Your home can start to look less like a cozy space to relax and more like an operating room if you aren’t getting enough natural light. Natural light is easier on the eyes, better for the circadian rhythm, and a lot more welcoming than the sterile haze that artificial white light can cast. With the proper considerations, even homes in the dreariest of places can invite more natural light in.
Treat Your Windows Properly
If you’re struggling to funnel natural light in, make sure your curtains aren’t working against you. Even thin curtains block a certain percentage of natural light, and if you’re struggling to work with what you have, every last bit makes a difference. Opt for sheer curtains and blinds that can be kept open during the day. Vertical track blinds are the least intrusive. If you don’t have many windows, there’s not much you can do, especially if you’re renting – it may be time to check Gumtree for a home that has a sufficient amount of windows.
Utilize Reflective Surfaces
Mirrors can’t create light, but they can bounce around the amount of light that’s already there, encouraging it to go further. Placing mirrors at the end of a dark hallway, or on the wall across from windows, can help stretch the light around your home. Instead of going the traditional route of hanging wall art, try to spruce up your home with ornately framed decorative mirrors and other pieces of reflective décor.
Polish Your Home Regularly
Dust and grime build up on every surface over time, including your walls. This prevents light from bouncing around. Make sure you dust as often as possible. Clean glass surfaces with a streak free glass cleaner. Polish hardwood floors, marble, and tile. Wash your walls and freshen up things like baseboards, crown molding, and door frames once a year with a white semi-gloss paint. When you start to see your home sparkle, you know it’s working.
Reconsider Your Paint Choices
Moss green may be your favorite color, but if you aren’t getting enough light in your living room, your favorite color may be partially to blame. Darker colors generally make rooms look smaller. If you aren’t getting a sufficient amount of light in a room that already appears dark and small, the area will begin to look like a cave. Stick to neutral, light shades for wall colors. You can always incorporate different shades with decorative accents like throw pillows, rugs, and vases.
Consider Glass Doors
Swapping out a solid door for a door with glass panels will really brighten up a room. Where there was once a giant piece of wood obstructing light, you’ll have what essentially serves as a floor-to-ceiling window. Any exterior doors that can be swapped out for glass doors will give the same brightening effect as the installation of a giant window, or two normal sized windows. If you aren’t a big fan of sacrificing your privacy, etched or foggy glass is a great alternative. Light will get in, but no one will be able to see clearly through the panes on your door.
If you’re forced to work with what you have due to budget constraints or a home that cannot be modified, opt for daylight replicating light bulbs in rooms without windows or dark hallways. They’re a budget-friendly compromise and a promising last resort.