Natural light is a key feature for any home and is at the top of the ‘must have’ list for many home buyers. Without plenty of natural light, rooms can feel small and dingy.
To ensure your home is bright, airy and looks as spacious as possible, try these seven tricks:
Update your window dressings
Rid your home of heavy, dark curtains and introduce some simple, plain coloured window dressings instead. If you’re worried about the heat escaping or too much light coming in at night, then invest in some thermal blackout blinds for warmth and total light control.
Net curtains may have kitsch appeal but they block natural light and can look outdated. To maintain privacy, replace your nets with frosted window vinyl or vertical blinds, which can be angled to maximise privacy and light. Alternatively, try voiles which are made from light, floaty material and add a romantic touch to any room; back them up with roller blinds for privacy in the evening.
Open up your interior
A cost effective way to increase the natural light in your home is to replace any solid interior doors with doors with glass panels. Glass panel doors can cost less than £100 each, including handles and fittings, and will instantly update your home. If you have a solid front door then you could even consider replacing this with a windowed door which has reinforced, frosted or dappled glass in the panel.
Walls and floors
Use light colours on your walls and floors to really make the most of the daylight which comes into the room. Avoid gloss finishes as these can create patches of light which will produce glare and instead go for matt paints which distribute the light more evenly. Ceilings in particular should be painted pure white as anything else may feel oppressive and give the illusion that the ceiling is lower than it is.
Brighten up your accessories
Big paintings and posters may look good on your walls but dark wall coverings will absorb light so keep your walls simple and if you do introduce artwork, make sure it’s lightly coloured. The same theory goes for your furniture too, replace dark coloured throws, cushions and sofa covers with cream or stone shades. Cleverly placed mirrors which reflect the light coming in from your windows will really maximise brightness, especially if you place the mirror directly next to a window. If the space allows, go big with a wall-to-wall mirror.
Cheat with natural light bulbs
Sometimes, even when you’ve done all you can to increase the light in your home, external factors such as overhanging trees or living in a built up area may mean that you’ll never be able to obtain the optimum light levels in your home. You can cheat though by investing in light bulbs which replicate natural light, such as natural light LEDs.
Aim your lighting up to the ceiling where possible as windows generally force daylight to the bottom of the room. Adding extra light to the top half of a room will mean you can enjoy uninterrupted light levels throughout the room.
Install a light well
A light well can be installed in the home to harness the natural light from outside and project it inside, even in the darkest corners of a home. A light well looks like a small round skylight which is installed in the roof and instead of just adding a window to this, as you would with a skylight, a large tube is installed which has a mirrored surface on the interior. This mirrored surface forces light to bounce across it and it can be angled to curve around corners. Light wells are a popular choice for lighting basements.
Install bi-folding doors
If your budget allows, bi-folding doors can transform an entire wall into a window that extends the length of the house, giving your home unprecedented natural light. Not only will the room be flooded with light but, when open, it can also make access to the garden far easier and open up your living space.