One of the most requested renovations we get asked about is increasing the the natural light in a client’s home. Many older houses were built at a time when architecture and design didn’t cater for this. So we thought it would be helpful to write an article on 5 tips for creating light and bright spaces. If you haven’t thought about why your home should have an abundance of natural light then here are a few reasons our clients have told us over the years:
- Natural light is an important resource for our health and wellbeing – it provides vitamin D, improves sleep patterns and allows for better focus. Operable windows also provide fresh air into a home and with the right aspect, can provide natural cooling.
- It reduces our energy bills by not having to use artificial lighting or exhaust-driven ventilation.
- It opens up a space making even small rooms feel larger than they actually are.
So, how do we go about creating light and bright spaces? Check out these 5 tips to get you started…
1. Shine Bright Like A Diamond – Glass Doors and Windows
Many of our clients like to increase the natural light in their home by installing larger windows or sliding doors. Clever removal of walls or sections of a wall can make a huge difference in the look and feel of a space. Bi-fold or stacking doors are an excellent choice that will transform the entire wall into a series of transparent panels that can be easily opened and closed, not only letting in the light but also inviting the outside, in. Where privacy is a concern, we suggest opaque glass which still lets in the light but keeps out prying eyes.
2. White is Bright – Paint That Lights Up A Room
Painting walls and ceilings white allows for the light to reflect of the surfaces and gives a room that fresh and clean feel. It also is a key factor in making a room feel larger. But white is not just white; there are literally hundreds of shades of white paints available. Check out Dulux, Wattyl or Porters Paints to get a feel for just how many different versions of white we have to choose from.
3. It’s Not Just What We Walk On – Flooring
Choosing the right flooring is also important when it comes to creating a space that’s light and bright. By choosing ceramic, stone or wooden floors with a polished finish, you’re again reflecting more light off the surface. If you’re looking for carpet but still want that light-abundant look, we suggest you choose lighter colours. Perhaps not stark white but don’t worry too much about stains showing up on lighter colours vs darker ones – Apart from super dark colours like black or dark grey, if you spill food or drink on any carpet, it’s going to show up.
4. Design Choices – Interior Design
Add mirrors to your home, they reflect light and again, open a space by reflecting what’s in front of it. Another tip is to move furniture away from windows so as to maximise the potential for light to stream in. Choose fixtures that are lighter in colour. When you’re thinking bench space and cabinetry in a kitchen, consider white surfaces balanced with cupboard/drawer handles that are complementary or contrasting in colour. If you’re so inclined, chandelier lighting also reflect light.
5. Let The Light Shine In – Skylights
Sometimes we come across a property where it’s just not possible to knock down a wall or put in larger windows. In these cases, we suggest installing a skylight. Skylights are amazingly effective at bringing outside light in and giving, a once closed in space, a new lease on life. Skylights can sometimes do an even better job than a window as they’re located on your roof, directly facing the sun, often using mirrors to channel natural light from above.
So, there you have it! A few quick but effective tips for creating light and bright spaces. Don’t forget, if you need more ideas or would like to just ask a few questions, follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest or send us a message. Oh, and don’t forget, when your light-changing renovation is complete, clean your windows. It makes such a difference!