Let the Light Stream in: Making a Windowless Room Work for You

Windowless room

If you somehow get stuck with a windowless room—either because of an architectural boo-boo or you’re working with your basement—you can still find some ways to make the space cozy, warm, and livable. If you want to turn it into a home office or even a playroom for your kids, you can do so by putting up artificial streams of lights that will give the illusion of windows and natural light.

Do not be afraid to experiment with a windowless room. Against a solid wall with a light bulb on the ceiling, you can use shutters from Fair Haven to give an illusion of light coming in through the drapes. Windowless rooms are dreary and dingy enough that anything you do to add some lightness to it is a welcome development.


Add large mirrors to a room to break the monotonic wall panels. Mirrors will help light to bounce across the room, creating that nice warm glow. If you have a low ceiling, use a mirror that almost—but not quite—reaches the ceiling. That will help distract from the fact that you have a low ceiling line. The edge of the mirror should stop about four to six inches from the ceiling.

White or Pale Blue Walls

Paint the walls white or a very pale shade of blue. This will give the illusion of being around light and nature. It will also eliminate the edge of the ceiling, which will make the room look bigger. The one thing that most people do wrong with a windowless room is embracing the darkness. White walls will make a room look bright, and they will also help bounce off light from every source.

Large Art

The effect of large art hanging on a wall is similar to that of a mirror. It will help break the monotony of the walls and bring in lightness to a room. But be careful with the kind of art you choose for the room. You need a meta-framed piece of art that has a white background to create an illusion of space and light.


All a windowless room needs are some lights—but not just any lights. You can hide light sources between ceiling beams and behind furniture. This will create an illusion that the light is coming from outside when it’s just artificial. If you want a more dramatic light source, angle the light so that it hits the wall and bounces off it.


A transom is the piece of wall that’s placed between the door (situated below) and a window above it. You can break down the upper panel of the wall and install a transom window. This is especially effective if the next room has a natural light source. But even if it does not, the presence of a window will create an illusion that there’s light behind it.

There are plenty of ways to create an illusion of a window, space, and light in a windowless room. You just need to be creative and expand your imagination about it. You don’t need to forget about this dark room in the attic or the basement. With a little bit of imagination, you can create a space that you can turn into a home office, playroom, or spare bedroom.

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