I’ve previously looked at how to make your home a better place to live in by improving the air
quality in your room. Another hugely effective way of feeling healthier and happier at home is
by making sure your space is bathed in as much natural light as possible.
If you’re lucky enough to have a glazed conservatory roof at the rear of your house, opening
this space up into the rest of the home is important, but there are other solutions — big and
small — to help you feel awake and alive through the use of natural light.
Mirrors reflect light, of course, and so they can be excellent tools in getting light further into
the middle of your home. This is especially important if you live in a terraced house, where
natural light can only come from two of four sides.
Placement is key
Getting your mirrors working for you for this purpose can be difficult, but, with careful consideration, they can be used to great effect. If you keep in mind some of the tips about
plant placement from my previous posts, you can make your home feel fresh, green and well-lit.
You don’t want to turn your home into a hall of mirrors — nor do you necessarily want to see your face in every wall you walk past — but if you keep the following tips in mind, a few well-placed mirrors can change the overall feel of your home.
- Hang a mirror opposite a window or glass door for it to have the best impact on
overall natural light levels throughout the house.
- Consider the angles at which your mirrors are hanging. A mirror will reflect any light
that’s in front of it, but the greater the surface area facing directly towards the light,
the greater the light diffusion will be.
- Large, freestanding mirrors can become a centrepiece and sit at an angle without
looking unusual. It can be akin to having an extra window. Wall mirrors may not be so
easy to place in this way.
- Have a look at different textures and reflective surfaces, such as ceramic tiles, to
achieve a similar effect.
White walls aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but they can really complement a minimalist look. If
you’re struggling to get natural light into your home due to a lack of windows, a few white
walls can make the world of difference. Darker walled rooms will simply never feel as airy as
one covered in white paint.
Accent the important areas of your home
Accent walls, or even accenting areas of a room with a bold, different colour, will highlight
how bright the rest of the room feels. This can give the illusion of more natural light.
If one part of your room never needs to be bright, consider differentiating it from the rest of
the space by painting the walls around that area a different colour. You can try a solid line to
divide the wall or a patchier, more free-form technique, depending on your taste.
3. Think Hard about Glass
The glass in your home is where all of your light comes through and it shouldn’t be
underestimated. Even making sure you regularly clean your windows will make a massive
difference in how much natural light gets into the living space.
If you have white uPVC window frames, making sure they shine brilliantly will also help make
the room feel lighter. Adding white horizontal blinds to a white-framed window can
sometimes make a room feel more bright, even though the blinds technically and necessarily
block some of the light from getting in — white reflects light!
Not all conservatories are the same
Some people are put off from the idea of having a conservatory, as they’ve heard that they
are hard to heat in the winter and difficult to cool down in the summer. This is definitely an
issue with older conservatories, and it’s extra important that older conservatories are
regularly inspected and upgraded; otherwise, they simply won’t get used or your heating bills
But there are a whole host of options today for airy and energy-efficient conservatories and
extensions. You can even look at a spectacular solution that lies somewhere in between,
with the addition of a roof lantern.