It’s a glorious day outside but you have one room in your house that just seems to remain dull and dark. It’s a common problem encountered by many, but how do you draw more natural light into your home?
Getting natural light into a dark room is important. It not only helps you see things more clearly; it offers lots of health benefits too. Natural light boosts your mood and is known to release endorphins, meaning a light and airy room will make you feel happier and more energetic.
Getting as much light into a room as possible is also good for your house. The heat from the sun can reduce condensation and damp and help warm it up, reducing how much you need to use the central heatingy. Sunlight is also known to reduce the production of bacteria and other critters that may want to set up camp in your house.
What can be done to utilise and maximise natural light?
Choose your colours wisely – Even if you only have a small window or a north-facing room, the colours you choose for it can have a massive impact on just how it reacts with the light. Reflective, neutral colours such as white, magnolia and cream will instantly brighten a room; the same goes for the colour of your ceiling. Avoid using darker colours here as this will instantly absorb the light and make the room seem smaller. Using bright neutral colours also make a great blank canvas for your decor choices.
Include mirrors – Mirrors and other reflective decor such as glass pendant lights and chrome ornaments can help move the light around the room. A mirror placed directly opposite the source of light, whether it be a window or door, will instantly create the illusion of another light source=. If it’s a kitchen that you’d like to brighten, consider light coloured work surfaces and reflective additions such as glass splashbacks.
Avoid over dressing your windows – The worst thing you can do when it comes to a source of natural light is cover it up. A common thing to do with a light coloured room is to have dark accessories; this often includes blinds and curtains. Unfortunately fitting dark curtains and blinds to a small window will dramatically reduce the amount of light that gets through to your room. Instead, opt for a lighter colour and give yourself the option to open the dressings fully. Sheer curtains are also a good option as they let the light through and into the room without much adjustment.
Consider the layout of your room – To maximise light distribution throughout a room, avoid placing large furniture near the window. If it’s a bedroom that needs more light, furniture such as wardrobes should be kept to a different area of the room.If they can effectively “box in” a window, they will cast shadows in other parts of the room.
Keep your windows clean – This may seem really obvious but it really does make a difference. Dirt and grime build up on windows is an inevitable problem and can reduce the amount of light getting through into the room if allowed to build up. We would recommend giving your windows a good clean every couple of weeks.
Add windows – This is an extreme option, but worth it if your property is suitable and you have the funds for the work.
If you’d prefer not to add a window due to the cost or change of aesthetics, there are other options available. Tubular skylights go up through the ceiling and out through the roof. Sunlight then reflects down into the room providing another source of natural light. These are however only really suitable in upstairs rooms or bungalows.
Windows could also be installed internally to draw light from other areas of the house, if this is preferred.
Trim back any trees and foliage outside – It’s not uncommon for trees to cast a shadow and reduce the amount of light that can enter a home. Cut back any trees that may be causing problems and trim back any climbers that may have started to trail up the window.
Choose the right colour flooring – Much like walls and ceilings, floor colour can have a huge impact in how light is distributed around a room. Dark floors and carpets can draw down the light and take it away from the rest of the room. Lighter carpets and flooring will spread the light a little further across the room. If you’re extra courageous, polished floors are especially good for light distribution.
Let there be light!
Not everyone is blessed with a house where every room is south facing and benefits from a whole day of sunshine; because of that there are many things that can be done to help. Follow our tips and you’ll be basking in glorious sunshine in no time!