls.

#3 Saturated Colors

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I debated adding this one at all because a bright and neutral colored home is entirely possible and absolutely lovely. The addition of saturated colors are not 100% necessary in order to a home to be “bright”, however the combination of natural light + white + saturated colors = something so utterly “bright” that I couldn’t NOT include it!

#4 Openness?

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This one is a little harder to describe. It could be an open floor plan, a sky light, large windows, or even just high ceilings (a combination of these would be total design porn)

Even though all styles can be bright I think that the styles that lend themselves to this “brightness” are Modern, Mid-century Modern, and Scandinavian styles.

So what is your take on bright design? What elements do you love about bright design?

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