The Playbook For The Modern Man

How To Maximise Light In Your Dark & Dingy Home

Moved into a shoebox next door to a 20-story apartment building lately? Okay, so things might not be that dire, but an abundance of natural light is pretty damn hard to come by in the age of built-up urban jungles and zero backyard.

Short of knocking out some new window holes and installing a skylight, there are much simpler and cheaper ways to boost your home’s exposure to sunlight.

Here are some of our tried and trusted favourites that will ensure daylight robbery never happens to you.

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All The Shiny Things

Smooth & shiny surfaces are your friend

Make the most of your smooth, shiny and reflective surfaces, and add a few new ones. For example, a glass splashback will allow light to bounce around the kitchen, and a glass-topped dining table gives a dining room lacking windows a brighter lease on life.

Mind The Mirror

Reflect your way to brightness

Yes, it’s an obvious one, but mirrors really can transform a space. Using mirrors to reflect light and make a room look spacious is an interior design trick as old as homes themselves.

For the best results, position mirrors opposite or adjacent to windows, and remember that bigger is better. The larger your mirror, the better reflective properties you’ll enjoy. Mirror tiles are another quick way to increase light, and if you’re feeling particularly brave, why not tile a whole wall?

Highlight The Ceiling

Oldest optical illusion in the interior design handbook

Optical illusions are the friend of a windowless man, but regardless of how much natural light your home receives, it’s a good idea to paint the ceilings in a slightly lighter shade to the walls.

This will open up the area and give the feeling of a lighter, brighter room. Another way to highlight the ceiling is by incorporating recessed light fittings.

The Door Factor

Wooden doors are done and dusted

Solid wood front doors are out. Step into 2017 with a glass panelled door that allows extra light to infiltrate the house.

Worried about privacy? Simply choose frosted, patterned, etched or tinted glass. Interior doors should also be reconsidered to include glass or French doors.

Pick A Light Colour Palette

Hue wisely

Lighter colours pick up and reflect light more effectively than darker hues. Paint your home in a soft palette, and if you really need some colour, opt for light shades of blue and green or stick with neutrals.

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Red, black and orange are big no-no’s in the painting stakes, as they will absorb light rather than reflect it. For floorboards, go with a light-toned and polished finish and avoid ultra-dark stains.

Window Treatment Done Right

Block it without blocking it

Light-blocking curtains are great at keeping the heat out, but the cumbersome things tend to create a dark and dreary atmosphere.

Translucent shades or curtains will still provide screening from nosy neighbours, but they’ll also allow a warm glow to penetrate the space and reflect light onto the walls.

Don’t forget to trim any hedges or trees surrounding or blocking your windows.

Tidy, Dust & Clean

Dust away the darkness

Furniture and furnishing coated in a layer of dust and grime will hinder the effectiveness of a light-filled home.

Maintain and clean all your windows, bench tops, fixtures and even light bulbs so the light that enters your home can shine at its fullest capacity.

Know Your Positioning

Don’t forget this one

Furniture placement can make or break a space, so remember to place items away from a window’s direct stream of light and never cocoon windows with furniture, particularly dark coloured couches.

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