It is said that natural light is the most important property that people look for when buying a family home.
In a survey conducted by Roof Window Outlet, the results were clear: A massive 52 percent of Britons shared that sunlight shining into their home made them happier than any other element. In fact, 42 percent stated that their overall level of well-being (including relaxation and happiness) grew with access to sunlight at home. The survey also found that 1 in 6 people focused on creating additional light sources when renovating their home.
Exposure to daylight has been linked to improvements in our well-being and mood, and in the home natural light can make a room brighter, brighter and give the feeling of more space.
If you want to flood your home with natural light, these eight top tips are a good start.
1) Light colors reflect the sunlight beautifully
Introduce lighter colors to your walls by relegating statement wallpaper and dark block colors to a soft shade of paint. White tones make a room feel brighter, as they reflect the natural light entering the room instead of absorbing it.
However, Chris Harvey, an interior designer from Stelrad, suggests not using brilliant white paint on walls, as it can make a room feel cold. “It’s better to use an off-white shade instead, as it gives a much warmer effect.”
If you’re a fan of color, Farah Arshad, Head of Design at Dusk, recommends trying subtle shades that maintain a sense of space: “Neutral and earthy tones are a popular choice this season.”
For a professional finish, opt for gloss over matte paint – the gloss helps diffuse the light for the illusion of more space. Another trick is to paint the ceiling a few shades lighter than the walls to create an airy feel.
2) The right floor can help
Floors can also be transformed into light-friendly reflectors by choosing wooden, laminate, ceramic or stone floors with a polished finish, which reflect much more light than carpets. If you prefer a carpet, opt for light, neutral colors.
3) Decorate with mirrors and reflective accessories
Accessories made of metal, glass and mirrors can all help to make the most of the available light and add stylish accents to the entire home. By reflecting light, even the most compact home is guaranteed to feel lighter and more spacious.
Carefully placed mirrors naturally reflect light and are the most effective way to create the illusion of more space. Positioning is everything, and Farah Arshad suggests placing them “directly across from windows to reflect more natural light back into your room, especially if you’re working with a small space.”
4) Don’t neglect your exterior
The impact that the greenery outside your house can have on the incidence of light inside should not be underestimated. If the daylight outside your house is blocked, you will have a hard job of doing everything in your interior to improve it.
Chris Harvey advises homeowners to “prune any trees, shrubs or creepers that grow around your doors and windows that can block the light.
“While you’re outside, it may also be worth doing a thorough cleaning of your windows to make sure that as much light comes in,” Chris adds. This ensures that as much light as possible can seep in through the glass.
5) Rearrange your furniture layout
Large furniture not only blocks the light, but also makes a room look cramped. We recommend reassessing the layout of your furniture and asking yourself: is this the best use of space? Is this furniture necessary or superfluous for daily needs?
First, Farah suggests avoiding “large, square furniture that blocks the light.” She also advises placing large pieces of furniture away from your windows to let in as much light as possible. Instead, choose streamlined furniture that makes better use of the available space and is not bulky in design.
6) Invest in your windows
If you have the budget, the best way to increase the natural light in your home is to install large new windows and doors. Bi-folding doors are a particularly good choice as they can transform an entire wall of your home into glass for breathtaking views and ultimate levels of light.
Gavin Helgeson, Rooflight Division Manager at Duplus, said that Duplus has seen an increase in clients (from new construction applications to property renovators) looking to improve the lighting and space in their homes. He suggests investing in more windows, including skylights, to let in as much light as possible.
“Installing skylights is an effective way to bring in more daylight, and they also increase your view of the sky, giving you a space that feels both more spacious and brighter,” says Gavin. “They’re also great to install with a loft conversion to add plenty of natural light to your new room.”
7) Increase sunlight by aartificial light
Increase brightness with artificial light that will amplify, rather than take over, the natural light entering your home. Pay special attention to areas where the light from the windows does not reach, such as awkward corners, hallways or alcoves.
Installing dimmers gives you more control over how a room is lit, allowing you to gradually adjust light levels as the natural light in your home changes throughout the day.
“Popular LED lights offer three main choices: soft/warm white, bright/cool white, and daylight,” said Jo Dyson, renovation and interior design expert for the Homebuilding & Renovating Show and co-founder of Mae House Design. ‘I usually use warm white for a cosy, relaxing space. I’m a big fan of dimmers and not just for the main living areas; they are equally important in bedrooms and bathrooms. When you’re getting ready for work in the morning, you might opt for a bright, light bedroom and bathroom, but want the lights to be dimmed when you’re unwinding and getting ready for bed.”
8. Pay attention to blinds and curtains
Like bulky furniture, heavy window treatments can also block or obscure precious sunlight. Instead, opt for blinds that can be easily rolled up or opened so that you can adjust them with the movement of the sun. It’s also worth installing curtain hooks or ties so you can get as much curtain material out of the way as possible.
We recommend choosing lighter and more natural fabrics rather than heavier fabrics such as velvet. You should still be able to get blackout options (important for light sleepers), but they will be easier to pull out during the day than thicker fabrics.
If you want to maintain privacy, but still let light shine through, voile curtains are a brilliant option.
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