Increasing natural light in the home
There’s no denying that bright open spaces make us feel positive and proactive. Natural light in the home is welcoming and feels fresher. It is also scientifically proven to increase serotonin, which gives us a sense of calm and enhances our wellbeing. During the winter months, any help to stave off Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and keep spirits high is always welcome in my eyes!
Now that the shorter January days are well and truly upon us, our homes are lacking that energy boost. Vibrant colours that you may have picked for your interiors may not look so eye catching. Even selling your home in January may be harder, as a dingy house isn’t exactly the most enticing prospect for a potential buyer.
If you’re looking to increase the amount of natural light in your own home, you’re in the right place. Major construction and popping in a skylight isn’t the top of everyones list in a cost of living crisis. But with some strategic interior design, it’s entirely doable! Read our top tips below to help get you started:
1. Mirrors, mirrors, mirrors!
Perhaps the most obvious of all solutions is a mirror. A mirror will reflect natural light around a room and therefore will reduce the need for as much artificial lighting. You’ll get the best results when placed opposite a window and it goes without saying, the bigger, the better! This will also give the illusion that the room is larger than it actually is, increasing the sense of space. If you have a smaller room, choose one with a thinner frame so that it doesn’t overwhelm the interior.
Whilst a small mirror won’t reflect as much natural light in the home, a small gallery or collection of mirrors will do. This is also a fantastic way to create visual interest at the same time. Mirrors don’t just have to be wall hung either. They can be used decoratively, for example behind ornaments on shelves. Mirrored coasters can dress a coffee table, even a mirrored tray can help to reflect light and brighten the darkest of spaces.
2. Lighter paints
If a room is generally quite dark, it’s tempting to embrace that fact and paint the walls dark to enhance what the space offers. It can certainly make a room feel cosy rather than dim and dingy. However darker colours absorb light and can make a space feel smaller. In contrast, lighter coloured paints will help to reflect light in the home. Off whites, light neutrals and pastels all give the illusion of making a room feel bigger and brighter than it actually is. It's best to stick to whites with warmer undertones. Cooler and brilliant whites will really exaggerate shadows in spaces with limited natural light.
3. Window Dressings
A heavy, lined curtain offers warmth and comfort but will certainly increase the sense of heaviness at the main source of natural light. Depending on the style of your property, you could try opting for sheer, light window dressings that let light through instead. Venetian blinds will offer you privacy but still allow natural light in the home. Fabrics such as linen, silk, cotton and voile are the most common types of sheer fabrics used for curtains so there are plenty of options out there to suite the interior decor of your home style.
4. Reflective surfaces
Glass tables, polished concrete floors, glossy tiles… essentially anything with a sheen is going to help reflect natural light in the home. Even down to ornaments, a glass vase will help too. Any excuse to have fresh flowers in the house!
5. Lighter floors
Lighter wooden floors are going to allow more natural light in the home be reflected about. If you’re about to start your own home refurbishment, it’s worth keeping this in mind when choosing your flooring. If you have darker wooden floors in your home already, consider a light coloured rug to help lift the mood. If you’re worried about a lighter rug getting mucky, consider jute or rattan which are not only hard wearing but still lighter in shade and are easier to “look clean”.
The more items you have, the more cluttered your home will feel. By reducing the amount (or having a good ol’ tidy up) the room will have an abundance of natural light more able to fill the room. Begin by clearing those window ledges of pictures frames, trinkets and plants. Your main source of natural light should be clear from clutter to enable the most amount of natural light to come in.
Did you know that Daylight Light Bulbs actually exist? Enough said.
Metallic Wallpaper Tessella BP 3610 by Farrow & Ball
A lighter coloured wallpaper will certainly help to reflect natural light around a room. Not everyones cup of tea but a design with an additional metallic feature or sheen, even more so. These will suit both a contemporary or traditional scheme so win win.
Rattan Dining Chairs by Sklum
9. Furniture style
Slimmer style furniture pieces with neat lines are going to allow natural light in the home bounce around lot more than items that are solid and bulky. “See-through furniture” is going to allow natural light to pass through. Think glass coffee tables, rattan dining chairs… you get the idea.
Hopefully even just one of these solutions will help fill your home with natural light. Let’s welcome those longer days sooner rather than later as we head into Spring.
I think the main thing to to remember is lighter coloured walls and furniture are going to let natural light in the home reflect much more easily. No matter how many lamps you have, there’s nothing that will reflect light more than lighter walls and furniture.
Thanks for reading!
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