There is nothing better than basking in glorious sunshine! Even if it’s cold outside, a stream of sun across the living room floor feels almost tropical.
Most people strive to get as much natural light into their home as possible. Bright airy rooms feel bigger and make us happier and healthier. Often, they also increase the value of a property.
Some homes, however, are going to be a little darker than others. You may live in a terrace house, for example, where windows are limited. Despite this, there is almost always something that can be done to improve the light in your home.
We work by the motto of ‘don’t move…improve!’. Sometimes it may seem like improving isn’t a realistic option. A lack of natural light may be seen as one of those situations. We disagree.
Here are our 7 top tips for boosting the natural light in your home
1. Remove an internal wall
We have written before about the benefits of using glass in your building project. Glass may seem like the obvious choice for getting more natural light into your home but it’s not the only option.
Have you considered reconfiguring the layout of your living space? You may have a lovely bright kitchen, but your living room is like a hole in the ground. Knocking down the wall between the two rooms could really help brighten up the offending living room.
Before you go about knocking down every wall in your home, there are a few things you need to consider:
- Will you need planning permission?
- Is it a load bearing wall?
- Does the wall protect you from fire?
- Is it a Party Wall?
There can often be further hurdles to tackle when removing walls. Does the wall have a radiator, plug socket or light switch, for example? These will need to be moved. Often knocking a wall down will reveal the floor on either side of the wall being at different levels. As you can’t live with an uneven floor, this will also need to be fixed. These will add to the cost and time the project will take.
It is important that you do your research before going down this route. Always get professional advice and speak to a structural engineer before you begin.
2. Install bigger windows or bi-folding doors
This is probably one of the most obvious options. Windows can easily be changed, as long as your house isn’t listed.
Choose windows with as little frame as possible. You would be amazed the difference it makes. If you don’t need the window to open, if it is there to get light onto your landing for example, consider a fixed window. These tend to have smaller frames as an opening mechanism isn’t needed.
Bi-folding doors are becoming a set piece in any trendy home. They allow you to open your entire room out to the garden. Made completely of glass, and often taking up almost an entire wall, they flood the room with natural light. If your budget doesn’t quite stretch to bi-folding doors, go for a French door instead. You can choose to have side windows either side of the doors for that extra light.
Keeping along the theme of doors. Boost the natural light in your hallway by opting for a front door with a window or two. Even if you have frosted windows for your privacy, the light coming through will still make a big difference.
3. Think about how you decorate.
The way you decorate your home can have a huge impact. Dark colours absorb light. Use light colours on your walls and soft furnishings for a bright and airy feel.
In the kitchen and bathroom opt for glossy and shiny surfaces. These will bounce the light around the whole room, brightening it up.
In small rooms, place mirrors on walls opposite the window. This will have the same effect as in the kitchen. The natural light will be reflected into even the darkest of corners.
4. How much light are you getting in your garden?
Ok, so this on isn’t strictly a home improvement. Let’s take it outside for a moment. Have you checked how much light you are getting into your garden? If the sun is blocked from your garden, chances are it won’t make it into your home either.
Take down over obtrusive trees or bulky bushes. If you’re local to us in North Norfolk, we can highly recommend Mike Baker at Ace Of Spades.
5.Construct a conservatory or garden room.
As we mentioned at the beginning, it isn’t always possible to get as much light as you want in the space you already have. If you have the room outside, how about building a conservatory or garden room?
A garden room or conservatory is guaranteed to be light and bright. They are basically glass rooms, after all.
6. Feeling a project? Install a glass wall in dark hall way.
If you live in a terraced house, some of these tips may not seem overly useful to you. The very nature of a terraced house means that windows and doors can only feature on two of the four walls of your home, leaving hallways and landings particularly dull.
Think creatively to increase the natural light in these areas. We have seen examples of interior walls being replaced with glass walls, or interior windows fitted. Allowing the light in the adjoining rooms to flood into the hallway too.
As with removing interior walls, make sure you get advice from professionals before taking on this project!
7. Skylights/glass ceilings/sun tunnels
Homes and extensions can benefit from skylights, glass ceilings or sun tunnels. Where better to get light in your home than from above?
If you live in a built-up area, these options help flood your home with natural light without compromising on your privacy.
Choosing the size of the skylight or sun tunnel is key for a balanced room. Luckily there are plenty of options out there to suit every need.
Benefits of increasing natural light in your home
The amazing aesthetics aren’t the only benefit of increasing the natural light in your home.
It could also help to reduce your energy bills.
Did you know that it costs more to light up you home than it does to heat it? Think about it. Realistically, you only have the heating on during the winter months. Chances are you will use your lights throughout the whole year. The more natural light you get into your home, the less often you should need to put the lights on.
You can also reduce your heating bill. Choose triple glazing when installing new windows or glass ceilings. The triple layer will keep warm air in your home, reducing the need to heat your home.