Sometimes you feel like you live in a cave. Right? It’s not that you hate your house, but it’s a bit dingy, and, although it’s got good electric lighting, it just lacks the ‘oomph’ and vibrancy that only comes from natural light. It can be a bit depressing, but hey, don’t give up! There are ways and means to help improve your home’s natural lighting, and it doesn’t have to break the bank either!
We all love the sunshine. But there’s no getting around it – we just have to spend some time indoors, so the question is: how can we bring that sunshine inside with us?
Why is natural light so important?
The amount of natural light in a room can really affect your whole mood. No joke. Those magical rays of sunshine help to keep us positive and upbeat, as well as warming our homes and providing a bright, cheerful atmosphere to work in.
If your budget and the home plan allow it, by all means, add more windows, install a skylight or replace solid doors with glass ones. That’s great, and it’ll massively increase the amount of natural light inside your home.
But if you’re not on for major home renovations, here are a few things you can do to really make a difference. They’re simple, budget-friendly and will transform the look and feel of your home immediately.
- Keep the bushes and trees trimmed.
Step number 1 – make sure the light can actually get to your windows! While a beautiful, tree-filled garden with bushes right up to the house is gorgeous to look at, these trees and bushes may be actually limiting the amount of light that’s getting to your windows. For example, a dense hedge right outside a window is going to block out a huge percentage of sunlight which would otherwise be able to pour in. Go outside and have a good look at the situation, considering which windows will have the sun on them at different times of the day.
Take your clippers (or chainsaw if necessary), and trim your bushes and trees to allow maximum light to reach the windows.
- Make the most of any light that does come in.
That sounds really obvious I know, but so often we don’t do it! Avoid using heavy, dark coloured curtains and lacy sheers that block out so much of that valuable light your home needs.
Often curtains, even when fully opened, take up room at the edge of the window and reduce the visual window size from the inside by a considerable amount. When you take them down, WOW! That window seems much bigger, brighter and the whole room feels open and light.
I get it, you still want to have privacy sometimes, so what about roller blinds? They pull up out of the way during the day to allow light to flood in, then put them down for privacy when you need it.
If you do need all-day privacy, maybe consider a translucent blind. They provide a barrier, but also allow maximum light into your room.
- Clean the windows.
Not rocket science, but you won’t believe the difference this will make. Dirt on your windows blocks out an incredible amount of light, so out with the bucket and window washer and give them a good scrub!
- Reflect the light.
Mirrors reflect light. We all learned that at school. But why notput this piece of knowledge to good use in your home! Decorating with shiny surfaces will help reflect light back into your room.
By hanging a large wall mirror opposite a window, you can double the amount of light reflected into that room, with the added bonus of making it feel bigger than it actually is!
And it’s not only mirror surfaces that will reflect light. Think shiny glass, polished tiles, silver, brass, glossy enamel paint…everything from photo frames to kitchen splashbacks!
- Choose the right colour palette.
The internal colour palette of your home is hugely important when it comes to maximising light. Colours will either reflect or absorb light, so you need to make sure your choice is right.
Where possible, paint walls in light, neutral colours, with ceilings lighter than walls. Tend towards whites, creams or pastel colours and use a satin finish paint rather than matt – this will also help to reflect the light.
If the room in question has dark carpet, wooden or stone flooring, consider using a light-coloured floor mat to lift the whole feel.
There are so many things you can do to transform your home from one that’s dingy and uninviting, into an airy, light-filled place that you love to be in. So, what are you waiting for? With some careful thought, some physical effort and some skilful decorating, you can create a home that is bright, cheery and welcoming!
Louise Procter is a writer for http://www.naturalhomesolutions.com.au Living by the beach, on the sunny South Coast of NSW she enjoys sipping a good strong coffee whilst creating articles that provide information and inspiration to readers to help them in their everyday lives.