Light and You - How does Natural Light affect our Mental Health
7 ways to make your home brighter
At this point in time when we are spending more time indoors than what we might like, it is essential to make our home as inviting and welcoming as possible. And what fills you with more happiness than a bright home (except maybe puppies and chocolate!)? Here are some tips on how to make your home a place you don't want to leave.
Natural light is good for you, this is a well-known fact. It's a natural mood booster that makes us more productive, more energised and improves both our mental and physical health. It can even effect your appetite, with a lack of natural light unfortunately increasing those nasty snack cravings (“isolation snack” is definitely a term that should be added to the dictionary!).
But not every home has the luxury of bathing in natural light, so if you feel like yours need a bit of help, here we have collected a few things you can do to brighten it up. Some of them you can do right now, even whilst in lockdown!
Replace heavy drapes or curtains
An easy thing you can do to start is replace thick drapes or curtains with lighter, thinner or transparent curtains. Especially now as we go into winter and it's getting dark earlier you won't need those heavy blackout curtains anymore. This will allow more light to flow in to the room during the day, because even if you normally open them up they will cover the sides of the window, making the space feel more closed in than what it actually is. Such a simple change but it makes a massive difference!
A well-known trick to make a room appear larger than what it is is to add mirrors or reflective objects. This does not only open the room up, but it will also reflect any light coming in giving it more space and light.
Dark walls have a tendency to close in on you, making a room feel small and cold. Painting the walls a lighter colour has a similar effect as adding mirrors – it makes the room feel bigger and more spacious, and eliminates that feeling of being in a dungeon! Painting the walls can literally transform a room completely. Nice base colours are white or light shades of beige or grey, and add lighter splashes of colour throughout as well if you feel like it!
Move tall objects away from windows
Do you have large plants, bookshelves or other furniture in front of or next to your windows? This can also block the light from getting into your home. It’s better having tall furniture on the wall opposite a window to allow your room to receive as much natural light as possible and feel more open. So change the furniture around in the room! It will only take a few hours but will create a fun project to undertake if you're bored during the lockdown period, and it will create a more enjoyable space to be in.
Go for lighter coloured furniture
Swap any dark furniture for lighter pieces. Or if you have some paint at home you could even give your current furniture a make-over to both save money and give yourself another DIY project to keep yourself occupied during the lockdown. If your floor has dark timber flooring it is also a good idea to add a light coloured rug to help brighten the room up.
Wash the windows
This may sound trivial, but you’ll be amazed at what a difference this seemingly insignificant thing makes. Even if the window might not seem that dirty, it is very likely that it is covered in a thin layer of dirt that is blocking out more light than you may think. Giving the windows a good wash will allow more light to flow into the room, and you should also clean up the room inside. Even just tidying up all the clutter so that you can see the floor again, scrub off any marks on the walls and give everything a good wipe – it will make it feel like a new space that is a lot more open and brighter. Washing windows and cleaning might not be on the Top 5 list of fun things to do, but if you keep the end goal in mind it might make the journey there a lot more pleasant. Take a before picture with the aim of taking an after picture once it's done - that will help you get motivated!
Install a Solatube skylight
“Daylighting” is the practice of installing windows, skylights and reflective surfaces so that sunlight (direct or indirect) can provide internal lighting. This is often used to maximise visual comfort while also reducing energy consumption.
A Solatube skylight is a great way to let natural light into areas that are dark and gloomy or that may not have windows, without causing the space to be glary. The advanced technology in Solatube skylights make sure that they only accept the right kind of sunlight, blocking out nasty UV rays that can otherwise fade your belongings and make the room overheat. It also has no running costs so keeps the energy use down!
If you have a room that you want to brighten up with natural light, give us a call! Our Customer Care team is still working from home and is happy to answer your questions. Installations are currently on hold until we are allowed to see each other in person again, but we will work with you to find a suitable time for installation once the lockdown is over. Get in touch and get a quote today!