Natural light is an amazing free resource, but many of us don’t make the most of it when designing our homes. Whether you just want the most pleasant, relaxed space to live in as possible, or whether you’re trying to make your home look it’s best before putting it on the market, maximising the amount of natural light in the house can reap huge benefits.
Why natural light?
As with so many things, natural is better. Artificial lighting can do its best to simulate the outdoor light we get from the sun but can’t achieve that full spectrum radiance that increases the body’s serotonin levels and makes you feel good. Sunlight helps your body to absorb vitamins, and while you may not get glorious sunshine all year round, arranging your home so that it can take best advantage when sunny days do arrive has to be a good idea.
For potential buyers, the presence of abundant natural light in a room will make it seem more spacious. The above-mentioned “feel good effect” will also go to work, making them feel happier and more relaxed, even if they don’t consciously know why. All of this will make them more predisposed towards buying your property.
Finally, using as much natural light as possible rather than electric light in your home is the ultimate in eco-friendly lighting. It’s one of the easiest home makeovers you can do, and it also costs nothing, meaning you could end up saving money on your utility bills.
Making best use of windows
The windows of your property is the first place you should look in terms of making sure you’re letting in as much light as possible. First, get your windows professionally cleaned. You’ll be surprised at the difference it makes. Next, get rid of any heavy curtains and consider replacing them with wooden shutters. They will give you the maximum amount of light during the day but will shut out the world for maximum privacy and security during the evening and night. It’s easy to buy window shutters in the UK and it is one of the best decisions you could make in terms of improving your home.
Making your rooms receptive
Once you’ve let the light in, the next stage is making the rooms of your home most receptive to reflecting light. Painting interior walls with light colours is the best way to do this. Obviously white will make the most of natural light, but pale colours can be effective, too. It’s important, however, to make sure your ceiling is pure white in order to give the impression of depth and to bounce light back into the room.
High gloss paint will reflect more light than matte paint. If you don’t want to go full gloss, consider using eggshell or semi-gloss paint. You could also mix and match, applying different types of paint to different surfaces in a room.
Another way to improve light efficiency in your home is to use mirrored or reflective tiles. Glass tiles will reflect nearly all light, while metallic or glossy ceramic types will also have a striking effect. Using tiles on walls and other surfaces is perfectly acceptable in bathrooms and kitchens, but you can also be bold and deploy them sparingly around the living room or even the bedroom for a funky, original look.
Outside your house
If your house isn’t positioned to catch the sun at the best times of day then there’s not a great deal you can do about it. You can, however, identify the rooms that face the sun in the mornings and afternoon and make external changes to make sure as much light gets in as possible. This could involve removing obstructions by pruning trees or uprooting large plants, or replacing garden walls with mesh fencing that will let more light through. If you have overhanging window eaves, painting them white on the inside will help to reflect more light into the room in question.
There’s nothing more unattractive to potential buyers than a gloomy, fusty house that’s always in the shadows. Letting natural light in gives an impression of health, vibrancy, happiness and potential. Anyone viewing your home will respond to it at both a conscious and subconscious level. Estate agents know that plenty of natural light can increase the potential value of any residential property, and it’s so easy to make use of this free, natural resource to add value to your home.