Can a Living Room Have No Windows?

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When hunting for a house or an apartment, you come across all kinds of spaces that defy the standards you know. For example, older homes split into smaller rental units have highly creative living rooms and bedrooms. So, can a living room have no windows?

A living room can have no windows, as they aren’t the qualifying factors for living rooms. Windows provide many advantages to any room in a house, and you should have them in the right spaces when possible. However, your living room can still function properly without them.

This article discusses how to brighten up a living room without windows. I also consider whether a living room can have no windows and ways to vent a living room without windows.

How to Brighten up a Living Room Without Windows?


A windowless living room doesn’t have to be dark and soulless, and the design challenge it poses makes the finished product worthwhile. Whether the space is north-facing or simply light-starved without a window, you can brighten it up.

Here are some interesting decorating tips you can use:

Create the illusion of a window

This might be your best option, and it only requires the right mirror in the perfect spot. Place one or two mirrors in the usual locations for a window to light up the room and make it look bigger than it is.

Mirrors add light and depth to a dark space and brighten it up effectively. You can place a series of mirrors on a feature wall or a large mirror above the fireplace. 

Use the right lighting

Setting up wall lights on either side of the mirror or placing it behind table lamps allows the mirror to reflect. Alternatively, you can hang curtains around the mirror to add the illusion effect further.

Your primary aim of using artificial light is to maintain balance in the space. To do this, you should consider:

  • How much light you need: This depends on the room’s shape, size, and the ambiance you want to create. First, calculate the basic level (lumens) you need by multiplying the square footage by the standard (10-20 lumens/square foot).

  • How to layer the lights: You can use various accent, ambient, and task lighting to provide plenty of practical light to create the ambiance and mood you desire.
  • The kind of light fittings you can use: Reflective metallic fittings will help you make the most of the available light. Fittings in brass, chrome, or silver are good options.


Go for a lighter color scheme for the living room

Whites, tans, and creams on the ceiling and walls will brighten the room immensely. The whitest white is best for dark rooms, while dim rooms can have ivory, butter, or lilac colors.

It would be best to avoid chairs and sofas that are deep reds, browns, or black. However, if you cannot replace your furniture in these colors, brightly colored area rugs and throw pillows will help.

Throw in some plants

Plants are natural elements that can compensate for the absence of natural light. Use pots in vibrant shades like canary yellow or crimson to display your greenery and fresh flowers. As a result, your living room will be brighter and fresher, with plants on a bookshelf or a console table.

Brightening up a windowless living room is no easy feat, but it is doable. You can turn that cave-like space into an inviting room with the tips above.

Can a Living Room Have No Windows?

You haven’t seen it all until you have checked out apartments on a tight budget. People repurpose industrial and commercial buildings all the time, and they provide some interesting living spaces. If you have come across a living room without windows, you might have wondered about how acceptable they are.

Every building has municipal codes it must follow to meet standards and be liveable for its occupants. According to most of these codes, a room must not have a window to be considered a living room. Instead, a potential living room space should meet the following:

  • The space should have a ceiling at least seven feet high in all parts of the room.
  • It must have a standard doorway leading into it.
  • The space should be a minimum of 70 square feet.

If your living room has all the features above, it is acceptable even without windows. However, you can find ways to provide the room with a window’s functions or benefits. Here are some ways windows affect your living space:

An additional exit

Windows offer the occupants of a building an extra exit. It is reassuring that you and your family have another means of escape in emergencies, like a fire.

A window that serves as egress or exit must be able to open all the way. It also has to be at least 24 inches wide and provide five and a half square feet of clearance.

The entrance of light

Windows serve an aesthetic purpose by allowing natural light to enter your space. Natural light gives a better glow and ambiance than artificial lights.


Constant air circulation is vital for the comfort of any living space, and windows provide this important service. Many older homes built before air conditioning have large windows because air could constantly circulate on opening the windows.

Today, living rooms in the basement or other small spaces can be without windows because there are artificial means of ventilation and lighting.

Apart from living rooms, the following spaces in the home can also be function windowless:

  • An exercise room or gym
  • Media rooms or cinemas
  • Pantries or storerooms
  • A library
  • Wine or beer cellars
  • Music or sound rooms.

Although the pros of having a window in almost any room outweigh the cons (wind drafts in winter), a living room remains liveable without one.

How Do You Vent a Living Room Without a Window?

Body heat from multiple people can easily make a room warmer and highly uncomfortable, especially in a room without windows. When you improve the air circulation in the living room, you remove stale doors and make the room cooler.

Adequate ventilation is a plus for health and comfort, so here are a few ways to improve air circulation in a windowless living room:

  1. Leave the door open for as long as is convenient.
  2. Use portable and ceiling fans in strategic locations.
  3. Add a wall air conditioner.
  4. Use porous materials like bricks to build the room.
  5. Turn on the HVAC if your building has one.
  6. Some indoor plants can help purify the air in your space, including aloe vera, chrysanthemum, dragon fig, broad lady palm, weeping tree, etc.
  7. Install a swamp cooler.
  8. Scale back on your furniture a little to reduce the clutter.

Also, you can freshen the air by using odor removers, dehumidifiers, and a homemade air freshener. A mix of baking soda and charcoal can absorb potent smells easily. Place a bowl of the mixture under the table or behind the sofa.

Getting the right amount of ventilation is crucial to preventing unhealthy bacteria spores and damaging milder from taking over your home. Whether you get the resources above or contact a contractor, do what you must for pleasant air.

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