Now that you’ve been spending a lot more time indoors, you’ve noticed that your rooms are just as dark and dreary as the winter weather outside.
You need to make them a little warmer and brighter. But how?
These are ten renovations and design tricks that can help you brighten up your whole house:
1. Light It Up
Sometimes, the most obvious solution is the best solution. When your home looks too dark, you need to add more lights to brighten it up:
- If you have overhead light fixtures that use single bulbs, replace them with fixtures that have multiple bulbs, like track lights or chandeliers.
- Put wall sconces in hallways.
- Install recessed pot lights in the basement ceiling.
- Place strip lights under your kitchen and bathroom cabinets.
- Stick battery-operated puck lights in the backs of closets.
- Decorate with stylish floor lamps and table lamps.
2. Upgrade Your Windows
The right windows will make sure that your home is never dark and dreary during the daytime. They’ll bring in plenty of sunshine and shower every room in a golden glow.
So, if your current windows aren’t filtering in enough sunlight, you should try to get new windows to help you fix this major design flaw.
What kinds of windows will brighten up your interior spaces?
- Fixed Picture Windows: these windows have no moveable parts. Their large, clear surfaces are perfect for bringing in natural light and presenting unobstructed views of the outdoors.
- Bay Windows: A series of three windows that projects from the home’s façade, giving you a panoramic view of the outdoors. It’s a great design choice for kitchens, living rooms and reading nooks.
- Bow Windows: A series of five side-by-side windows that projects from the home’s façade in an elegant curve. Like Bay Windows, these are an excellent addition to kitchens, living rooms and reading nooks.
- End Vent Windows: A series of three windows made up of two slider windows and a fixed picture window in the centre. This choice will add more natural light and ventilation to the interior space. It’s ideal for areas that can’t have Bay or Bow windows, like the basement.
3. Rethink Your Curtains
Do you have pairs of thick, opaque curtains in front of all your windows?
These may be effective at keeping your activities private from any curious neighbours, but they also block out your biggest resource of light: the sun.
Consider getting semi-sheer curtains for your windows. These will bring in some more light during the day while helping you maintain your privacy.
4. Look at Your Landscaping
Think about how your landscaping affects your windows. You won’t get much sunlight through your living room’s Bow Windows if there’s a row of tall-growing shrubs blocking half of them.
Those shrubs are cutting off your access to sunlight and putting your room directly into the shade.
Try your best to keep any trees and tall-growing plants away from your windows. If there are plants in the way, prune the branches so that they don’t obstruct your view during peak daylight hours.
If that’s not enough, you can transplant small trees and shrubs to another part of your yard, where they won’t get in the way of your windows.
5. Get Glass Doors
Windows aren’t the only way that you can bring in more sunlight. You can also bring in sunlight with your entrance doors.
Replace your front doors with a set of French Doors with gorgeous glass panels and swap out your solid back entrance doors for sleek sliding patio doors.
6. Go Open Concept
The open concept lets the light from your windows travel and reaches every corner of your home.
So, if you can manage to knock down some walls and open up those rooms, you might notice that everything is much brighter.
If you can’t go open concept, that’s okay — a simple solution would be to replace some of your interior doors with glass doors. This is great for areas that don’t need privacy, like the dining room or kitchen.
The glass allows for the light to reach into the next room while creating the illusion of more space.
7. Grab a Paint Brush
Darker, bolder colors will absorb light in a room and make it look darker. If you want your rooms to look brighter, you’ll have to paint them in lighter shades.
Choose semi-gloss finishes for your paints — these will reflect the light much better than ones with matte or flat finishes.
8. Lighten Up Your Flooring
Your walls and ceilings aren’t the only things that you should lighten up! Using lighter floor materials will also make your space look bigger and brighter.
Swap those dark tiles in your bathroom and kitchen for ones in white or pastel shades.
Get White Oak or Hickory wood panels for your ground-level flooring. Decorate with soft gray or blue area rugs — you don’t want to pick white rugs since they’ll quickly go off-color from dust and dirt.
9. Add More Mirrors
Mirrors reflect light, so they can easily make a room brighter.
So, if you’re worried about your interior spaces being too drab and dark, you should follow this simple decorating trick: add mirrors to the walls.
This is a fantastic solution for areas with minimal natural lighting, like hallways, bathrooms and basements.
10. Strategize with Shelves
Don’t have your shelving units parallel to your windows — this can block some of the sunshine from filtering into the room.
Instead, you should try to rearrange your room so that the shelves sit perpendicular to the windows.
Make these simple design changes and see how they make rooms brighter and better than before.