I like letting in as much natural light as possible into our rooms. The gentle warmth of the sun comforts me and helps me feel more positive and upbeat. Dark rooms can be depressing and make you feel gloomy and claustrophobic. Somehow the walls close in and the room seems smaller and not quite as inviting.
Altering how much natural light comes in to a room can really alter the whole feel of a room, transforming it into an airy pleasant space. It can have lots of additional benefits like the requirement to spend less on electricity.
Here are a few suggestions to help you bring more natural light into your home.
The obvious starting point for letting in natural light is with your choice of window coverings. Some blinds are quite restrictive; you do not have much flexibility with how much they can open. Avoid dark curtains or thick material that block out valuable sunshine.
It’s always a balancing act between wanting to let in enough light and still maintaining your privacy. If you live in a built up area, there is nothing worse than looking out and noticing everyone else looking in on your private sanctuary. At the same time you do not want your blinds completely closed or you risk feeling confined and cut off from the outside world.
Luxaflex have developed twist blinds these are very clever and solve the light privacy dilemma. With this product you have much greater control over how much light you let in whilst still managing to preserve your privacy. The innovative design slides two fabrics past each other so its much more adaptable to your needs. You still have relative solitude but you have the advantage of lots of light streaming into the room through the lighter shade of fabric.
The twist blinds operate much like shutters but without being quite so expensive to install. Sometimes you might have too much natural light then you can adjust the blinds to avoid glare or the room becoming too hot. Twist blinds can look very contemporary and modern and they have a wide range of designs to suit your interior but I like them best for their functionality. Being able to control light in this way, gives you greater freedom to manipulate your living environment.
The Room Layout
It might sound obvious but do make sure that furniture does not block the windows in your rooms, keep the space around the windows free and uncluttered so they can bring in as much natural light as possible.
Choice of Paint
If you want lighter rooms it’s also important to think about the colour paint you choose. White is always a good option as it reflects natural light around the room, but you could also consider cream or magnolia. Obviously you might not want everything light coloured at the risk of the room appearing cold or clinical. It’s trying to pitch it right so you have that happy medium but this can be achieved by bringing colour to the room through the choice of furniture or accessories.
Adding mirrored surfaces can help reflect the light around the room, this is especially effective if the mirror is placed directly opposite the window or by another light source.
Solar tubes can bring natural light through reflective tubing to a fitting in a room that has no window. This is a good option on a landing or hallway that might otherwise be every dark, but if you can work with the light you have already it would be more cost effective. A mirror might be able to bring enough light from another room to avoid requiring the upheaval of installing these.
If you have tackled all of the above and you still feel the room is too dark, then it might be worth experimenting with artificial light. If your windows are just too small to let in much natural light to work with and the cost of installing bigger ones is too prohibitive, consider table lamps to bring light to darker corners of the room.
Finally if you are in the process of building a house from scratch think very carefully about the positioning of your windows. Ask yourself questions like “Which direction will sunlight enter from?” - south facing windows are the best choice for letting in sunshine all year round.