Unless you’re planning on an expensive remodel, there aren’t a lot of ways to increase the amount of natural light entering your house. There are, however, a handful of clever ways you can maximize the available light to illuminate the rooms in your home. Read on to learn how homeowners can increase the impact of natural light.
1. Hang More Mirrors.
Mirrors are a great way to magnify and reflect natural light. Try placing a mirror on the wall next to (or opposite from) a window. When placed next to a window, mirrors tend to make it feel like you have more windows on your wall. When placed across from a window, a mirror can reflect views and light from the window. All of this serves to make a home feel more illuminated without having to pay for a major remodel.
2. Turn Your Walls into “Mirrors.”
If you paint your walls with a glossier paint, it will help magnify the impact of any natural light entering your home. The high sheen improves light reflectance, causing more sunlight to bounce off the painted surface, similar to a mirror.
With that said, you really shouldn’t use a high-gloss paint on interior walls; instead, go with an eggshell or try semi-gloss interior paint. If you have an especially dark room, you may be able to get away with using glossy paint on your walls. Just bear in mind that more gloss will produce greater glare from artificial light.
3. Use Reflective Glass or Tiles.
Glass tiles can reflect nearly 100% of natural light. Glossy ceramic tiles can have a similar effect in kitchens and bathrooms. A tile backsplash can really open up a kitchen by making it feel more airy, due to reflected light. For maximum reflection, you can turn up the light even more by installing metallic backsplash tiles.
4. Install Glass Blocks.
If you have open wall space or a little money to create some, you can add glass blocks, which do a great job of reflecting existing light and brightening up rooms. Bear in mind that glass blocks are not a structural replacement for wall studs, so you will have to have headers installed over the block sections, similar to a window or door unit.
5. Install Skylights.
Skylights are an incredibly effective way of drawing in more natural light. In addition to offering as much glazing area as a standard medium-sized window, they also point upward toward the sun. Skylights also draw in more consistent light compared to windows because they are less likely to be affected by the sun’s movement or shadowed by trees and other outdoor objects.
6. Update Your Flooring.
You can transform ordinary flooring into a light-friendly surface by installing ceramic, wooden or stone floors with polished finishes. These will all reflect far more light than traditional carpet. If you can’t bear to part with carpeting, consider switching to a lighter, more neutral color.
7. Paint ceilings lighter than walls.
Flat white paint is best for homes with white walls. If you have darker walls, however, you may not want a white ceiling. To maximize light reflectivity, it’s important to choose a slightly lighter color for ceilings. While not reflective like semi-gloss or glossy paint, matte paint can be a good choice for reflecting light.
8. Don’t Block Out the Light.
Avoid thick, light-blocking window treatments. Instead, go with translucent shades that deliver privacy while allowing more light into your home. In addition to increasing the flow of natural light, this will provide a soft glow and bounce light onto both sides of the wall directly adjacent to the window.
9. Remove Obstructions.
Be sure to eliminate any exterior items which may be interrupting light flow into your home’s windows. Trim back trees, bushes and vines wherever necessary. While you’re outdoors, give all your windows and glass doors a thorough cleaning to make it easy for light to filter into your home.
With 60 years of collective experience, The Wheaton Team provides expert advice and invaluable guidance for home buyers and sellers. Our team specializes in residential real estate throughout all of Colorado Springs and the entire Tri-Lakes area. We can guide you through the complex selling, buying and financing process. Contact our attentive team of knowledgeable real estate professionals to learn more.