It’s well known that access to natural light is closely linked to well-being and that spending too long in the dark can be detrimental to our mental health, but knowing how to improve the natural light in your home isn’t always easy.
When you speak to staff at the local DIY store, you’re likely to get some different opinions from those that you read online, and vice versa, so how do you know whether you’re making the best choice for your property?
Read on to find out how you can maximise the natural light to both the inside and the outside of your house for an energising, uplifting change that will leave you with your dream home.
Choose the right paint colour
Paint colour selection
First things first, and when it comes to maximising natural light, there’s a lot that you can do with paint to transform the look of your home. For the biggest impact, using white or off-white paint for the ceiling or even the walls is a great way to ensure that the sunlight coming through the windows is reflected. However, there are some other colours that work well to reflect sunlight and give your home an invigorating feel.
This is a popular colour choice among those who love bright, bold rooms. Painting a yellow feature wall, or even varying the shades of yellow throughout the home not only reflects sunlight beautifully, but it also promotes feelings of happiness and positivity.
Pastels have always been a common choice among interior designers, but these shades are growing in popularity year after year with DIYers too, and pastel blue is no exception. Not only does light blue reflect a lot of light, but it also works well with floral wallpapers and lilac accessories if you want to incorporate a feature wall or themed room into your home.
If you’re looking for a more muted tone or want to keep the walls neutral for a potential house sale, then choosing light grey for the walls is a great way to maximise natural light without going for a bold colour. Grey looks particularly good against mirrored or chrome furnishings, so take a look at some of the chicest grey interior ideas to get some inspiration.
As you narrow down your shortlist for potential paint choices, consider the size and location of the room – a smaller room will usually look darker than a larger equivalent, so brighter paints in smaller spaces always work best. In the same fashion, a room facing north will struggle to let in as much light compared to one facing south, so in this instance, it might be worthwhile to find a paint that works well with artificial light for those gloomy winter evenings.
Optimise the light from your windows
It goes without saying that your windows will most likely have the biggest impact on the amount of natural light that can enter your property. If you have small or textured windows, you’ll have a limited amount of light available, so if you struggle to keep things bright in the winter it might be time to consider replacing your windows with larger additions. There’s a huge range of windows that you can choose from, such as bay or high level windows, and making these changes can add value to your property if you were ever to sell.
If you don’t have the budget for window replacements right now, then another, more budget-friendly way to maximise the light coming in from the windows is to use a curtain pole that’s wider than your windows, so that your curtains hang at either side. This allows you to get the very most out of your window area, even if they’re on the smaller side.
Prefer blinds over curtains? No problem! You can still make changes to the window setup with blinds, by choosing a set that can sit high above the window so as not to obscure any of the light that passes through the glass.
Incorporate mirrors into the space
Natural light can be tricky to capture, and even if you’ve refreshed your paintwork and replaced your windows, you might still be finding it challenging to maximise the light in your home, especially if your rooms are small. A simple but effective tip to improve this is to incorporate mirrors into the space, which will bounce light all around the room and make the space feel much bigger. Like chrome or glass furnishings and accessories, mirrors pick up natural light (providing that they are in line to capture it) and project it around the room, so invest in some large mirrors and you’ll instantly notice a difference.
Don’t neglect your outdoor spaces
When it comes to boosting the amount of natural light that can enter your property, it’s easy to fall into the trap of focusing only on the indoors. However, making the most of all your space, including the outdoor buildings that you might usually avoid if they’re too gloomy, can make a big difference to your overall well-being, and lets you increase the things you can use your property for.
For example, if you have a summerhouse, workshop, or lean-to outside, then it might have a darker corrugated roof, but have you considered Corrapol pvc? Corrapol is clear, corrugated roofing that allows you to maximise the natural light that is let in by your outdoor buildings. You can even use Corrapol stormproof PVC to create a sturdier roof that can withstand the elements. This means that by replacing your roof with a Corrapol PVC Installation, you can optimise every inch of your property and add value to your home in the process!
Consider structural changes
Although structural changes can be costly, they’re a worthwhile investment if you not only want to maximise the natural light in your home but also add to its overall value. One of the most popular structural changes involves knocking down an internal wall to create an open-plan living or dining space, which will flood the room with light from more windows. If you don’t want to go completely open plan, you can instead replace the wall you’ve taken out with sliding or bi-fold glass doors, so that light can still enter while your rooms are separated.
If you have a side return (commonly found in terraced, Victorian-style homes) you may want to consider planning a side return revamp that maximises the natural light that can feed into your home, as these structures are often dimly lit and block most of the light from outside. Just remember, before making any structural changes, it’s vital that you find a qualified and experienced builder to carry out the work and keep your changes in line with safety and legal standards. It’s also down to you to determine whether you need planning permission for any property additions like a side return extension.
As winter comes and the dark nights draw in, it’s easy to feel down if your home is dim and gloomy, especially if you’re someone who thrives on sunlight and warm weather. But, by following these top tips and making suitable changes to your property you can truly transform the look and feel of your home – from paintwork and accessory changes to revamping your outdoor buildings, you’ll find your property flooded with light in no time!