Do you feel as if your house is dark and dingy? Are you looking for ways to brighten up main living areas? If so, you aren’t alone. Light – and natural light in particular – is something most homeowners desperately want more of.
6 Ways to Brighten Up Your Home
Dark living spaces feel smaller, colder, and less inviting. They dampen the mood and constrict feelings. Light living spaces, on the other hand, make people feel happy, free, and welcome.
Most homes have at least a couple of living spaces or rooms in the home that are darker than they should be. Addressing these problem areas and finding ways to introduce sources of light and brightness will change the mood and functionality of your home.
Here are a few practical things you can do:
Choose the Right Windows
Windows represent your best source of natural light. Selection and placement of windows is extremely important. You want windows that let in lots of light without overheating your living spaces. Solar screens on top of existing windows can be a great option.
“Solar screens block UV rays 65-90%, preventing the sun from heating up your windows and your home,” Screens Unlimited explains. “But the screens only block visibility 15% – 40% depending on fabric selected, so you still get plenty of light inside your home to keep your plants happy and healthy.”
It’s best to avoid heavy draperies and window coverings with lots of fabric. They almost always take away from the windows and block out too much light.
As far as placement goes, windows will let in the most light when they’re on east- or west-facing sides of the property. Windows on north and south sides will still let in light, but it’ll be softer, more indirect light.
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Prune Back Landscaping
Even when a home has adequate windows, it’s common for indoor living spaces to be dark. In some cases, this has to do with landscaping. If you have lots of trees and shrubbery outside, it’s possible that they’re blocking direct sunlight light from entering into the home. While this may be good for energy efficiency, it can put your home on the dark side of the light spectrum.
If you have an interior room without any exterior walls – such as a closet, bathroom, or hallway – you’ll have to rely on artificial light to brighten these spaces. But there is another option. If you’re up for a little renovation project, you could always incorporate a skylight into the ceiling. In doing so, you brighten up the space and give it some warm, natural light.
You don’t always need more windows or skylights to brighten up a space. Sometimes you can do something simple like decorate with mirrors.
“Double the amount of sunlight in your room by allowing it to bounce off reflective surfaces. Hang a large mirror directly across from the largest window in your room, or arrange an array of smaller mirrors to help brighten a dark staircase,” ELLE Decor advises.
Decorate With Light Colors
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Being strategic with color selection will help you maximize the light in a room. For example, lighter window treatments and wall colors make a room feel bigger and brighter.
“Similarly, choose lighter colors as often as you can when decorating and buying furniture,” designer David Michael McFarlane writes. “White and lighter shades reflect natural light, whereas black and darker browns absorb it.”
Clean Windows Monthly
Most people never even think about cleaning their windows. And if they do, they wait until they are eyesores. But did you know that dirty and smudged glass actually prevents light from fully penetrating your windows? Make it a habit to clean windows once per month and you’ll see a difference.
Let There Be Light
Light can make or break the entire look and feel of your home. And while it is possible to have too much light, it’s not very common. Instead, most homes don’t have nearly enough light. Using the tips and tricks mentioned in this article, look for easy ways to integrate more light into your home and enjoy the benefits of a happier and healthier abode.
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