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7 Ways To Optimize Natural Sunlight in Your Home

Natural sunlight has shown to improve the way people feel about their home's interior. It also offers practical benefits, such as allowing you to use less energy because you do not have to turn on as many artificial lights to illuminate the interior. Perhaps for these reasons, natural light is one of the features people look for especially when looking to buy a home. Even more than an open-plan kitchen and a large safe yard, it is regarded as a "must-have."

Depending on your home's layout and orientation, there are limitations to the amount of natural light you can receive. However, you can make changes to your home's interior to make the most out of the sunlight available to you.

1. Install Skylights

While light from a window becomes slanted, a skylight allows it to stream directly into your home. If you are also interested in solar panels for home, don't fret; there are options available that allow you to have both, so that you can enjoy the natural sunlight while simultaneously collecting it and putting it to good use.

2. Change Window Treatments

Choose window treatments such as Venetian blinds that allow you to control the amount of sunlight that comes in rather than those that block the sunlight even when open, such as Roman shades. Sheer draperies help to remove the troublesome glare while letting the sunlight in. For maximum effect, forgo the double draperies and hang only a single.

3. Keep Windows Clean

Though not necessarily easy, this is a very straightforward step to make the most of the natural sunlight that your home receives. Dirty windows can block the sunlight or scatter it as it enters your home. Keeping your windows clean allows more light in and also avoids drawing attention to the windows themselves, which can happen when they are not clean.

4. Use Light Colors

Light colors on furniture and walls tend to reflect light, while dark colors absorb them. Therefore, choose light-colored materials for furnishings and decorations and light colored paint or wallpaper for the walls. Light doesn't have to mean white or off-white, by the way. Pastel shades of blue, yellow, pink, or green also qualify.

To increase the amount of light that your walls reflect, choose a gloss or semi-gloss paint, preferably in a light color. Each of the little facets will catch the light and reflect it around the room, creating a sparkling effect.

5. Choose Reflective Surfaces

When decorating, hang a large mirror on the wall across from your window. As the sunlight streams in, it will bounce off the mirror, effectively doubling the amount of sunlight you get. Instead of a large mirror, you may opt instead for mirrored accents, chrome, or colored glass. Any shiny surface will work, and you can get creative when decorating with mirrors.

Another surface that you should not neglect when decorating for natural light is the floor. If you choose a highly polished flooring material, it can also reflect a lot of light back into a room. This may be a better option in an open concept room where you do not have a wall opposite the window.

6. Consider the Fabrics

Upholstery and window treatments should be made of light fabrics, such as cotton or linen. These fabrics are known for being airy and breathable. Regardless of the season, they evoke a summer feeling. By contrast, brocades, velvets, and other heavy fabrics are more insulating and tend to counteract the feeling of lightness that you are going for.

7. Trim Trees and Bushes

As bushes and trees outside your window grow, they can obstruct the sunlight and reduce the amount that is available to you inside the home. Keeping these trimmed back not only helps let more sunlight in, it also improves your home's security and its exterior appearance.

While natural light can bring out the beauty of furniture and fabrics, it can also sometimes fade their colors over time. Try to limit exposure of any decorations or furniture of great value to natural sunlight.

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