Written by guest contributor Paisley Hansen
When considering the interior of your living room, using natural light to enhance the ambience and highlight your own personal style is integral. Natural light not only cuts down on your utility costs, it gives your family a beautifully warm glow for everyday living as well as offers optimal reading and crafting possibilities with less eye strain. Below are five ideas for utilizing and enhancing the natural light in your own living space.
Use Sheers to Allow in Light
Blinds and heavy curtains are great for privacy, but they can make your living room feel like a cave.
Light-colored sheers, especially those with a yellow or blue cast, can lend a more warm and inviting atmosphere to your room. Red or pink hues are good choices if you want a more energetic feel, while white sheers will allow maximum light to enter. Avoid green, as it can make everyone look sickly and cast an odd sheen on the room.
To make sure you and your family still have privacy in the evenings, turn on all the lights inside at night and stand on the street or sidewalk and look in. If your sheers are a bit too transparent, you can install blinds, shades, or curtains on a separate rod to use at night.
Use Mirrors to Bounce Light
If you’re still looking for more light and have already maximized what you can do to let more in in the space you’re in, it’s time to make the most of what you have.
A large mirror above the fireplace can make the room look larger, and if you angle it a bit it will toss the light to the side of the room that doesn’t get much natural light. A series of smaller mirrors on the wall opposite the windows can give the same effect.
Think about mirrored accent and coffee tables, mirrored decor accents scattered around or even some mirrors placed strategically on the ceiling. If you’re having trouble figuring out how to use mirrors for more light, check out these mirror options to help you out.
Install a Skylight
Skylights can allow plenty of sun to pour into a room, which can highlight everything from the beautiful wood beamed ceilings to make your room feel larger, show off the detail of your special pieces like barn door hardware and reclaimed barn door accents, to highlighting your collection of blown glass in the hutch.
If you have bookshelves, antique rugs or pricey artwork, you will want to order a skylight with UV-blocking glass. This will allow in light without damaging your belongings. You’ll also want to hire an experienced contractor to install it, as poor seals can cause damage to your roof, ceiling and the floor below.
Be Careful with Dark Fabrics
Dark carpeting and upholstery can drawn in light and make your living room feel small and unwelcoming. If you’re not able to buy new furniture, some light slipcovers can make all the difference, or even adding a few decorative pillows in lighter colors for focal points and pops of color.
Think about bright rugs as accents to not only brighten up your space by reflecting the natural light, they can make your living room feel larger by compartmentalizing and separating the space for functional and decorative use.
Play Up Reflective Surfaces
While mirrors are the most obvious option to bounce and increase natural light, polished wood, sparkling glass and spotless metals can also have a similar effect.
If your living room seems drab, consider hanging some reflective art, shiny light fixtures, perhaps polishing all the wood in the room and/or replacing matte surfaces with reflective ones. While you don’t want to go overboard with this effect, these small details can bring in warm luster while also reflecting the natural light and make your living room all the more cozy and inviting.
If you are redecorating your living space or just want to bring in more natural light, these tips and ideas can help you make the transformation affordable and fun. By carefully considering how the natural sunlight enters your home and how to take advantage of it, you can turn your living room into a warm and cheerful space for your family and guests to enjoy.
* Images via Ikea