We all have experienced the way in which sunshine lifts our spirits. ‘Can’t wait for Winter to be over.’ ‘Can’t wait to go on holiday and catch some sun’. We say these things because our bodies need sunlight and that’s a fact which is backed up by scientific research. The more sunlight we experience, the more serotonin we produce, the happier we feel. Artificial light just isn’t the same, it decreases our levels of melatonin, which in turn influences our circadian rhythms, in other words, our ability to get a good night’s sleep. At its most extreme, this can lead to depression and diabetes. So, if you are spending your time in a dark room with very little natural light, it’s time that you did something about it; here are some suggestions.
Make the most of your window.
Well, you can start by giving it a clean. Check to see if there are bushes or trees outside which could be trimmed to let in more light. If you have heavy curtains, which are obscuring part of your window, consider changing them for something which will let in more light. Solar shades act like roller blinds, but they are translucent, they let in light but block harmful U.V. rays.
You may not want to live in a room which feels like a convent cell, but particularly if your room is small, you need to avoid dark colours. Painting your walls and ceiling white will reflect natural light. A bright white ceiling will also have the effect of making the room seem taller. If you have natural wood in your room, consider giving it a coat of light colour paint. You need to be confident about this decision though because if you change your mind, cleaning paint off paintwork takes forever. While you’ve got that paintbrush in your hand you might also consider a light colour floor paint on those dark floorboards, or maybe strip them back to their original light pine colour.
Lights and mirrors
Heavy light fixtures, which channel light into a single column, leaving the rest of the room in the gloom, need to go. Crystals may not be to your taste, but they do a lovely job of reflecting light. And talking of reflecting, a judiciously placed mirror or two will do a wonderful job of making your room feel larger and brighter.
Now I don’t want you to get the impression that you should be living inside a shimmering white cube, every room needs colour, and your furnishings are an opportunity to provide a splash here and there. You do, however, need to consider carefully the objects within your room. Heavy furniture and great gloomy wall hangings will all soak up light and close in the space. Minimalism is not for everyone, but if your room is dark, it’s a style, but not necessarily a lifestyle choice, that you need to consider.