Maximizing your natural light in a small apartment can be a major challenge.

If your apartment lacks natural light, it can be a major challenge to give it the bright and sunny feeling you desire. Whether your apartment simply doesn't have many  windows, your view is obstructed by trees and buildings or you don't get much direct sunlight, maximizing natural light can take some serious reworking of your decor. On another note, plugging lamps into every corner of your living space may make it feel cluttered. Don't let your apartment take on the feeling of a dark dungeon, instead use these five tips for making the most of your natural light:

1. Invest in mirrors
Mirrors not only make great decor, but also are a smart and easy way of reflecting natural light around your apartment. Place a decorative mirror across from your windows for a look that's both stylish and practical. If you have the room, a full-length mirror may be just the ticket so that you have a place to get ready for a night out with friends. If not, look for a mirror that complements your furniture and artwork so that the room maintains a sophisticated look.

2. Find the right window treatments
Dark curtains might come in handy when you're trying to sleep in on a lazy Sunday, but day to day dark window treatments can really cancel out a lot of your natural light. If you absolutely need curtains to get some shuteye or keep in warmth, then this may be unavoidable, but otherwise it may be smart to just let blinds stand on their own. Another option is lighter, diaphanous curtains that can still add to the decor without drastically darkening your apartment.

3. Paint your ceiling
Painting your ceiling a plain white hue can potentially bring a lot more natural light into your living space. Matte paint is perfect for reflecting light, even though it doesn't have the same sheen as a glossy paint. This can be especially helpful if your walls are a duller color that darken your apartment. As always, when painting make sure to consult with your landlord beforehand. He or she may want to tackle the project themselves, or at least pick out the paint since they'll be dealing with it after you move out. Since the ceiling can be challenging to paint, invest in some drop cloths or use old newspapers to avoid making a major mess.

4. Keep windows clean
Dirty and dusty windows can really take a toll on the lighting in your apartment. If you're not a meticulously clean person, make sure to at least prioritize cleaning your windows on a weekly or monthly basis. Making a chore calendar is a great way to keep track of this task, so that you don't forget about it even if your schedule is particularly hectic. Standard window cleaner should do just fine, but if your windows get especially foggy, it might be necessary to buy a special defogging cleaner to keep them as clear as possible.

5. Highlight your furniture
Your furniture can be a key ally in lighting your apartment or your worst enemy. If you position sofas, bookcases or other furniture so that it blocks some of your natural light, it can really put a damper on your living space. Instead, organize your furniture to complement the lighting in your apartment, especially in common areas where you host guests or hang out. Highlight your favorite pieces of furniture by windows or in areas where you'll be able to relax and enjoy some sun.

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