We have slowly become the Indoor Generation who spends 90% of our time indoors, so it’s important to take steps to create a more comfortable home. And right now is the perfect time for some updates to take advantage of longer summer days by harnessing that sunlight and incorporating it in your home for a cheerier, brighter space. Fortunately, you don’t need to tackle a major renovation to have a big impact. Here are some simple ways to make a meaningful difference and sprinkle more light everywhere.
Create layers of light.
Who says you have to limit yourself to builder-basic, overhead lighting? Get creative and add character and personality to any space with layers of lighting that help illuminate dark corners. Installing lighting at all levels is a quick and easy upgrade for every room, from your living room to kitchen. Think a chandelier for a focal point that creates visual interest, sconces for soft ambient lighting, and a table or floor lamp to provide task lighting.
Brighten with a skylight.
Is there a space where the sunlight from your windows simply can’t reach? Or are your blinds always closed for privacy? A skylight is an effective way to add sunshine to any room without compromising — you get both natural light and privacy with an unobstructed view. Plus, thanks to their angle relative to the sun, they provide 200% more daylight than a vertical window.
This gorgeous solution is a great way to add drama and style to your home, while providing a host of health benefits to your family. Getting the right amount of daylight is essential for our health and wellbeing; it improves our mood, increases concentration levels and boosts energy.
With a VELUX programmable skylight, you can even ventilate your home to release hot air, odours, and toxins to reduce the need for air conditioning in the summer months and save on electricity and create a healthier indoor environment.
Play with reflective surfaces.
You can often trick the eye by making the most of the light you already have, like from your skylight. For example, try using reflective surfaces. You can paint your ceiling in a glossy white for a fun effect that reflects natural and artificial lighting. For a more even dispersion of light, a matte finish works best.
Beyond paint, you can use many decorative items to play with light. An oversized mirror can define a space no matter what your aesthetic, from Pinterest farmhouse to industrial contemporary. Other items like acrylic furniture and metallic accents will help bounce light and allow you to take full advantage of your windows and skylight. Mirrored furniture like side and coffee tables are another neat light-enhancing trick.
Plan your layout strategically.
This is a case of where the small things really add up. For example, bookshelves, vanities and buffet tables should never be placed parallel to a window, or else they can obstruct the light streaming in. You also want to be watchful of the art and window treatments you use. Large, dark pieces of artwork, posters or paintings, as well as heavy drapes will absorb the sun that comes into your space. For art and window coverings that work with you instead of against you, choose light, airy materials and colours. Also, when you hang your window treatments be sure to install curtain rods beyond the window so that you won’t block part of the light when you pull open your drapes. For your skylight, you can add blinds to be able to control the light and have some privacy.
Clear out that clutter.
One of the easiest ways to make your home appear lighter, brighter and larger is by getting rid of all the junk weighing it down. It’s also important to deep clean and vacuum regularly to create a healthy indoor climate and eliminate dust and allergens.
Keep furniture simple and streamlined, so it doesn’t block the natural light coming in and make sure there’s a tucked away spot to store loose items and trinkets. Even clearing out your closet can allow natural and artificial light to illuminate those tucked in corners, so you can see your full wardrobe and make nicer outfit choices. Best of all, decluttering is totally free, and you can even earn a few dollars with a yard sale or do some good by donating your gently used things to a charity.