Few things can change the look and feel or appearance of colors and space in your home quite like natural light. Those blessed rays of vitamin D not only improve our mood by lowering blood pressure and the stress hormone cortisol in our bodies, but they can dramatically change a rooms aesthetic, as well as helping make small spaces look bigger. So if you didn't sign up for living in a cave, here are some cost-effective ways to let the light into your home.
1. Tame the outdoors.
Firstly, natural light needs to be able to access your home. If you have bushes and trees near windows, keep them well-maintained so they're not blocking out the sun completely. Try to avoid trees, hedges, and screening plants for privacy on the south side of your home; the sun rises too high for them to provide shade in summer, while blocking out the sun's warmth in winter.
2. Clean your windows.
In case you needed another reason to clean your windows, here's one more: Dirty, murky, and dusty windows can block out a great deal of sunlight. Dust and clean windows regularly, and avoid dark and heavy window treatments and curtains. Instead, opt for lightweight and sheer fabrics that let the sun in without compromising privacy.
3. Let your mirrors work their magic.
Cleverly placed mirrors, including those positioned opposite windows or hallways, play with light and create a larger reflection, adding a heightened sense of space and airiness to a room. Mirrored walls and ceilings are another option, but they'll cost you.
4. Choose bright paints.
Dark colors absorb sunlight, so avoid these if you're trying to brighten up a space. Opt for bright, neutral colors to paint walls and decorate with. White reflects sunlight best, but lighter shades like pastel blues, yellows, and mint greens work just as well.
5. Placement matters.
Well-placed furniture can work wonders in a dark room. Avoid blocking windows and light streams with large, heavy furniture, and opt for bright furnishings that will create the illusion of a more spacious, light-filled room.
Bonus Tip: Adding indoor plants is a great way to freshen up the home, while also encouraging and reminding you to let the light in!
This article was originally written by Gianni Borrelli. For more, check out our sister site, Homes to Love.