12 Tips for Bringing Natural Light Into Your Home

12 Tips for Bringing Natural Light Into Your Home

The following contribution is from another author.

The benefits of having more natural light in your home are endless. Apart from the obvious fact that it gets you a good dose of vitamin D, natural light also has several positive effects on your mental health. It can drive away depressive tendencies, lift your spirits, and even improve your sleep. Another no-brainer plus is that the more natural light you let into your home, the more you save up on your energy bill. If you’re having trouble getting that vibrant, breezy atmosphere into all the rooms in your home, check out the following top tips on how to do just that.

 

Get more reflective surfaces 

 

Make like a magpie and stock up on shiny things. Mounting mirrors on your walls is a good place to start. You can also decorate your rooms with shimmery décor pieces and metallic light fixtures. Think gold, silver, or chrome accents. Picture frames, decorative ceramics, and figurines are also great for adding a bit of sparkle to your space. Also, furnishings with a shiny finish, such as high gloss dining tables, are excellent for a more modern aesthetic. You could also go all out with a crystal chandelier for a more luxurious feel. All these décor choices contribute to brightening up your home by reflecting any natural light around the room. Just be sure not to overdo things, or you might end up needing sunglasses in your sleep.

 

Stay away from dreary wall paints 

 

Your wall colors can make or break your quest for more indoor sunshine. Darker colors will absorb precious rays of sunlight and leave you with a gloomy space to wallow in. Try picking wall colors that reflect more light than they absorb, such as light greys, blues, and beiges. Using a satin finish on your walls is also a great way to reflect light evenly around the room. White walls are often spurned for being too boring or too cold. However, if a white color scheme is your preference, stay away from brilliant white walls and opt for off-white shades that will lend a warmer feel to the light reflected around the room. A neat trick for brightening up your space is to paint your ceilings a few shades lighter than your walls to make the room seem larger. You might even want to go a step further and experiment with painting the ceiling the color of a light blue sky.

 

When it comes to glass, more is more

 

 A great way to flood your space with light is to literally fit in an entire wall of light. Patio doors such as the French, sliding, or bi-fold variety are a brilliant way to achieve this. Not only do you get an ample amount of natural light in, but you also get the added bonus of a marvelous view of your back garden. The larger your glass windows and doors, the more natural light you get indoors. You can also install glass blocks in place of walls. These are almost as energy-efficient as thermal windows and can, therefore, help cut utility bills. 

 

Up your furniture game

 

 If it’s time to upgrade the furniture in your home – read stained, outdated or worn-out upholstery – pick out lighter and more neutral colors for your larger pieces. This way, you can add splashes of color as you please. Lush colors such as reds, oranges, and yellows mimic the colors of the sun and can be tastefully incorporated through pillows, rugs, and artwork. If these colors are too rich for your taste, try their pastel versions instead. Harmonize neutral and bold hues to avoid assaulting your eyes with crazy amounts of color. There’s nothing worse than a tasteless combination of loud colors, except maybe a dull array of boring ones. Remember, balance is key.

 

Brighten up your eaves

 

Who says eaves are only meant for dropping? Paint your eaves white or install white, horizontal vinyl or aluminum soffits and watch how they help brighten every room by reflecting more light into the house. Even if your eaves don’t match with the exterior of your house, you won’t have to worry about affecting curb appeal. This is because the eaves are angled towards the house and will mostly be seen from the inside.

 

Artificial light can still be your friend

 

Allow natural and artificial light to work together to bring the best out of your living space. Place your lamps and light fixtures in strategic positions that allow them to complement the natural light by illuminating dark corners and corridors where natural light can’t reach. Floor lamps such as torchieres are excellent for illuminating the ceiling towards the end of the day. For darker rooms, try to pick out lamps with lighter lampshades, since darker lampshades will let less artificial light through and also absorb any natural light that comes in. If, however, you don’t have enough floor space for lamps, go for recessed lighting instead. It’s a more expensive option, so if it’s outside your budget and you still lack floor space, look into getting lots of table lamps.

 

Pay attention to the flow of light

 

Get your Feng Shui on and strategically position your furniture to allow for optimum flow of light throughout your home. Angle your furniture towards your most prominent natural light source to improve the reflection of light in the room. If you enjoy gallery or statement walls, try to make sure they are situated opposite your light source. Lastly, ensure that partitions and bookshelves are positioned perpendicular to window walls to keep the flow of light uninterrupted. 

 

Keep your windows clean and clear

 

Washing your windows inside and out will allow more light to filter in. Rooms with South-facing windows benefit from the most sunshine even during winter months. To maximize this, avoid planting trees on the southern parts of your home. Also, remember to regularly trim any trees or shrubs that might be growing around your windows and doors, and blocking the light from shining through. Another quick trick is to install white, wide window trims, which make your windows look larger.

 

Treat yourself with window treatments 

 

Where window treatments are concerned, sheer is definitely a go-to. Avoid dark and heavy curtains and go instead for lighter options such as elegant white voiles or more affordable muslin curtains. From neutral creams to brighter yellows, your color choices will determine how much natural light will be able to get through to liven up your rooms. Sick of curtains? Chuck them for blinds instead. These come in several forms, such as Venetian, roller, and even electric blinds, and allow you to adjust the amount of light you would like to filter in throughout the day. Blinds are also perfect for more modern layouts and interior designs.

 

Skylights and solar tubes

 

Skylights are a tried and true method for inviting the sun into your home. They come in various shapes and sizes and are a solution to lighting up rooms that normally would not get much natural light, such as bathrooms in the middle of the house. Additionally, skylights help are eco-friendly as they reduce the amount of electrical lighting you use per day. Not only does this reduce your carbon footprint, but it also cushions your pocket against exorbitant electric bills. Skylight blinds will allow you to stay in control of the amount of light that shines through, especially if you want to avoid too much glare. Solar tubes are a good alternative, especially for lower levels in multi-story homes.  

 

Bathrooms and kitchens

 

These parts of the home are the easiest to gloss up without them looking garish and overwhelming. A reflective backsplash in your kitchen or bathroom will instantly brighten up your space. Backsplashes come in numerous designs and materials that will easily blend in with your color palette and décor style. Glass and high-gloss ceramic tiles are popular options, while white subway tiles are the most affordable. For maximum light reflection, try metallic tiles. 

 

Step into the light

 

Your flooring can be a surprising source of light. Using a polished finish for ceramic, wood, and stone floors help prevent your floors from absorbing more light than they reflect. If you prefer wood for your floors, choosing lighter woods such as red oak, maple, ash, and birch are best for keeping your rooms bright. Carpeting your floors generally absorbs more light. To prevent this from being overwhelming, follow the trend in the choice of your curtains, walls, and larger furniture pieces, and pick lighter colors. Again, your choice of more colorful décor pieces will add accents of color that will balance out the neutral backdrop beautifully.

Transform your home by brightening up your rooms with these tips, and you’ll never have to worry about depressing spaces again. Whichever way you choose to lighten things up in your space, be sure to include some natural light in the mix for a warm, cheerful, and welcoming ambiance. Your body and mind will thank you, and so will your pocket.

 

Author

Eric is the creator of At Home in the Future and has been a passionate fan of the future since he was seven. He's a web developer by trade, and serves as the Director of Communication and Technology for a large church in Nashville, TN (where he and his family are building a high tech home in the woods).

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