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How To Maximise Daylight Without Scrimping On Design

by Roof Maker

Natural light not only makes a home feel lighter and brighter, but also bigger and more welcoming. There are the health benefits too.

Natural light is essential for creating a warm, inviting atmosphere in your home. It has the power to transform a room, making it feel brighter and more spacious. Additionally, natural light can improve your mood, productivity, and overall well-being.
It’s no wonder, then, that homeowners are often keen to allow more natural light to flood their properties – especially now the days are shorter and the nights are longer.

With all this in mind, we decided to run through some tips for how to maximise daylight in your home, without scrimping on design.

Add a rooflight or two or three

Skylights or roof windows are a fantastic way to bring in natural light from above, creating a bright and airy atmosphere in your living spaces. Ideal for kitchens, living rooms, or other areas where you spend a lot of time with family and friends, skylights can make a dramatic difference in the ambiance of a room.

When choosing skylights, consider factors like energy efficiency, ventilation options, and the type of glazing that will best suit your needs.

Rooflights over modern living space

Rearrange Your Furniture

In addition to choosing lighter-coloured furniture, where you place it (the furniture) also has an impact on the amount of natural light your room will get.

It goes without saying that large sofas placed in front of windows will block out some daylight – especially when people are sat on them. That’s why it’s best, if you want more light in your room, to place large pieces of furniture against walls and in corners where possible. Even your favourite ornaments (dare we call them clutter?) placed in a window sill will block some light. Consider moving them to a better home.

Clean Your Windows

Clean windows allow more sunlight to enter your home. Regularly removing dirt and grime from your windows will increase natural light and enhance your view of the outdoors. Make it a habit to clean both the interior and exterior of your windows to maximize light transmission. You can use a simple solution of water and vinegar or a commercial window cleaner to keep your windows sparkling.

In the winter, especially, you will notice the impact that dirty glass has on the overall brightness of your home. A little bit of time spent cleaning your windows can be enough to not have to switch your inside lights on in the afternoons, which also positively affects your electricity bill. Opting for easy clean glass in windows and rooflights will help to reduce the manual cleaning effort and make this easier.

Add Mirrors

The cheapest option in our list so far is to add more mirrors in the rooms you want to appear brighter. Mirrors reflect light and allow it to penetrate deeper into the nooks and crannies of a room, which makes it appear larger. It goes without saying that larger mirrors reflect more light and so achieve better results, but don’t go too big as it could overwhelm the whole feel of your room.

For an even greater optical illusion, hang two mirrors opposite one another to create an infinity effect.

Use Lighter Window Treatments

Choose window treatments that allow light to filter through, such as sheer curtains or blinds. Avoid heavy, dark curtains, which can block light and make a room feel smaller.

Opt for light-colored or translucent materials that diffuse light without completely obstructing it. Consider using adjustable blinds or shades, which can be easily opened or closed to control the amount of light entering the room.

Beautiful kitchen with conservation style rooflight

Opt for Light-Coloured Walls and Ceilings

It stands to reason that dark walls aren’t great for making a room feel lighter and brighter. They absorb a lot of the light that enters a room and should only be used in spaces where you want to create an atmosphere that aids relaxation, such as in a bedroom.

Swap those dark colours for pure whites and pale yellows if you want to maximise the daylight in your home. Like mirrors, lighter walls reflect more light and that gives the impression that a room is bigger than it actually is.
If you really want to maximise light reflection then opt for glossy or satin paint rather than matte.

Incorporate Metallic Accents

Metallic accents, such as light fixtures, picture frames and handles can reflect light and brighten up a space. Balance metallic surfaces with matte textures to avoid an overly shiny or showroom-like appearance.

Choose metallic accents that complement your existing colour scheme and style. Brass, gold, and copper can add warmth to a room, while chrome and silver provide a cooler, more modern touch.

Use Glass Furniture

Glass or transparent furniture allows light to pass through, creating a sense of openness and airiness. Consider using glass-top tables, or glass shelving to maximize light flow. These pieces can be especially effective in small spaces, where they create the illusion of more room without adding visual bulk.

Internal Glazing

Internal glazing can help transfer light from one room to another. Consider installing glass doors or partitions to allow light to flow between rooms while maintaining separation. This can be especially useful in homes with dark hallways or areas that are isolated from natural light sources. Frosted or textured glass can provide privacy while still allowing light to pass through.

Case study open plan living area

Remove outside obstacles

To achieve even brighter rooms, go out into your garden and get busy. That’s because overgrown hedges and trees will prevent a significant amount of natural light from entering your home, particularly if they are near your windows. It’s also important to consider which direction your property faces. A south-facing garden will get more sunlight later into the day, which means more light will enter the rear rooms of your home during the summer, providing your windows are not obstructed by overgrown foliage.

You can simply keep an eye on the path of the Sun throughout the day and decide what outside obstacles should be removed or trimmed (in the case of hedges and trees) to allow more light to enter the various rooms of your home.

Add Clerestory Windows

Clerestory windows are an excellent solution for increasing natural light without sacrificing privacy. These high-level windows, located just below the ceiling, allow light to enter a room without the need for full-sized windows.

They’re especially useful in spaces like bathrooms, loft conversions, or ground-floor rooms where privacy is a priority. Clerestory windows also add an architectural touch to your home, giving it a unique and modern appearance.

Consider Architectural Solutions

Architectural solutions, such as glass floors, sun tunnels, or lightwells, can add natural light to your home in innovative ways. Glass floors allow light from a higher level to filter down into a room below, while sun tunnels channel sunlight from the roof to areas that may not have access to windows.

Lightwells can provide a source of natural light in basement levels or lower-floor accommodations. These solutions may require more significant structural work but can make a significant impact on the overall light quality in your home.

Replace Solid Doors with Glass Doors

Replacing solid doors with glass or French doors allows light to flow from one area of your home to another. This can be especially helpful in dark hallways or rooms that are isolated from natural light sources.

Choose doors with clear or frosted glass, depending on your privacy needs, and consider the style of your home when selecting door designs.

Lighten your fabrics

In the same way that dark-coloured walls absorb light and make a room appear less bright, so too do dark fabrics.

Sofas that are adorned with lighter linens and cottons will brighten up your living room. The best part is you can look to have existing furniture reupholstered to give it a new lease of life. It’s a practical and cost-effective solution that will maximise the daylight in your home.

Are you considering buying a rooflight or roof lantern for your home? If you are, call Roof Maker on 0116 269 6297. Our rooflight experts will help you to choose the right solution for your needs.

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