10 ways to bring natural light into your home
There is only one thing better than a warm and sunny day; A home full of warm, sunny daylight!
Sunlight is a very important part of our daily lives!
It makes us healthy by supporting us with vitamin D, it warms us up and it effects our mood by making us happy and more positive!
Getting natural light into dark rooms is therefore desirable in every home – it simply makes the home feel more cozy and warm.
How to bring in more natural light
You might have some rooms that no matter what you do, never really get that light streaming through it – like you see in the commercials – but don’t give up, just keep reading!
This post will help you show some decor tips on how you can enhance the light you already do have, without having to tear down walls to get more natural light into your home.
I will show you how you can use mirrors, glass or mirrored wall panels to reflect more light through the rooms, and how big the effect can be if you change the paint colors or remove things, that is absorbing the natural light.
10 ways to bring natural light into your home
1. Trim bushes and trees.
Natural light – bring it in!
First step is to make sure that natural light actually can access your house.
You might not think about it, but the trees around your house, that gives you privacy may also block the sun from bursting into your rooms.
Try to avoid trees on the southern side of your home. In the summer, the sun will be too high for them to provide shade. In the winter, the trees will block from solar warmth.
Clean the windows!
Dirty windows can block a great deal of the daylight, so make sure to wash and clean all windows!
Window curtains and window treatments can reduce the natural light from getting into your rooms, so make sure you remove the heavy or dark curtains.
Add instead light colors and light weight fabrics – it will help bringing in natural light and will still give you privacy.
Also, make it a daily routine to open your curtains, blinds or other window coverings as far as they’ll go.
If you live in a house with only a few or very small windows, you may (if you have the budget) consider installing larger windows or french doors.
Adding a window to a side of the house that has none, can make an amazing difference.
Installing a higher window in bathrooms, dressing rooms or in a nursing room can create privacy where you still want to benefit from the natural daylight.
Finally, using frosted glass can be a good option to both let in daylight and to create privacy.
If installing new windows are not a possibility, consider instead installing a skylight to bring in more natural light for your home.
Installing skylights will bring in tremendous more natural light to a dark room.
Skylights comes in a wide variety of types and prices and works well where your have the rooftop just above the room.
4. Solar Tubes
Sometimes you have rooms that don’t seem like they could ever be lit by natural sun, consider installing solar tubes. Solar tubes can bring natural light from the rooftop through twisty, reflective pipes down a few stories (as far as 30 feet!)
Mirrors are an easy and budget friendly way to increase the natural light in your home – and they can also make the rooms appear much bigger by reflecting the light.
By installing a large mirror on a wall opposite a window, the mirror will reflect any incoming light (both natural- and artificial light) and double the amount of light in the room.
Placing mirrors directly opposite one another gives you infinite reflections, making the room feel both lighter and bigger.
A short hallway can appear longer by placing a large mirror on the end wall.
Mirrors are a lifesaver in every room!
If you have a difficult time visualizing how natural light will reflect through the mirror, simply shine a flashlight at the mirror and you will get a very good idea of how light will reflect.
6. Shiny and transparent
Not only mirrors can create the light reflecting effects.
Add anything shiny, and the rooms will naturally appear lighter.
Think acrylic materials, clear furniture, shiny tiles and everything glass, brass, gold or silver – from doorknobs to photo frames.
By using glass in your doors, you will open up for more natural light.
Use frosted or tinted glass for privacy on front doors, and inside you can use clear glass, frosted glass or mirrored doors to separate areas, but still let in light.
Adding glass tabletops or acrylic chairs will reduce the amount of light absorbed by furniture.
Color can either absorb or reflect light.
Dark colors can absorb natural light and vice versa.
Avoid deep, dark colors on walls furthest from the windows.
Lighter colors can bounce light around and brighten up the space.
When you want to make a small space look larger and brighter, add light colored paint.
Neutral colors like white, light grey or light tan/cream paint colors work really well.
Just make sure there isn’t too much yellow in the cream paint color you choose. Yellow in a dark room can often feel dingy.
Also, use a shinier, satin paint finish instead of flat — this will help reflect natural light.
Don’t forget to make your floors lighter. You can do this with paint, rugs or tiles. It will instantly give your room a lift.
Dark wooden floors?? Consider painting or stenciling them.
Make it dramatic
You can also use dark colors to add a dramatic feeling to a featureless room. But remember, if you want to experiment with dark colors, consider how much natural light comes into the room first. The more windows and doors there are in the room, the darker the wall color can be.
If the room has very little natural light coming in, but you still want dark walls, use light paint colors on your ceiling and floors to lighten your room.
Wood paneled ceilings or darkly painted ceilings absorb a lot of light.
Remember, if you have dark ceilings, avoid having dark walls and dark wood floors too.
I always recommend that you paint your ceilings white or light colors.
8. Add soft lighting
A bright room feels more spacious, so make sure your room gets illuminated in both corners and awkward places but also when natural light is over for the day.
Thinking about adding soft lighting in strategic areas helps of course to brighten up the room, but soft light also has a good impact on your mood.
By installing dimmer switches you will get control over our light source – so don’t be afraid that you cannot get your cozy moments.
In kitchens you often find dark corners and dark areas under cabinets or shelves. Try adding pendant lightings to the kitchen area where light is needed or concealed lighting in display built-in shelves or under cabinet lighting. You will be surprised how that can help you make your kitchen feel much lighter and bigger.
Most closets are dark and small rooms with no windows and poor, if any, lighting.
Dark closets are difficult to use and you can’t find the right things – and clothes can be difficult to see how they really look.
Depending on the size of your closet, there are ways to add light to it. You can try using lighting fixtures such as pendant lights and recessed lighting. You can also use LED closet rod lighting or consider adding sky lights or solar tubes – those two last ones are the most energy efficient, because they don’t use electricity, and they will also give you the best light of all – the natural light!
Always add light -or neutral colored furniture, artwork, towels, bedlinen, cushions and rugs to balance out your look. Add wall art and art work to compliment your look.
Use shiny hardware where ever it is possible.
Remove things that are absorbing too much light. Dark curtains, dark furniture and dark floors will all absorb a lot of natural light.
Add lots of mirrors.
The basement can be a chapter for it selves – and getting natural light downstairs can give a lot of people grey hair.
But don’t worry – a dark basement can be lit up just like any other dark room, it just require some extra thought – and work.
When remodeling your basement, start by making a plan to make sure you get that desirable natural light downstairs.
What is the purpose of the new basement?
Is it for storage or for bedrooms?
Remember that building codes require that you have at least two ways out of a bedroom, which is important in the event of an emergency. The stairs are the obvious first route and windows are the second.
If you’re adding a bedroom to your basement, you will have to include an egress window, which is a bit like a well dug next to the foundation.
Egress windows adds more light into the basement than the half windows placed just above the foundation wall.
More to consider:
Consider adding a few of these windows throughout the basement to get more natural light.
Also think about where/if you can add (more) windows or solar tubes – and if you are moving around/taking down walls, make sure you don’t put up new walls that will block the light’s path.
Ideally, natural light should be able to move uninterrupted from one side of the basement to the other.
I am staging a lot of houses for sale, and I often hear on real estate showings how the agents emphasizes when natural light is bursting into a house! – its no secret, everyone desires a home that is bathed in natural light.
Everyone craves it – and people even pay more to make sure they get it – its just out there waiting to be let in – the desirable natural daylight.