How to Invite More Natural Light Into Your Home

Most people tend to prefer natural light over artificial light. Sunlight helps to boost our mood, regulate our sleep, increase productivity and more. But often our indoor spaces aren’t set up to maximize the amount of sunlight they get. So how do you change that? Here are nine ways to invite more natural light into your home.

1. Be strategic with mirror placement

Mirrors are an excellent way to open up a room — and add more natural light in the process. When hanging a mirror, consider more than just how it will look in the room. Try to angle it so natural light from a nearby window will reflect off of it and brighten the space. Plus, the reflective light boost doesn’t have to stop with actual mirrors either. “Some interior design pros also emphasize adding to the mirror effect by decorating with items with a metallic sheen, like brass candlesticks or silver sconces,” according to Healthline.

2. Reconsider window treatments

Some window treatments allow you to completely move them aside during the day to make the most of your outside view. But others — such as some blinds, shutters or curtains — still block parts of the window even when you have them open. So for the rooms where you don’t need your window treatments to completely block light and give you privacy, opt for something lighter — or no window treatments at all. Plus, instead of keeping the blinds or curtains shut on windows where you do want some privacy during the day, consider a privacy film or even a screen composed of plants. That way, you won’t have to feel like you’re living in a cave all day.

3. Go white and bright

a white and bright living room with lots of natural lightCredit: KatarzynaBialasiewicz/Getty Images

It might seem like common sense, but painting your walls (and ceiling) a bright white is the absolute best way to maximize natural light in your space. “Light Reflectance Value, or LRV, can range from 100% for pure white down to 0% for black,” according to The Spruce. “All colors in-between will have greater or lesser LRV.” That means any color you pick that’s darker than white will impede the light bouncing around your room. You don’t necessarily have to pick all-white everything (unless that’s your style), but consider light colors for the walls, larger furniture items and flooring if your space is lacking natural brightness.

4. Add a little shine to your paint

Speaking of paint, there’s another way to boost its light reflectance besides turning everything bright white: Add some gloss. As a general rule, the glossier the paint is, the more light it will reflect throughout the room. You don’t have to put high-gloss paint everywhere. But if you were going to use a flat or matte paint for a darker room, try bumping up the gloss level at least to an eggshell or satin. That little bit of sheen goes a long way.

5. Lighten your eaves

These color rules apply to parts of your home’s exterior, as well — specifically the eaves and soffits. If the eaves overhanging your windows are painted a dark color, they’ll actually impede some of the light entering your home. So if you own your home (or have a landlord who’s as committed to boosting natural light as you are), consider painting the eaves white. “Even if your house exterior is a different color, you can still paint your eaves white-only,” according to The Spruce. “Because of eaves angle toward the house, the curbside appearance will not be affected. You will only see them from within the house.”

6. Remove outdoor light blockers

Plants cover the facade of an English cottage.Credit: naumoid/Getty Images

While you’re outside looking at the color of your eaves, take a peek around for anything else in the vicinity that might be blocking light around your windows. Plants and trees are an obvious culprit, and sometimes there’s not much you can do about that besides keeping them trimmed. But if you have hanging plants, window boxes or any outdoor decorations or furniture, place them outside of your window’s perimeter, so they don’t unnecessarily block any light.

7. Go with glass tile

If you’re doing a major kitchen or bathroom renovation, then you really can have fun picking new finishes to lighten up the place. But if you want a relatively low-cost remodeling solution that makes a substantial brightening impact, consider installing a new backsplash with glass tile. “In the right light, glass tiles reflect close to 100% of the light that hits them,” according to The Spruce. Glossy ceramic tile also works well to reflect light. And the ever-popular white subway tile is an inexpensive, but very effective option, as well.

8. Maximize windows and doors

The next time you’re in the market for new windows or doors, look at all your options to maximize brightness. Pick doors with transoms or sidelights to let more light into your entryway, HGTV recommends. And if you can, widen both exterior and interior doorways to allow more light to flow between rooms. Likewise, if you’re able to add windows or enlarge existing ones, do it. And consider skylights or sun tubes, which can bring light to dark hallways and other spaces where windows aren’t an option. Windows and doors certainly are an investment, so you might as well reap some free benefits of natural light as part of the deal.

9. Create an outdoor space you’ll use

a deck with comfortable furnitureCredit: KatarzynaBialasiewicz/Getty Images

Many people have decks or balconies that are an extension of their living space — if they use them. Instead of inviting natural light in, bring your indoors out by creating an outdoor space that you regularly use. This way, you’ll receive even more health benefits from natural light, including the important boost of vitamin D that windows often block. At work, try to get outside for lunch or at least a quick walk during the day, especially if you don’t have a view out a window. Maximize natural light wherever you can — just don’t forget sun protection — and you’ll be better off for it.

Main image credit: PeopleImages/Getty Images

59 comments

Louise A
Louise A28 days ago

Thank you for sharing

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Maria P
Maria P1 months ago

tyfs

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Caitlin L
Caitlin L2 months ago

Thank you for sharing

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Paula A
Paula A2 months ago

thank you

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Erika J
Erika Jean2 months ago

I loved these ideas. I love to keep my house modern and fresh. Now, I am doing interior painting San Jose homequalityremodeling.com/interior-exterior-painting-san-jose/ to give an updated look to my house walls. I will surely go for some of these ideas mentioned here after the wall painting is finished.

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Jan K
Jan S2 months ago

Thank you for sharing

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Madison Idso
Madison I2 months ago

I love natural light.

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Shirley P
Shirley Plowman2 months ago

THANKS, MORE NATURAL LIGHT DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

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Vincent T
Vincent T2 months ago

thank you

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heather g
heather g2 months ago

Tell BC Housing how to build ergonomically. In BC for 8 months of the year we live with lots of rain and grey skies - even not much weak sunshine.

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