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  • Writer's pictureHeather Holcombe

Five tips to add natural light to your home.

Back in late 2018, I asked my Facebook followers for topics they'd like me to discuss on my blog. They had some great suggestions for blog topics, and I've slowly (O.K. very slowly) worked my way through them. Today's post about natural light in a home is one of those suggestions. It's a good topic because natural light can transform a home. It can even influence the mood of its occupants! So, after a long delay, here are five easy and relatively inexpensive tips on how to improve natural light in your home.

1) What's outside?

Before we discuss what to do inside, let's talk about what's outside. You can have large windows in your home, but if shrubs and trees are blocking the light, nothing you do inside will help. You'll need to - literally - look out of your windows. Look for any landscaping that blocks light. If shrubs are so overgrown that pruning isn't an option, consider replacing them with lower-growing shrubs or perennial plants. Trees that don't allow sunlight to filter through its branches are probably ready to be thinned. (Leave that to the professionals.)

2) Clean windows:

When is the last time you had your windows cleaned, inside and out? You'd be surprised how much dirty windows can block light. Also, if you have screens on your windows, consider removing them from any windows you don't open routinely. Window screens aren't just efficient at blocking insects. Unfortunately, they also block a certain amount of natural light.

3) Add mirrors or reflective items:

A strategically placed mirror or other reflective things can increase the amount of sunlight reflected throughout a room. Try displaying one or more of these:

  • Furniture with glass, such as a glass-top table, or other reflective components such as mirrors

  • Decorative wall mirrors

  • Metallic surfaces or items, such as lamps or frames

4) Covered porches or overhangs:

I often see this in North Carolina, where we have so many covered screen porches. Rooms that are adjacent to an enclosed screen porch are usually darker than other rooms in the house. The porch overhang or ceiling, as well as screens, limit the amount of natural light into the room. There are a few options that might help. You could add skylights to the covered porch to bring in more light. You also could paint the ceiling of the covered porch in white or other light colors to help reflect light. If you're not worried about insects, you could remove the screens from the porch to allow in more light.

5) Interior colors:

The lighter the color, the more light it reflects. That's one reason homes in countries with long winters tend to paint their interiors in light colors. The lighter colors help to maximize natural light inside during long and dark winter months. Also, white ceilings will make the ceiling appear and feel taller and the room brighter.

I hope you enjoyed reading these five tips on how to bring more natural light into your home! There are other things you can do, of course, but they're either more expensive or more involved. For example:

  • Install larger windows or add more windows.

  • Add floor-to-ceiling glass doors.

  • Change out heavy draperies for sheers or curtains in lighter fabrics.

  • Add skylights or solar tubes to darker rooms.

  • Lighten hardwood floors by resanding and using a light-colored or natural stain or whitewash.

  • Switch out dark carpets or rugs for light-colored ones.

If you need any help with your home's design or decor, please reach out. I'd love to help you transform your home into a place you and your family love and enjoy!


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