With the temperature rising as the days go on, make sure you’re getting as much warmth and sunlight in your home as possible. If your home feels dark, you may need to make some changes to brighten up the place. There are plenty of big and small ways to lighten up your house. Here are some recommendations for making the most of the spring and summer sun to come:
1. Paint your walls white
One way to brighten up a dark room is to repaint the walls white. White paint is bright, reflects light and makes your room feel bigger. Depending on the design of your room, you might only need to paint one accent wall. You might consider painting a wall opposite a window to get the best light reflection. If you intend to repaint an entire room in white, you might need to hire a painter for the best results. You don’t want to accidentally cover your flooring and furniture in white paint after all.
2. Use lighter window treatments
Take advantage of the natural light outside by opening your window treatments or replacing the window treatments you have with lighter alternatives. Don’t use heavy drapes or shades that block sunlight during the spring and summer. Invest in blinds and Roman shades. Think about opaque window treatment options that provide privacy while still allowing sunlight in during the day. Pick window treatments that are lightly colored, like creams, canvas or light brown colors. If you decide you want blinds, find cloth blinds that are made of a light fabric. Don’t buy blinds that are made of wood or plastic because they’ll keep all the sunlight out.
3. Add more windows
Another option for adding more natural light in your home is to add more windows to your darkest rooms. This is a huge investment because you’ll have to knock out holes in your wall to make room for the windows. If you have older existing windows, you might consider paying to replace your windows, which can help cut down on your heating and cooling costs throughout the year. Lean towards installing double- or triple- pane windows, because they block UV rays from the sun and keep cool air in the home. That way you still get the maximum amount of sunlight without increasing the internal temperature of your house.
4. Choose better lighting
If you don’t want to invest in new windows for your home, think about lighting alternatives. For rooms that are particularly dark, have an electrician come out and help rewire the room for more light fixtures. Do not install fluorescent or incandescent bulbs, though, because they’ll increase your utility bill, give off heat and sometimes even buzz. Instead, focus on installing LED or CFL lighting for your dark rooms. Some lighting options include track, accent, or recessed lighting. Track lighting is particularly good for lighting a space. You can also use floor lamps with lightly colored shades.
5. Hang mirrors
To better reflect the natural and artificial light in a room without the hassle of installing new windows or light fixtures, think about hanging mirrors. The cost to hang a large mirror averages around $250, depending on the type of mirror and its size. Pick mirrors that help the room look larger and best reflect the light coming in from a window or off a lamp. It will create an overall bigger, airier feel in a room.
6. Buy light-colored furniture
Sometimes, what makes a room dark is the furniture. If you have dark hardwood or leather furniture, there’s a chance lighting and windows aren’t going to do the job. You should think about replacing some of that furniture with lighter alternatives. You can reupholster your dark furniture with light-colored fabrics, so you don’t have to replace it. If you have old entertainment systems or cabinets, it might be time to invest in new ones made of lighter-colored wood or other materials. You don’t have to do this in every room of the home, but maybe focus on your darkest room and furniture.
7. Install new flooring
If you really want to increase the brightness of a room, think about the flooring. Dark-colored carpeting or hardwood flooring can be replaced with light-colored bamboo or tan carpeting. You can also install light-colored tiles if it’s your kitchen that needs to be brightened. If you don’t want to replace the flooring, you can cover up the coloring with light-colored area rugs. It really depends on how much time and money you want to spend on brightening the flooring.
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