Combine Natural & Artificial Light For A Bright Interior
Sunlight is always desirable in a home, providing bright, pleasant light and warmth to any interior. Artificial light, however, is usually necessary to supplement natural light in windowless rooms and after sunset. The trick to combining the two is to use artificial lights as secondary illumination while doing everything you can to increase the amount of natural light reaching the interior of the home. The following tips will help you create a bright, pleasant home by using both natural and artificial light sources:
Maximize Natural Light
Take a close look at your window coverings. Dark shades or blinds will deter light. Natural light will be diluted or completely blocked by too-thick curtains or heavy blinds. Window coverings made with lightweight fabrics like cotton will allow more natural light into a room, while also controlling the amount of heat which accompanies the light. Consider window coverings that can be tied back to let more light in. Wooden and plastic blinds will not let light in, so consider pull-down fabric or bamboo screens—these will provide privacy while allowing in slightly diffused natural light.
Brighten Dark Areas
There are many types of lamps and fixtures that can be used to brighten up a dark room. Table lamps, floor lights and wall-mounted sconces are all inexpensive ways to brighten specific dark areas. Interior decorating experts suggest adding mirrors that reflect light. Hanging a mirror on a wall opposite a window creates a smart, modern look and will reflect light back into the room.
Think about your lifestyle and where and when you are spending time in a specific room. With so many fixture options, consider if ambient or overhead lighting will be provide enough light. A North Vancouver custom home builder suggests task lighting—illuminating a limited area according to your needs—for rooms that don’t get much use. For rooms which get a lot of traffic, especially kitchens and living rooms, consider using a combination of ambient and hanging lights, to provide both subtle illumination and practical lighting.
If you have the opportunity to change lighting in windowless rooms, during a spare room remodel or bathroom renovations, take the chance to have modern light fixtures installed. These rooms require the most artificial light, so be sure the sources you choose provide both coverage and aesthetic appeal.
Apply a Fresh Coat of Paint
Interior designers agree that the color of a wall can either accentuate natural and artificial light or stifle it. Painting your ceilings white will make a definite difference, as white will reflect light and not absorb it. Be aware that an all-white room without any sunlight can actually appear dingy and dreary, so use the color sparingly and mix it up with wallpapers or patterned walls.
Consider painting walls yellow or beige, as these warm tones will help a room appear brighter than it actually is. Pale, cool tones like sky blue and sage green will also accomplish this, contrasting with and reflecting natural light to create a beautiful, calming effect.