Natural light is key to making a space feel open, airy and welcoming; without enough natural light, rooms can feel cramped and claustrophobic. You can do several things to open up your space and add more natural light. In this article, we look at some simple design changes and more drastic building modifications that will add more light to your home.
Take down the curtains
You might want to ditch curtains altogether if you’re trying to add more light to a living room or dining room. These rooms don’t necessarily need anything covering the windows unless you’re overlooked by neighbours. Curtains can add bulk and block out some of the natural light at the edges of the windows. If privacy is an issue, choose a low-profile blind that can neatly fit at the top of the window and won’t obscure the shape of the windows. In the winter, you might want to add curtains for warmth, but make sure to take them down again when the summer months come around.
Mirrors are a great way to brighten up any dark room. They reflect light into the room, making it appear brighter. Place mirrors on a wall opposite a window or on the wall that runs adjacent to the window. These positions are the best for reflecting the natural light back into your room. The bigger the mirror, the more light you will reflect, but choose something that also works with your overall room decoration.
If the room you’re trying to add light to has no other rooms on top, you could look to add a skylight to brighten up the space. Skylights are essentially windows where you can see the sky; they’re great for loft conversions or dark extensions. Building a skylight into the initial design stages of your loft conversion or extension will be much more straightforward and cheaper than adding one later.
Don’t obstruct light
You should avoid putting any furniture in front of windows as this will block the natural light entering the room. The same goes for internal structures such as staircases; a large open window can become obsolete if it’s blocked by the staircase. Contemporary staircases can help add more light to a room; they use materials such as glass and metal to let light flow through the staircase and brighten up the space. Architects should incorporate these elements into the design of any new home or building.
Another way to add the feeling of a lighter, brighter room is to use light or neutral colours for your furniture. A cream sofa, bright white wall and accessories will create an open light space with the illusion of more light. Dark colours painted on the walls can make a room feel more enclosed. Light furniture is great aesthetically, but it can be an issue practically; sofa throws and washable rugs are great options if you want to keep your light furniture clean and stain-free.
Lamps and light sources
You don’t need to always rely on natural light to brighten up a room; sometimes, this isn’t possible. If you have a particularly dark corner of your room, try adding a statement lamp to brighten up that area. Fairy lights and candles can also be used if a lamp doesn’t fit with your room decoration. You can purchase special lights that mimic natural daylight; however, this isn’t necessary if you have other sources of natural light in your room.
Floor colour and material
When choosing a colour and material for your floor, think about the light in your room. If the room could use more light, choose a reflective floor material to help the light bounce around the room. Tiles and shiny wooden floors can help with this effect; opt for a light colour if you want to add even more light to your room. If you’re choosing wood, avoid small planks as they can make your room feel smaller, larger planks will open up the space to make it appear lighter and bigger.
Using these clever design tips, you can add more light to your room and create an open and enjoyable space for all of you and your guests.