8 Ways to Bring Natural Light into Your Home
There’s nothing quite like natural sunlight. It feels warm, and it sheds an equally as soothing glow that cannot be replicated, no matter how hard light bulbs try. As such, you want to harvest as much natural light as possible to brighten your home — the only problem is, you’re not quite sure how to make the most out of the rays outside of your window.
From the simple to the more complex, here are eight ways to bring natural light into your home:
1. Start from the Outside
Sunlight will never get into your home if it can’t reach your windows in the first place. So, have a walk outside of your property to see if any overgrown trees, shrubs or bushes are blocking the rays from reaching your panes. You don’t have to get rid of all of them — shade can keep your house chilled in warmer months, for example — but pruning them down can let in just the light you need.
2. Examine Your Windows
Gloomy, gray winter days might have you putting off window cleaning until spring. If you’re hoping to let more natural light in, though, now’s the time to get scrubbing. Any dirt or cloudiness on your panes will deflect light — it’ll still be able to pass through, but you’ll get a brighter glow if your windows are fully transparent.
3. Open the Curtains and Shades
This one’s obvious, but you still might not have made it part of your daily routine. Throwing back your curtains and opening your blinds can make your home so much brighter instantaneously. Make a habit of doing so in the morning so that you can enjoy the sunlight for as long as possible before you want privacy and darkness and night.
If you feel too exposed during the day with your blinds and curtains open, you could opt for frosted glass, too. You’ll get a great amount of light without sacrificing any of your privacy.
4. Add a Sunroom
Not everyone has the budget for a full renovation but adding a new window-filled space to your home can make a huge difference. Building a sunroom provides homeowners with a wealth of benefits. Aside from the wealth of natural light, sunrooms add square footage and, therefore, value to your home if you want to sell it down the line. Plus, you and your family will have more space for leisurely activities, such as reading, crafting or playing musical instruments.
If you’re looking for a smaller project, think about opening up a wall and adding more windows. Replacing exterior doors with glass-paned ones could also be an easy, effective swap.
5. Re-Paint Your Walls
Rooms with darker colors on the walls tend to absorb light. This is excellent news if you’re trying to create a home theater, for example, where you can watch movies without a glare. But if you want to create a brighter look and feel, go with a lighter hue. For one thing, sunlight tends to bounce off these softer hues instead of disappearing into the dark. Plus, if you go with a warm shade — say, beige instead of crisp white — the space will feel cozier at the same time.
6. Rely on Reflective Surfaces
Another useful design trick is adding more reflective surfaces into your home. Once you open the windows to let the light in, your mirrors and other shiny items will reflect and multiply the amount of natural light you get. And, because there are so many different mirror shapes and sizes, you can do a lot to make them stylish additions to any room.
There are more reflective surfaces than just mirrors, though. You can re-seal your floor so that it has a brighter sheen to it. Some homeowners have repainted wooden floors or added stencils in a lighter hue so that they add to the brightness, rather than taking it away.
7. Open Your Floor Plan
Compartmentalizing spaces means that one room might have a wealth of windows, while another is begging for a bit of brightness. Open floor plans give you access to more light in your living spaces, so speak with a contractor about the possibility of opening your kitchen, dining and living room areas into one bigger, brighter space.
8. Supplement with Adjustable Lighting
Not every day is going to give you the sunlight you crave. Whether it’s partially cloudy or completely gray, you’re going to need some backup lighting.
You can make it look as natural as our biggest star’s rays by choosing adjustable light switches and bulbs. That way, you can bulk up whatever natural light you’re getting so that it’s bright enough inside of your home. And, if the sun just so happens to come out, you can dim the lights or turn them off entirely, enjoying the sunshine — and saving money on energy costs, to boot.
Let the Light In
These eight methods range from major renovation to a minutes-long project. No matter which one(s) you choose to implement, you’ll be amazed at just how much power a bit of natural light can have, casting a cheerful glow over the place you’re happiest — your home.