Whether you have walls that are painted a dark color or are a dark wood color, you can lighten the feeling of the room using furniture and furnishings so it doesn't feel like a dark cave. Here are a few ways to lighten a room with dark walls.
If your home has dark walls, make sure that the floor is not also dark. If you have dark floors, consider adding a white or light colored rug. The furniture sitting on the floors should also be a light color.
In order to lighten a room with dark walls, add light colored artwork or light colored tall furniture. The light colors will cover some of the darkness and lighten the room. Also consider adding bright white crown molding and other millwork like a fireplace surround and tall baseboards.
To add lightness to the room, consider painting your ceiling bright white. Ceilings are typically painted in flat paint, but consider using a more glossy paint to bounce light around.
To make a dark room feel less like a cave, use multiple light sources. You can have a central light fixture in the ceiling, several table lamps at seated eye level, an uplight that shines light on the ceiling, accent lighting that shines light on a particular object or art, and under cabinet lighting to light work surfaces.
Shiny metallics bring sparkle and glimmer to a room. Metallics will add life and bounce around light to make a dark room feel more light.
Don't cover your windows with heavy drapes or curtains in a dark room. If curtains are necessary, select white or light colored ones that do not block out all of the light.
To add some life to a dark and dreary room, select a few light and bright accent colors to use throughout the room. Consider using bright yellow, bold orange, red, hot pink, or electric green.