How to Amplify Natural Light in Your Home

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The Estate Update

Holly Welles is a home improvement writer and the editor behind her own blog, The Estate Update. She believes that anyone can create a beautiful space, no matter their living situation. Subscribe for weekly tips! And follow her on twitter @HollyAWelles

If you're living in a shady home, you're missing out on all the benefits of the sun's rays. Not only does natural light provide necessary nutrients for your health, including vitamin D, it can also elevate the aesthetic of any space no matter the size.

While most developers don't consider natural light when building, there's still plenty you can do to amplify the light in your home. Whether you’re updating your home décor or planning on a major renovation, here are 5 steps to consider.

Johnathan Charles Luxury Decor

Image Source: Jonathan Charles

1. Paint Your Eaves

When it comes to lighting in your home, start by looking out the windows. From this position, you'll see the overhang created by your roof, called an eave. The eave may be exposed, where the supporting rafters are visible from underneath, or boxed-in. Either way, this can prevent lots of natural light from entering through your windows.

One way to boost the light in every room is to paint your eaves white, which reflects all wavelengths of light and increases natural light in your home. Even if the rest of your home's exterior is a different color, the underside of your eaves will not be visible from the outside or affect your home's appearance. 

Jonathan Charles Luxury Decor

Image Source: Jonathan Charles

2. Use More Mirrors

Shiny and reflective surfaces around your rooms, including on the walls, will reflect light, magnifying all the available rays. Pick out a couple of large wall mirrors that reflect the style of your home, such as antique, bohemian or modern. Or, decorate with uniquely shaped mirror ornaments, like starbursts or flying birds.

Use can also use other reflective objects to increase the shine in your rooms. Wall sconces, when used with mirrors, can amplify the light in a room day or night. You can also use items like glittering chandeliers, brass doorknobs and silver photo frames.

Johnathan Charles

Image Source: Jonathan Charles

3. Consider Each Color

If your paint is due for a fresh coat, consider how you can utilize colors and finishes to make your rooms brighter. For interior walls, the best way to reflect natural light is to use light colors and tones, such as white, cream and tan. No matter the color of your walls, you should always paint your ceiling white to create more depth and reflect ambient light down into the room.

Once you've finished the last coat, it's time to consider the finish. The shinier the finish, the more light will bounce around the room. If you opt for a darker paint palette, balance it out with a satin or high-gloss finish.

Wildwood Luxury Decor

Image Source: Wildwood

4. Use Stylish Transparencies

There are plenty of ways you can play with transparency in your home's design to amplify natural light in your home. If you have a great feature like a picture window, try orienting your seating around it to make the glass a focal point of the room. If you can, you should also replace bulky doors with transparent alternatives, with both tinted and frosted glass styles available to preserve privacy.

If you’re up to doing some serious home renovations, you can replace wall space and stairways with glass blocks, which can keep light flowing through low-light areas such as hallways and entryways. You can even illuminate the darkest spaces in your home with skylights, installed directly into the roof and allowing the sun's light to fill your home instantly.

Wildwood Luxury Decor

Image Source: Wildwood

5. Rearrange and Redecorate

You may not realize it, but your home's current layout could be blocking natural light from entering your home. Furniture, especially large pieces like dressers and entertainment centers, can prevent light from streaming through windows. Even knick-knacks sitting on windowsills or shelves can block a surprising amount of natural light.

You should also get rid of heavy window treatments, which can absorb and block light. Opt instead for white, sheer curtains, which allow light to filter in and bounce off the wall, filling the room. The sheer material is not entirely see-through and can provide plenty of privacy during the daytime.

The Benefits of Natural Light

The amount of natural light in your home can have a significant impact on your décor — and your state of mind. When in the sun's rays, your skin absorbs vitamin D, an essential nutrient which can ward off depression, boost weight loss and fight against diseases like the flu and heart disease.

But the benefits don't end at your health. With more direct light, you'll reduce the need for artificial lighting, heating and air conditioning, decreasing your energy costs and allowing you to save more money.

Unfortunately, most homes aren't built with natural light in mind. While you can't pick up your house and move it elsewhere — at least not easily — there are several projects you can undertake to amplify the light in your home. From picking up a few mirrors to installing a new skylight, follow the tips above to fill your space with sunshine.

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