Let there be light!

Modern living room interior with hardwood floors and view of kitchen in new luxury homeAdding some extra light to your home can help brighten up small spaces, make rooms appear bigger and can literally lighten your mood, helping relieve stress.

So, let’s look at some bright ideas that are perfect for making your place look and feel cheerier . . . but won’t cost the earth.

For gleam stay clean

Does your home suffer from lack of natural light? Not getting enough daylight can really dampen your mood, but don’t worry, you don’t have to shell out lots of cash for new windows. It may seem obvious but simply cleaning your windows twice a week can have a huge impact on boosting the amount of sunshine you enjoy. So, get some hot sponge action and do away with the dirt and dust.


Time for reflection

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who has the brightest room of all? Well, the one with the most reflective surfaces of course. Placing mirrors directly opposite windows will instantly illuminate even the darkest corners. Plus, it will provide the enjoyable illusion of a much bigger living space.


Mix it up

A single, super-bright ceiling light can transform a room but it’s not very inspiring. So be brave and experiment with different types of lighting. Try a signature light fixture on the ceiling then add various arrangements of floor and table lamps to create a layered and more engaging lighting scheme, free of shadows but not clinical. Try out different coloured bulbs to add colour to a room without having to paint the walls. Also, test out bulbs with different warmth settings and tones.


Go above and beyond

No ceiling lights? No problem! Invest in a large arc floor lamp. Not only will this look great as a centrepiece of a living room, it creates a central, bright light source that replicates a ceiling light without the need to call in an electrician, plasterer and decorator! Add a comfy chair and create your own little reading corner.


Pick your palette

Gothic purple might be uber-cool for a teenager’s crib but the best paint schemes for brighter living spaces are those that are neutral, such as white, cream or ivory. Choose a high-gloss paint for the ceiling, as this will reflect light back down into the room. For the walls, however, choose a matte – gloss paint in your direct line of vision can create glare while matte is softer, subtler and throws back light in different directions. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can still inject some colour by trying your hand at some paint patterns. Straight lines of colour can break up a plain wall whilst giving the illusion of higher ceilings.


Best feet forward

You’ve tackled your ceiling and walls but what’s underfoot? A patterned carpet or dark brown floorboards? If your budget doesn’t stretch to new light-coloured wood or a fresh, bright carpet, go on a bargain hunt for a large, colourful rug that helps reflect light and your sunny personality.


Your curtain call

Unless your window frames are in need of some serious TLC or your visiting in-laws hail from Transylvania, there’s really no need for black-out curtains in a modern, well-insulated home. So, choose less heavy and semi-transparent fabrics that allow sunshine to permeate your home but still protect your privacy. Frosted or patterned window vinyls are also a great way of offering privacy but still allow light to shine through, meaning you could do away with those netted curtains.



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