Many homes are dark, cluttered, and claustrophobic simply because their owners prefer to keep lights off for whatever reason. Some even go as far as closing the drapes or positioning furniture in such a way that sunlight can’t reach certain areas. The result? A heavy atmosphere that doesn’t exactly invite you to kick back and relax.
To help you create an open-feeling home, we’ve put together some tips on how you can bring more natural light to your place. Even better, it’s not really expensive or too time-consuming.
1. Choose Your Awnings Well
Awnings are great when you want to make your patio more tolerable during the summer, but they can also block the sun once the air becomes chilly and the skies are more overcast.
You don’t need to avoid awnings, but you better choose one well. A retractable patio awning is perfect for saving your skin from burning when the temperature gets hot. The fabric usually includes UVA and UVB protection to screen the skin-damaging sun rays. However, when you also need some vitamin D, you can conceal the awning right away.
2. Make Use of Reflective Surfaces
Place a mirror on the bright side of your room. Mirrors have a way of making a place look bigger and brighter, so don’t hesitate to put one on the wall that’s exposed to sunlight.
Just be sure it doesn’t cover an entire wall, or you’ll lose the natural light coming from those windows! We suggest positioning it as close as possible to those windowsills since they reflect more light too.
For bigger spaces, small mirrors are not exactly ideal since you’ll only be able to redirect small amounts of natural light. Some areas will still be dark.
Instead, opt for large reflective surfaces like shiny tiles or even stand-alone floor lamps with mirrored sides. The idea is that any reflective surface should help bounce back natural sunlight into shadowed areas, brightening up your place along the way.
3. Take Advantage of White
Paint walls white because it reflects sunlight nine out of ten times. It will allow natural light to bounce around easier since it will be reflected from one surface to another. You can also throw in a few red accents now and then if you want a touch of color in there.
If that’s not a good-enough benefit, a new study by Purdue University revealed the whitest paint on the planet that could help curb the effects of climate change by making a building (or home) feel much cooler.
In the evenings, for example, the room with the paint will be over 15 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than its surroundings, according to the experiment. During noon, surfaces could be 8 degrees Fahrenheit cooler.
4. Pay Attention to the Drapes and Furniture
We get it; drapes are synonymous with cozy and intimate. But if you’re looking to open up your home? White shades not only look fresh but equally brighten up a space. As for the color? Feel free to go with anything from cream or off-white to light gray. The more transparent they are, the better!
As for your furniture, make sure the pieces don’t block light sources. Keep an eye out for areas where sunlight can be blocked off, and try to avoid placing objects there whenever you can.
Let bright colors do their thing as well. Many bright elements like colorful paintings or even stained-glass windows attract more sunlight because they require less room for proper illumination. Keep this in mind when shopping for new furniture or decorations for your place.
5. Make Sure Your Floors Aren’t Blocking Off Any Light
To ensure sunlight doesn’t get trapped when it hits your home, layer different textures in a particular order that goes from the heaviest to the lightest. In other words, make sure your wall’s surface is less reflective than your window’s glass and so on.
If your floors aren’t as reflective as the ceiling or walls, try having them re-done with glossy tiles, so sunlight can quickly bounce around from one surface to another. The same principle applies here: layer different textures from the heaviest/least reflective to the lightest/most reflective. You should take note, though, that this isn’t a fix-all solution and won’t work for every type of flooring material out there.
6. Avoid Clutter
This last one is pretty important. Not only does it make your place look messy, increasing stress, but it also prevents natural light from reaching deep inside your home. This means fewer sunny spots and more depressing corners.
Put away old unused stuff or throw them away. Consider setting up storage spaces along the walls for items you don’t use as often, and remember to clean up regularly.
Inviting more natural light at home brightens up any space, making it appear bigger. It also decreases utility bills in the winter and makes a lot of people feel happy.