Sometimes when you move into a new house, you realize that you hadn't noticed how little natural light comes into your main rooms. This is usually due to the windows in these rooms being positioned away from direct sunlight, or exterior obstructions such as walls or tight neighbouring buildings. However, with clever decor placement and changing a detail here and there, you can adapt these spaces to bring more natural light and make better use of artificial light.
1. Work Out What You Need
Before you start making any drastic changes to your home, you need to know what needs to be changed first. That means going through each room and assessing the amount of light you're getting both naturally and artificially. Low lighting may not be a problem in some rooms, especially if it isn't used often. Enhancing the light can be desired for practical reasons or simply an improvement in the ambience.
2. The Mirror Effect
One way to bring more light into your home is to reflect existing light. This means adding surfaces that are shiny or having many mirrors in the room to reflect the light toward the centre of the room. Objects like chandeliers, brass lighting, gold doorknobs, glass tables, or silver photo frames can all elevate the lighting in the room.
If you're going to be using mirrors, place them opposite windows so the light coming through can be reflected back. The larger the surface the more impact it will create, but do keep proportion in mind so that the size of the mirror remains balanced with the room. An added bonus is that mirrors also make the room look bigger.
When it comes to windows, ideally you'll have as much light coming through them as possible. To achieve this, it's important not to have any thick, heavy curtains hanging. They will absorb any natural light and make the room look darker. Instead, opt for light, transparent curtains which will give you some privacy while still allowing light to come through. Another way to achieve more natural light is to change the windows themselves. If your windows are small, then you could invest in having larger windows fitted, and you can learn more about these ideas online.
4. Use Glass in Clever Ways
One of the darkest areas of the house is the hallway. This is generally because there aren't any windows and the front door is usually one solid piece or has small windows that may not face optimal exposure. If you want to get more natural light coming through this area of the house, you can use glass. For example, you might want to consider installing a glass door, or large glass panes down the sides of the door if space allows. There are many doors now available that use specially toughened glass to prevent the risk of damage or breaking. As this is the front door, you may also want to consider having frosted glass installed to help with privacy.
5. Add Color
You may think that you can't use darker shades if you want to make the room brighter. However, you can still use splashes of deeper colour here and there to keep the room from looking too bright and possibly washed out. Neutral tones like mushroom, grays, or soft white work best for base colours. Even light colours will still absorb some natural light, but they will reflect a certain amount as well. You can also add small amounts of different colours for contrast, on the skirting or to have a different colour ceiling.
As well as the walls and windows, you also want to look at the floor. There are many ways you can brighten the floors; for example, you can install a floor in a lighter colour or one with a shiny surface, paint wood floors a different colour if they are natural, and you can add bright rugs. If you have carpet in the room, try seeing what’s underneath it. If you have a natural wooden floor underneath, then you might do well to take up the carpet and paint the floor a brighter colour such as white, cream or pale grey. This will not only make the room look bigger, but it will also brighten the room considerably.
As well as adding natural light, you can also use artificial lighting to enhance what you already have. Think about where you want to place your artificial lighting. A good way to spread lights out throughout the room is to use lamps, but avoid big colourful shades which can block light. You can also think about adding lights underneath the shelves, behind mirrors, and in fireplaces, if they are no longer used. For rooms with high ceilings, having some kind of lighting up there often makes the room look bigger and brighter.
By using these ideas, you can turn even the smallest, darkest room into one that is light and feels much more spacious!