If you would like more light in your home, don’t go down the artificial route and stock up on table or floor lamps. While they’re important for balancing out light levels, if you need to lighten up your home, your first port of call should always be looking to increase the amount of natural light that’s allowed to enter your home’s four walls.
Heavy, solid doors may look fantastic but they come at a price. Choosing a front door with a glass panel will allow light to enter your home. There are plenty of options for you to choose between in order to maintain your privacy and keep your security levels up, such as etched or reeded glass. Don’t forget your interior doors too. You might be tempted to do away with inner doors, especially if you’re leaning towards an open plan layout but keep in mind that inner doors make great soundproofing barriers. Consider installing French doors instead to introduce see-through panels and help light filter through from room to room.
Decorate with lighter colours
Light colours reflect light while darker colours absorb it. This is one of the reasons why many painters and decorators dislike working with black – along with the fact that it’s difficult to change later on when you want to update your look. You don’t have to stick to whites and creams to achieve the look – pale blues, pinks and yellows are all on the menu. It’s not just your walls that need attention. Swapping heavy curtains for thin nets, blinds (not roman as they’re great blockers open or closed) or sheer curtains will work wonders in your rooms, particularly in the living room where creating a room that’s dark enough for you to sleep in summer won’t be an issue.
Pay attention to furniture and greenery
Pushing sofas and tables up against windows can reduce the amount of light that enters your home, especially if a table is taller than the bottom of a pane of glass. That said, it’s not just the inside of your home that can make a difference. If you’re fortunate enough to have a tree or window sill planters in your garden, trim them regularly to make sure that any branches and leaves don’t obstruct the path of sunlight into your windows.
Consider a fireplace
While a glow from a fire doesn’t come close to sunlight in terms of health benefits (Vitamin D) and sheer volume of light, it operates in a similar way by lightening up your room and helping to combat not only the physical but emotional coldness that can come hand in hand with a dark interior.
Introduce more glass
Adding more glass into a room will maximise its light levels. If you have the space, build more windows into your property or think about incorporating additional glass through a sliding door or skylight. The government has recently proposed plans to remove restrictions surrounding minimum window and room sizes, so I predict this becoming more of a priority than ever in the next generation of homes. With the restrictions removed, we could find already small properties containing less windows as companies look to save costs. If you’re looking to install a single uPVC window, set aside around £400 to both buy and fit it. Depending on the number of windows that you want to install, their size and the frames that are used, the price will vary and can creep up to £8,000 for a set of three bay windows and £4,500-£5,500 for a set of 12 standard sized uPVC windows. While sliding doors are fantastic for capitalising on light in conservatories, they can be difficult to incorporate into the non-extended home if you have young children to consider and safety is paramount.
A skylight may be a better option as long as you are prepared to expense it and don’t expect to see a short term return on the investment. A single skylight can bring up to five times the amount of light into your home than a regular window of the same size, thanks to its proximity to the sky and in turn sunlight or moonlight, so you will notice a reduced electricity bill, it just won’t take immediate effect. The downside is the risk of rainwater leakage as a result of making a large hole in your roof and the sheer amount of heat that the skylight can generate from the sun in the summer months. Nevertheless, there are a range of skylights which come with different coatings and frames to help counteract the potential weaknesses in the design so it’s worth doing some research and contacting a window and conservatory specialist should you decide to carry out the work.
Tubular skylights are being touted as the new must-have when it comes to specialist windows. Reflective cylinders or pipes are installed between the ceiling and roof, along with a transparent plastic dome. The bottom of each tube is glazed to prevent glare whilst allowing light to reflect through the tube by way of a small hole in the roof.
Take advantage of mirrors
Hanging a mirror on the wall across from a window will make the most of the sunlight at your disposal by reflecting the light that hits the mirror and dispersing it throughout your room. While more than one mirror on the wall isn’t for everyone, mirrored tabletop accessories and metallic backsplashes in the kitchen are great alternatives which provide those finishing touches.
For professional help improving your home’s lighting, post your job and up to three window and conservatory specialists will get in touch. You’ll be emailed links to their profile pages, complete with previous customer ratings, to help you decide who to hire.