This time of year, we’re all flinging wide open our doors and windows to let as much light in as possible. After the long, dark months of winter, spring is a reminder of sunshine and possibility – and the knowledge that summer is only just around the corner! Vitamin D from the renewed amount of sunshine raises our serotonin levels, making us feel happier and more content. Why wouldn’t we want more of that?
Unfortunately, not all of us are lucky enough to live in big houses with enormous windows – the kind of houses that are naturally filled with light. But there are some things you can do, even if you live in the darkest little cottage imaginable, to make sure your home is full of natural light this spring.
Swap out heavy fabrics from windows
Darker fabrics absorb light easily, so swapping them out for lighter unlined fabrics is a way to create an instantly brighter room. Hang your curtains or drapes as wide as you can, so that the entire window’s exposed once they’re drawn back, again maximizing the light which will pour into your space. Adding shutters is another great way to control light as well as privacy.
Use mirrors to reflect light
Mirrors naturally bounce light around a space, instantly making a room feel bigger and brighter. Hang your mirror opposite a window in order to double the effect of the natural light, reflecting it back into your room. And of course, the bigger the mirror = the more light it’ll reflect, so you might even want to consider full mirrored walls if you’re really short on space. To browse our full range of mirrors, just click here.
Use a pale color scheme
It’s a very simple formula: lighter colors reflect the light, whilst darker colors absorb it. So for an easy solution to a lighter, brighter room, use pale colors to paint the walls and/or floors. You can punctuate paler finishes with dark furniture, such as our Victoria Range, or clever colorful accessories to provide contrast.
Consider a high shine floor
Like mirrors, high shine flooring will provide a reflection that allows light to bounce around the room. The gloss helps to create a brighter space, whilst matt finishes – or carpet – might absorb it.
Paint floorboards white
For an extra floor-related light-maximizing tip, why not paint your floorboards white? It may not be the most child-friendly option, but it’ll certainly give you a much brighter and more open space.
Prune outdoor bushes
Are there any trees or bushes outside that are infringing on the amount of sunshine your home receives? Time to get the shearers out! Prune back any trees or bushes and you’ll be surprised at the difference it makes.
Swap to a glass front door
Hallways or porches often suffer from a lack of natural light. If you really want to brighten up your home this spring time, make the most of natural light by investing in a new door – with large glass panels. If you’re considered about privacy, opt for a frosted glass and the effect will be largely the same.
Add or replace windows
This is a bit of an investment, but if your home is really feeling dark and dingy this season then you could perhaps benefit from some more windows. Could you swap your existing windows for larger ones? Think about where the light naturally comes into a room, and see if you could add a window where there isn’t one already. It might be obvious, but the more windows a room has, the lighter the room will get!
If you can, get yourself a skylight! You’ll be amazed at how they can brighten up a dark room or hallway, giving an instant lift to your mood.
Replace internal doors with French doors
One side of your house is always bound to be brighter than other, depending on the time of day and location of the sun. To move light from a brighter room into a darker one, swap out solid internal doors for glass French doors.
Remove internal walls
Lastly, utilising an open plan space is absolutely the best way to bring light and openness into your home this season. The light is free to move across the larger space, maximising as much natural light as possible. Perfect!
If you have any tips, let us know over on Twitter @USAOakFurniture – we’d love to hear them!
Image Credits: Claire Brody Designs, Photography: Annette O’Brien / Styling: Alana Langan / Interior design: Bask Interiors via Adore Magazine,www.bjurfors.se via Planete Deco, Lonny, Lonny, Photographed by Lisa Cohen for Vogue Living Australia via My Domaine