As the winter months draw closer, daylight hours are becoming more precious as days shorten. This means our interiors that felt warm, colorful, and complete in summer will slowly seem subdued and gloomy.
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It is a fact that access to natural light in our homes is better than artificial light. Nothing feels good than bathing in the rich, full-spectrum hue in the morning. Not only does it provide better illumination for our homes, but sunlight exposure increases the body’s happy hormones. More importantly, natural light helps you save on your monthly power bills and minimizes your carbon footprint.
Sadly, not all homes aren’t designed to get the most of natural light, unless you instruct the architect to do so. Meanwhile, some homeowners are willing to invest in modern window furnishings to enhance light control and keep their homes functional. This approach is a cost-effective way to bring more illumination to your home without breaking the bank.
In this article, we’ll talk about the techniques to maximize the natural light in your home and reap the benefits of good sunlight exposure.
Orient the house toward the sun
If you’re just starting to build your home, make sure to put sunlight in mind. Tell the architect and designer how much sunlight you want for your home to lessen the use of artificial light. This will ensure that the most frequently used rooms around the house will get enough amounts of sunlight.
But you should also consider that not all rooms require a lot of light, particularly the home office. Too much sunlight will affect the glare coming from the computer screen. In this case, you need to design the floor plan according to how you will use each area. If you’re unsure about the direction for each room, consider the house orientation according to the direction of the sun in different parts of the day.
For example, south-facing rooms receive the most sunlight during winter, but they get little in summer. North-facing rooms provide even natural light without worrying about unwanted heat. If you want to get vitamin D in the morning, east-facing rooms get the most morning sunlight. It works best for breakfast nooks or dining rooms to maximize the light potential during the mornings.
A bedroom with an east-facing room is ideal for morning people but unsuitable for those who sleep in. The west-facing rooms also receive direct sunlight throughout the day, making it a bad option for home office and entertainment rooms since too much light ruins the screen brightness.
Rely on light furnishings with reflective features
Another easy way to maximize sunlight in your house is to include light-colored furnishings. Neutral and pale colors provide better reflection value all over the area and make rooms look and feel even brighter.
Start by introducing light colors to the walls by going for softer shades of white paint. This makes a room more illuminated since it reflects the sunlight as it passes the window instead of absorbing it. Avoid dark block paints and statement wallpaper since they contribute very little to natural light. Also, don’t use brilliant white paint since it can make the room feel cold while the off-white shade creates a warmer effect.
The trick is to use two shades lighter than the ceiling to bring an illusion of space and height. While matte paint looks good, a satin finish is better in reflecting light.
When buying appliances, consider those with glossy surfaces since they’re great at reflecting the light filter into a space, making the room look bigger and brighter.
The same rule applies to flooring. Transform the floors with light-friendly features such as stone, ceramic, and wooden floors with polished finishes. These reflect more light than patterned carpets.
Install larger doors and windows
If two things can make or break the natural illumination of your room, it would be the windows and doors. Today, home designers developed new window features to ensure minimal framework and more glass exposure.
Go for bay, bow, or picture windows for better illumination. You can combine them with operable units for extra ventilation. If you’re conscious about privacy, opt for radius or stack transom windows without sacrificing illumination.
Most of us take natural light for granted, but making conscious efforts to include it in our lives can make a big difference in our health, lifestyle, spirit, and even our wallets! So, no matter the season, maximize natural light in your home to cut down costs and energy consumption and make your living space brighter, bigger, and more inviting.