Natural light can do wonders for your wellbeing, promoting a more positive mood and potentially leading you to be more productive, calmer and healthier. Not only that but by increasing the natural light in your home, you’ll find yourself flicking the light switches on far less often!
There are a number of ways you can increase the natural light in any property. So, whether you’re buying a new place, but aren’t happy with the current lighting, or want to bring more warmth to your current home, read on to discover 6 top tips.
1. Rearrange Your Furniture
While perhaps the easiest method of improving the amount of natural light in your home, this is a simple solution that can have amazing results. The first step is to remove any clutter from directly in front of any windows. Think about moving large plants, ornaments and anything that blocks light from coming into the room.
Tall or bulky furniture is ideally placed to the side of the room, allowing natural light to pass as deep as possible into your home. Floating shelves, coffee tables, and other low furniture allow the light to pass through or over them, flooding your home with natural light.
2. Use Mirrors
While mirrors are great for making your home look bigger, they’re also a fantastic tool for spreading natural light to every corner of your home. Mirrors and other reflective surfaces come in all shapes and sizes, and the more you have, the more light you’ll be able to distribute. From wall and door mirrors to glass/mirror panelled furniture, there are numerous ways to subtly add reflective surfaces to your home.
Mirror placement is important, with wall mirrors proving most effective on east- or west-facing walls. Keep an eye on where the light strikes throughout the day, and use mirrors to effectively capture the sun’s rays and spread them throughout your home.
3. Try New Curtains and Shades
Big heavy curtains can be great for keeping out a draft in older houses, but they also keep out the light. Instead, look for more lightweight fabrics such as cotton or linen, especially for larger windows. These allow the light to pass through and still afford you your privacy.
Shades are excellent for keeping the glare off your computer screen or TV, but be careful which style you choose. Some – such as Roman shades – block out the majority of the light even when they’re open. Wide slat shades and shutter designs generally allow the most light in, and it’s worth seeking designs that offer full control over how they’re positioned.
4. Refresh Your Color Scheme
If you’re up for the task of redecorating, consider a lighter palette. Warm colors may feel snug and cozy, but they also absorb more light, whereas lighter shades reflect it. Light creams, grays or blues are great for reflecting natural light. In north-facing rooms, the natural light is generally cooler, so warmer colors may work best here.
It’s well worth thinking about your floor as well, which can either soak up or reflect a lot of light. Designers often suggest polished wood, stone or tile floors where possible, as carpets tend to absorb the light. A polished white wooden/laminate floor does a great job but isn’t right for everyone. If you prefer carpets and rugs, aim for whites and lighter colors.
5. Consider New Doors
Your doors can play a large part in spreading or blocking the flow of natural light in your home. You might consider swapping solid doors for glass-panelled ones instead, something which can be great for both internal and external doors. External glass doors can be fitted with ultra-tough, security glass for peace of mind, and frosted or fragmented as desired.
Inside doors can also benefit from glass panels, which help spread the light from room to room. If there are any doors you seldom close, consider removing them altogether and creating a more open space. Sliding doors are another great alternative to more traditional swinging doors, as they don’t create such a big shadow when open.
6. Open Up Your Space
If your home is suffering from a severe lack of natural light, you can always pull out the big guns and look into renovating. You may require a building permit for certain jobs, so be sure to do your research thoroughly.
Think carefully about where to place new windows, bearing in mind that you’ll get different types of light from different directions throughout the day. Skylights are a popular addition, and they can soon flood your home with light and warmth.
Alternatively, why not open your space up a bit and take out a wall or two? This will normally add more windows to the same space and may provide light from two different directions.
There are many ways you can brighten up your home, from quick and easy solutions to entire renovations. Remember to keep your windows clean in order to let the most light in, and allow the glow to spread throughout your home. You’re bound to feel the benefits of letting more natural light in your home. Try it yourself today!