This past Friday afternoon, some of the editors took a (much-needed) coffee break to try the draft lattes at the La Colombe in NoHo, and while the street outside was already covered in long shadows, the coffee shop was brightly lit with natural light. As I looked around the room, I wondered how the coffee shop could look even brighter inside than it did outside. I'm sure the floor-to-ceiling windows didn't hurt, but I also noticed that the room was filled with other room brighteners that would be easy to apply to a house or home.
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Here are the four easy tips we learned for brightening a space from La Colombe:
1. Hang an oversized statement mirror across from a large window: We've all known since the days of Marie Antoinette's Hall of Mirrors that mirrors are a sure-fire way to reflect light and instantly brighten a room, but the size and placement of the mirror at La Colombe caught my attention. Hung across from one of the large windows, it reflected light into the seating area and took up a huge portion of the wall so it created the illusion that the room was much larger than it actually was.
2. Don't shy away from light pink walls: While I'd normally associate powder pink with a poorly chosen color swatch for a 70s bathroom room, the specific color they chose light enough to reflect the light coming in while being much warmer than an expected white wall and looked great againt the natural wood framing the extra-large mirror.
3. Pay attention to the ceiling: An interior designer once gave me this advice. Often the most overlooked part of a room, ceilings are always in our peripherals and can make a room instantly special. The ceiling at La Colombe was made from beautiful tin tiles that had been painted white to further reflect light.
4. Use scattered, low-hanging lights: Rather than use jarring track lighting or ceiling lights, the room is lit by bulbs of light that hang scattered around the room, which evenly disperse light that doesn't look artificial.
What are some of your favorite ways to brighten a room? Tell us in the comments below!
Top photoby Alper Çuğun via Flickr; middle two by Leslie Stephens; final photo provided by La Colombe Coffee Roasters