In the midst of winter, natural light is more important than ever. It helps brighten your mood and regulates your sleep cycle, not to mention saving electricity and money. This month, we look at ways that designers and homeowners can bring more mood-boosting light into the home and make the most of its beneficial effects with a few simple techniques.
Mirror, mirror on the wall
It might sound obvious, but mirrors reflect light, rather than absorbing it. So hanging a large mirror on a wall opposite a sunny window effectively doubles the light coming in, redistributing it to other parts of the room and creating the illusion of more windows. To create more light and a brilliant conversation piece, you can arrange several mirrors on one wall, or line the backs of your bookshelves with mirrors. Alternatively, look for furniture with glass, chrome or mirrored accents that will pick up the light and spread it around the room.
Maximizing light starts with minimizing clutter. Because the less stuff you have, the more space there is for light to shine through. So once again, when it comes to interior design, less is definitely more. Think about rearranging or removing pieces of furniture so nothing is blocking the path of the light. Minimal furnishing can not only save you money, but also keep your home looking brighter and cleaner. So open up your space and let the light shine in.
Painting your walls, and even your ceiling, in near-white matte or other soft, neutral colours helps amplify the effect of natural light. A soft colour palette bounces sunlight around the room throughout the day, helping to create a brighter interior. But bright doesn’t have to mean white. Consider painting walls in cool tones like blue-grey or taupe, and choose furniture in light colours. Contrasting with splashes of colour and hints of darker hues on pillows, throws and smaller furnishings lends character and balance. Metallic and acrylic accents will reflect additional light and create the feeling of a more open space.
Work with your windows
It may sound simple, but to make the most of your natural light, you have to use all of the windows you have. Since windows are the lungs that let a home breathe, be sure to keep the windowsill and space around them clear and open, welcoming sunlight into your home. Consider sheer draperies hung on rings that are easy to open and let in light even when closed, or hang a single drapery instead of a double set. Outside, keep any hedges and trees that may be blocking windows trimmed.