Is that an idiom? Or just simply means filling the rooms with her stuff and bags? Does brightening here mean make the atmosphere of house happier? Or simply means she had a habitt of sliding curtain so that more light come inside the house. No other hint before this part in the context, this is taken from a story by Jumpa Lahiri, Year's end.
My father’s first job was in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which was where I was born, three years later. When I was nine, we went back to India, to Bombay. Occasionally, my mother would return to them, like Persephone in the myth, temporarily filling up and brightening the rooms, scattering her creams and powders on the dressing table, sleeping in the room where she’d been small.