How to brighten a basement flat

House doctors Suzy Maas and Katie Moug of The Final Touch provide expert advice on interiors
Neutral colours
Question: Please tell me how to make my basement flat brighter. I have one fairly small window which basically is the only natural light source for both the kitchen and the little living/eating area. I was thinking of having mirrors across the entire back wall to try and bounce the light off it. Is this a very bad idea?

Answer: Given the lack of grand windows, complement the natural lighting you do have with subtle, dark colours. Painting rooms in white, or pastel shades, simply doesn't work. Avoid colours like dark red or green and pick softer shades like greys or taupes, which are more tranquil and look good in both natural and artificial light.

Mirrors have the ability to bring a sensation of light and space to a room
Mirrors have the ability to bring a sensation of light and space to a room
Your room will also seem bigger and lighter if you stick to the one colour throughout. Walls, ceilings and woodwork look great all the same colour. Farrow &Ball offer some excellent matt colours. Visit

Your idea of fitting mirrors to the back wall is a great one. Mirrors, when used strategically, have the ability to bring a sensation of light and space to a room. For example:

- In a dark corner of a room, it will lighten up the corner with reflected light.
- Behind a lamp, it will produce twice the light-up effect, without the need to over-brighten the room with a more powerful bulb.
- In a dark hallway, it will brighten (lift) and give the illusion of space beyond.

In addition to hung, framed mirrors, large expanses of mirror will certainly increase the light and visually open the space.

Mirrorworld ( offer a brilliant range and offer a made-to-measure service. Their website has easy to use calculators to help choose your perfect mirror online. They are also offering free delivery on all bespoke orders.

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Suzy Maas and Katie Moug
Suzy Maas and Katie Moug

Meet our experts: Suzy Maas and Katie Moug

The Final Touch team have renovated and dressed many properties, and have worked on a diverse range of projects, from large family homes to compact, city flats. They offer consultancy to homeowners, and project manage jobs to completion. The business has developed a team of trusted builders and contractors.

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