There are a few things a home can’t have too much of – space, storage and sunlight. While you can’t increase the square footage without taking on a major renovation, there are some easy decorating and cleaning tricks that can make your home look brighter and ultimately bigger. Incorporating some well placed mirrors, choosing the best wall paint and finding the right window treatments can all help increase the natural sunlight in your home. One added bonus of bouncing more sunlight around a room: more light can actually make the space feel bigger. Try some of these to make your home feel bigger and brighter – without the reno.
Optimize Your Mirror Placement
You may have heard this design trick before: add mirrors to a room to bounce the light. But for the best effect, you’ll want to place the mirror across from a window, angled so the natural light will be reflected toward the darkest area of the room. New, clean mirrors will reflect the most light, but even antique mirrors with patina will work.
Choose Shiny Surfaces
Similar to mirrors, glossy surfaces can help reflect light in a room. Stainless-steel appliances and sleek white cabinets will make a kitchen feel brighter. In a living room, try adding metallic and mirrored accents, especially on the shelves or tables or tables positioned closest to the windows.
Wash Your Windows
It may sound obvious, but cleaner glass will let in more sunlight. If the sunlight is filtered through years of dust and grime, the room won’t look as bright. To get the best effect, you’ll need to wash both sides of the window and avoid washing them on a sunny day, which can leave streaks.
Lighten Up Your Window Treatments
Even if you pull them open every morning, dark, velvet drapes that hang next to your windows aren’t going to help make your room look brighter. In the spring and summer, swap heavy curtains for light and airy ones. If privacy is a concern, pair a gauzy white curtain with blinds or a roller shade you can close at night.
Pick the Best Paint
Paint holds a lot of power in the design of a room – it can make it look cleaner, more relaxing and even brighter. And, no surprise, when it comes to hue, cool shades of white and pastels will make a room look lighter. To make sure you’ve chosen the best color, leave swatches on the wall for at least 24 hours, so you can see how the color looks in the light throughout the day.
Where we often go wrong is when choosing the paint finish. Like mirrors and glossy surfaces, shinier paint will reflect more light. Opt for satin rather than flat wall paint, and choose semi-gloss or gloss for the molding and trim. Be careful: glossier paints will also betray any imperfections in the wall.
Avoid Dark Decor
Even if a room gets plenty of sunlight, lots of dark wood and heavy textiles will make it look darker. To lighten up a room without buying all new furniture, add white or other light colored throw pillows to a dark sofa or drape a light colored throw blanket over a rich and dark colored arm chair.
Trim the Trees
If your living room or bedroom is darker than it was a few years ago, the trees, bushes or vines outside may be to blame. Consider hiring a tree-trimming service. They will help cut back light blocking branches without harming the trees or making it lop sided.
If we can provide any ideas or referrals for any specific contractors, please let us know. We hope to be your real estate resource for all things related to your home, for life.