There is nothing worse than a dark house. Whether you are waking up in a room of darkness or returning to a home darker than the warm and sunny day you have closed the door on, most of us yearn for a home full or warm, sunny daylight.
Benefits of natural light extend beyond the contemporary pleasing aesthetics. Studies have shown that natural light has a positive effect on your mood because of the endorphins released when we are exposed to warm sunlight rays and vitamin D. If you are looking to feel more alive and vibrant within your own home then it is time to enhance the light you already do have without the need to tear down any walls.
For many of us, not being able to achieve a room of light-streaming natural brightness isn’t from a lack of trying, something just isn’t working! But don’t give up just yet, these seven easy steps will guide you to achieving the perfect naturally lit home that will be the envy of your neighbours and friends!
Before you commence your transformation, first workout how much natural light you actually need. Walking between rooms, your first task is to identify any objects physically blocking lights or pieces of dark and heavy furniture that is absorbing your light. Start by saying goodbye to the offending items and reassess if their removal has made a difference. Now let’s get into the nitty gritty of it.
Start with the easiest and most budget friendly way to increase natural light. Mirrors provide the illusion that the rooms appear larger as a result of light reflection throwing light across the rooms away from the windows. Not only are mirrors practical for creating sunburst rooms but they are a great decorating addition, if you have overused the mirror concept think about using shiny and reflective objects such as chandeliers, brass or transparent accessories such as a coffee table or candlesticks as a part of your decorating pallet.
2. Transparent Doors
During your earlier house inspection you may have realised that your heavy wooden door is an obstruction in the pathway for natural sunlight trying to stream through your home. Glass is one of the best ways to promote natural light further into your home and will save you money time-and-time again on your electricity bills!
For those of you who are looking for more privacy, particularly in between bedrooms, within bathrooms and your front door you may wish to consider frosted or tinted glass for privacy. If you have smaller windows, you may wish to consider installing larger floor to ceiling windows or French doors. The incorporation of glass within your home is not only beautiful and practical but is also a great styling hack to create a more welcoming and open ‘flow’ within your home.
3. Paint Colours
The number one stylist rule to remember when trying to bring natural light into your home is that dark shades and colours and prone to absorbing lights, so be sure to stay away if you can. Neutral colours are the best for darker rooms, think mushroom, grey, cream and white shades to encourage a more light-reflective space. If you live in a colder climate and you are looking to create a warmer space, try using colours that are similar to autumn or rust for this instance caramel, espresso brown and tan would complement your desired look.
4. Say goodbye to drab drapes
Thick, dark, oversized and patterned curtains will instantly obstruct light from your already dark room. Curtains and awnings can be a stylish and practical addition to a home, creating a focal point and texture within the room. When selecting your curtain go for lighter fabric such as chiffon, mesh, sheer and cotton in place of heaving linens and plastics. Colours should complement the room colour scheme, however dark colours should be avoided and lighter and warmed colours favoured.
As part of your morning routine, schedule a few minutes in to physically open all your blinds and curtains and take full advantage of the streaming morning light. If the windows are high enough from public viewing and privacy isn’t a particular concern you have the option of removing the curtain or awnings completely creating a constant source of natural light.
5. Add Soft Lighting
Dimmer switches have continued to ride the home trend wave for over a decade, with many home owners opting for light control switches to create different moods within the home particularly when entertaining. Closets and kitchens are notorious for being dark spots in the home, fashionable pendant and recessed lighting are two practical and contemporary approaches to add light to your dark spaces. For a more futuristic look try LED closet lights or neon light rods, they will definitely spark conversation between your dinner guests.
If you are looking for less permanent fixtures to your home you can try the addition of bed side lamp shades or soft glow paper lanterns which create the illusion of warmth and light.
6. Bring the outdoors inside
If you are still finding that your rooms are darker than you would like there is the option of skylights, a more expensive option that will be dependent on your budget. Skylights work best when a main room is directly below a rooftop, coming in a wide range of sizes and prices it is suggested that you undertake extensive research to choose the right option for you. There is no doubt that the high price tag brings with it the benefit of being the cheapest long-term source of the best natural light.
The cheaper alternative to skylights is the solar/ light tube. As far as 30 feet, this jagged pipe reflects natural light from the rooftop into the home. Considerably smaller than skylights these small structures are able to transmit and distribute natural light into your home.
No surprise here, once again when it comes to picking colours for your furniture, artwork, towels, linen and rugs stick with the golden rule of thumb that neutral is best. Similar to dark curtains and furniture, dark floors will also absorb your natural light, so if you aren’t keen on the thought of ripping out your wooden floor, consider a neutral carpet or even stencilling your floor with light patterns. With many beautiful items available it is easy to fall into the trap of over-accessorising. Creating space within your home is another great initiative to encourage the spread of light around your home, remember less is more!