By Tara Hickock
Bringing natural light into your home is a bright idea, both emotionally and economically. It can elevate your mood and help your house feel happier and more welcoming. Using the sun’s power can save you money by cutting down on your electricity bill. Use these home decorating tips to learn how to increase natural light in your house and make your home a bit brighter.
From ceilings to floors and everything between, bring in the light by choosing light colors. You’ll brighten up any room with a lighter paint color. Shades of white, gray, or beige are good choices. You’ll also want to go with gloss: Higher gloss paint will reflect more light than matte paint. Ceilings are usually white for several reasons. First, a white ceiling makes a room appear taller and bigger. White also reflects light, making your room brighter. Choose blond, gray, or natural hardwoods and tiles for the floors rather than darker varieties. Lighter rugs can also brighten up a darker floor.
Lighter-colored furniture will help a room look lighter and brighter. Similarly to the room color, light and neutral furniture will help reflect light to add even more brightness. Choose neutral upholstery and add pops of color with pillows, rugs, and accessories. Switch dark lamp shades for lighter ones to brighten the room, both when the light is on and off. For larger furniture especially, lighter fabrics can help keep the room feeling open and bright.
On top of light-colored walls and furniture, shiny surfaces also reflect light, so use this to your advantage throughout your home. Utilizing your wall space is a great way to maximize your interior design and increase natural light in your house. Put some mirrors on your walls to make the space look bigger and brighter. Use glass or shiny ceramic backsplash tiles in the kitchen for a reflective effect.
Trim Trees and Bushes
Keep your landscape neat and tidy so that surrounding light can come inside. There’s only one thing worse than having a large, unkempt tree in front of your picture window: having a neighbor’s tree or shrubs blocking the light. If that’s the case, offer to help them trim their overgrown trees and bushes. Point out that pruning trees and shrubs keeps them healthy.
The first reason to wash your windows is simple: Clean windows are more attractive than dirty ones. A bit less obvious? Dirt on your windows can filter sunlight and allow less of it into your home. Not only does that affect brightness, but it can also affect warmth as well. With clean windows, your house will feel warmer in cold weather and brighter throughout the year.
Skip Heavy Window Treatments
Consider skipping the curtains and keep your windows uncovered. This is especially true in a darker room or a room with a dazzling view. Can’t stand bare windows? Try light and airy curtains instead of heavy, overbearing ones. Some windows will need coverings for privacy, insulation, or sun blockage so you can sleep. Choose blinds or shades you can adjust depending on the time of day.
It’s expensive, but adding windows is an excellent way to bring in more light if you’re looking to do some home renovation. If that’s not in your budget, add storm doors or choose a door with windows. Consider an on-trend minimalist design if you’re in the market for a patio door. You can get what amounts to a glass wall, allowing for lots of natural light and lovely views. Another option: skylights or solar tubes.
Learning how to brighten a room comes down to a few things: neutral colors, open spaces, and windows. Natural light in the home can be a practical and attractive design element in your living space. It can also save money by cutting your heating bill and lowering the need for artificial light. So let the sunshine in and enjoy being in the natural light with these home decorating tips.
Tara Hickock is an interior designer who also designs and decorates outdoor living spaces. Her designs focus on bringing the outdoors inside to give homes a natural touch. She recently remodeled her own home and created a screened-in sunroom for her guests to enjoy the outdoors, even in winter.