Natural light is always better than artificial light. It helps bathe your room in full, rich hues that light bulbs just can’t duplicate. Natural light increases your body’s “feel-good” serotonin levels and best of all, costs you nothing. Nothing compares to the warm feeling of sunshine on your face, especially in a cold, dull winter. Bringing this warm sunshine and natural light not only lifts your spirits, improves your health and even helps to save on energy. Can’t beat it.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of homes that are just not built with natural light in mind. But short of picking up your house and physically moving it, one would think that the only option is major renovations. But, you will be surprised at the many different ways to increase natural light in your home.
You may have heard that adding a mirror to a wall will help make the room not only look bigger but if you put one across from a window, it can help double the amount of sunlight that enters the room. Adding other shiny objects help reflect the light back into the room so adding decorative mirrors, furniture with glass, silver picture frames and other reflective surfaces will help bounce sunlight around your room and brighten up the space. Since mirrors reflect light, if you strategically place them to face the windows and bounce the brightness around the room. If you have a glass door, furniture with glass paneling, face them in the direction of any natural light to further amplify the effect.
Lighten Up Your Colors
Painting walls and ceilings white or another light color may seem like a no-brainer for adding more light and you’re right! Interior wall color is the best way to reflect natural light back into your room. Light Reflectance Value (LRV) can range from 100% for pure white down to 0 for black. Nothing is brighter than pure white. If you really don’t like white but want more light, look into other tones in that same family.
If you’re not ready to repaint walls, then focus on the ceiling. They are usually painted white for a reason, because white reflects light. Since ceilings can often go unnoticed when looking at a rooms decor, there’s no design penalty for going with white. Flat white is the preferred color over glossier sheens because a matte finish reduces glare and ceilings don’t need the washability of glossy finishes because they don’t get touched regularly like walls.
Light colored hardwood floors like oak or maple can give you another surface to evenly reflect light. Additionally, their reflective properties mean that they can effectively hide dust or dirt. While this can be tough to redo right away, you can refinish your floors and add a lighter stain or if you love your dark floors, just paint your walls a lighter color and add light colored area rugs for additional warmth.
Don’t block windows
Since the sun is your primary source of natural light, you don’t want to block it from shining into your home. If furniture (tables, chairs, couches) have their backs against a window, move them inwards to the space, even just a few inches will help create a pathway for the light. Light window treatments or curtains with thin fabric will help the sun’s beams come through.
While making sure nothing is blocking the windows on the inside is important, the same thing goes for the outside of the windows. Landscape and trees outside of the home can enhance the look and create the ever important curb appeal. The more greenery that you have on the outside of the house, the less light can get inside, especially if you have large trees or bushes in front of windows. Keeping these large tree branches and bushes trimmed will help ensure the light can get inside of your home. You can even consider replacing any plants that are overgrown with perennials that are lower to the ground or flowering annuals that can help keep the widows clear.