Does your home have enough natural light? It’s a key element to get right in interior design, and can make all the difference to how a room feels and functions.
There’s a very good reason why we all enjoy natural light. It’s a powerful mood booster, with the ability to aid production of the happy hormone, serotonin. Natural light also helps our bodies produce vitamin D, which in turn can help to prevent seasonal depression. No wonder we all instinctively want our homes to be flooded with light!
Having said that, our homes aren’t always designed to maximise natural light throughout. Nearby buildings and trees, small windows, extensions, and even the direction your house faces, can all have a significant impact on the amount of natural light your home enjoys.
How to bring more natural light into your home
If you’re keen to bring more natural light into your home, there are some simple tricks you can use. Read on for some clever ways to make your interior space feel brighter without embarking on a major renovation.
Choose a light colour scheme
Decorating with lighter colours can have a big impact on how light an interior space feels. As well as creating a brighter impression, using light or pale tones on the walls will also help to create a more open, airy feel.
Another clever decorating trick is to go for light reflecting paint. This is designed to reflect more light than normal paint, but still has a matte finish. It’s a particularly good option in north-facing rooms and areas with very little natural light.
Use more glass
When it comes to maximising natural light in the home, glass is your best friend. Light travels straight through it, making it perfect for opening up a dark space.
Your windows are the obvious place to start if you’re thinking of increasing the amount of glass in your home. Large panes and minimalist frames will really work hard to boost light levels, and also help to blur the boundaries between indoors and outdoors.
Roof lights are another excellent way to flood a space with light. They’re perfect for single storey extensions and loft conversions, and they’re also ideal if you’d like to maintain privacy in an overlooked room. The angle of a roof exposes roof windows to strong daylight, while also directing the light straight into your room without encountering any obstacles. Simple, and so effective!
Consider also using glass in your home’s fixtures and fittings. Glass balustrades look fantastic in modern interiors, and they’re also perfect for providing an unobtrusive safety barrier on juliet balconies and raised patios. You need to use toughened safety glass for projects like these; do your research on suppliers of toughened and sandblasted glass before making a final decision.
Clever ways to reflect light
You can maximise the impact of the existing light in your home by using reflective surfaces to bounce it around. This is a quick and easy way to make a room feel bigger and brighter.
Wall mirrors are a great option for reflecting light. Position them opposite the source of natural light to bounce as much as possible back into the room. You might need to experiment with the position of your mirror to find the ideal spot, so don’t put those nails in the wall straight away!
You can also use mirror and metallic finishes on furniture and accessories to help distribute light. Clear acrylic or glass furniture is another great way to give light free passage around a room. Consider also using high-gloss paint on your woodwork to reflect daylight and brighten up your interiors.
Use light window dressings
We recently swapped our heavy lounge curtains for white venetian blinds, and I was amazed at the difference it made to the amount of natural light in the room. Thick, heavy or dark curtains do a great job of keeping the heat in, but they also tend to keep the light out – especially if they cover a sizeable chunk of the window even when they’re open.
Choosing light coloured curtains and blinds will immediately brighten up a room, and it you go for a translucent material you will still benefit from natural light when they’re closed. You don’t have to feel like you’re on display either; opaque adhesive window film and voiles are both great options for striking a balance between light and privacy.
Embrace open-plan living
Open-plan living has been a popular interiors trend for a while now, and from a natural light perspective, it’s not hard to see why.
By their very nature, larger living spaces allow you to install larger windows, patio doors, or bifold doors. An open-plan room is also more likely to have more than one external wall, which allows you to add windows on more than one aspect.
Finally, open-plan living makes it easier to create a flow between your indoor and outdoor space. Using bifold doors or large windows to create a garden view will help to flood your room with natural light all year round. It’s a great way to boost the space you have available for entertaining too!
What’s your top tip for bringing more natural light into your home?