There's no better home than one that's filled with heaps of natural light. Let's face it, no one really wants to live in something so dark and depressing as a prison cell. Natural light boosts positivity, makes you feel more awake and generally it just has an overall good effect on us. But, homes aren't always built to make the most of natural light. In fact, some homes (cottages and 'chocolate box' style homes in particular) have very very little light.
But you don't have to move in order to get more light into your property - there's some great ways you can add extra light into the home, or bounce existing light around the room to feel more airy and light. So if your home is lacking on natural light, here's some ideas to brighten up your mood and home;
Windows and Sun Tunnels
Well, I had to start with the most obvious didn't I? Nothing brings more light into the home than adding extra windows, particularly south facing ones. It's obviously not a cheap solution, but it may well be a worthwhile one. I always think it's funny when large walls have tiny windows - so expanding a window size may also be an option. Roof Windows are also another solution, especially great for old outdated extensions (like ours!). Doing some of the work yourselves can save heaps of money - as we did, which you can see here. Or if you're feeling particularly brave you could even attempt the whole thing yourself - Roofwindows.co.uk have a great DIY guide for installations and offer very affordable windows too! We're couldn't be more pleased with our new roof window - what was once a very very dark space is now much brighter. The roof window also draws your eye up, so it gives more height to the room too making it feel much bigger AND it's a freaking awesome feature!
If windows are still a stretch too far, sun tunnels are also a great way to bring in some more natural light. They can be fitted into most upstairs rooms (or any room with a roof above), require a lot less work and add a touch more light into a room where a window otherwise isn't an option.
Even the lightest and brightest rooms can look miserable and dull with bad lighting. After all, we live in the UK and at least four months of the year has very little/no daylight anyway! So good lighting in a home is vital. Downlights are a great way to brighten up a space. They ensure an even coverage of lighting (unlike a pendant where the lighting gets darker around the edges of the room) and are great as 'task lighting'. It's still good to have some ambient evening lightening though - so do try and add in some table lamps or other feature lighting for a softer cosier light at night.
Mirrors are such a great way to bounce natural light around the room. Placing them on an adjacent wall to a window or glazed door not only tricks the eye into almost extending the wall, but they'll also reflect and bounce natural light straight into the room. I also love how mirrors give more angles to appreciate any views or feature furniture from.
Doors with Glazing
Swapping doors for ones with glazing (this could be internal doors or external doors!) is another trick for making natural light go further. If you have a particularly dark hallway for example, a glazed front door will bring heaps more light through. Or, even an internal door into a room off the hallway would do the same job. Glazed doors also make spaces feel much bigger, as they extend what your eye would normally see and they really help inter-connect rooms when doors are shut. Imagine having a garden, with no window to see it - same kind of deal. We've swapped the old door into our conservatory for this exact reason, the room now feels so much more part of the house and the kitchen is much much brighter too!
I love a dark wall - the inspiration under #styleitdark on instagram is just incredible and makes you want to whip out a paint brush instantly. But sometimes a dark coloured room can just be a step too far for some people - and instead of creating a moody embraced dark room, it can feel dingy and dull instead. Wall colour can make or break a room, and whilst embracing the darkness of a room can create a really cosy atmosphere, if you're after something brighter and lighter, I recommend using light bright and cheerful colours, not necessarily white (which can actually sometime just look dull!). Pops of colour also work great in dark rooms too, so a feature wall may be another idea, or you can bring some 'pops' in with accessories instead. Dulux even have an entire range of "Light and Spacious" colours for smaller or dark rooms. The paint claims to bounce light, much like the mirror idea - surely worth a try?
A lot of dark furniture can really oppress a room and take away natural light too. I love dark wood and dark greys, but if you're after a light and bright space, a whole room filled with them can sometimes be a bit too much. Mirrored furniture (or glass topped perhaps!) will have similar advantages to a wall mirror and minimising the amount of furniture will also give more space to take advantage of any light. Less is often more, as they say!
Do you have a dark room in your home you'd like more light in? And do you have any tips to add? I'd love to hear them!