As well as looking welcoming, bright and cheerful, when your home is flooded with natural daylight, it’s good for your health. And all those who are part of your circle of family and friends. Evidence from several health studies reveals that when it comes to sunlight, while we all know that overdoing the rays can be harmful perhaps we’re not so aware that getting just the right balance has a positive effect.
For instance, you probably already know that sunlight and darkness act to trigger different hormones that are released into your brain. Serotonin is boosted by sunlight, and this helps you to feel alert, focused, calm and improves your mood. Melatonin, on the other hand, is manufactured when darkness falls, with the ultimate aim of making you feel sleepy and ready to have a rest.
Findings from these scientific studies indicate that exposure to natural daylight can help you fight depression, stress, chronic skin conditions and may also help to prevent certain types of cancer. In light of this, it makes sense to make the most of the opportunities to bring more natural light into your home for the benefit of you and your family. Let’s look at some ways you can do that.
Maximize your glazing
It’s an obvious solution however it’s worth pausing to consider the difference an increased amount of glazing could make in your home. If your budget allows, for example, you could expand the size of your window openings, so that more natural daylight enters your home. It makes sense to do this for windows or glazed doors that already have good exposure to sunlight, such as those facing south, although there’s also a good argument to make for expanding windows in darker, north-facing areas, on the basis that this will improve interior lighting levels generally. You can judge what would work best in your own circumstances, if you have lived in your home for a few years.
Add extra openings
In addition to enhancing existing openings for windows and doors you also have the option to add extra roof lights or skylights in suitable locations. As the units are usually double or triple glazed you should not experience any loss of heat as long as you are working with a reputable contractor; however, the impact on the amount of natural daylight in your home could be substantial.
Welcome daylight in
If increasing glazing is not an option you should try to make the best use of what you’ve got. One thing that can be problematic for homeowners is when they dress their windows in an overly elaborate way, as fussy drapes or messy blinds can block out natural light more than you might think. Instead opt for affordable basswood shutters that are smart, stylish and provide an elegant outline for your window reveals. Shutters are timeless and, unlike home décor fashion trends, will not look out of place no matter what style of home you have.
Use shiny surfaces
Perhaps this is a fundamental tip, however, it’s one worth repeating. Surfaces that reflect light will, by their very nature, enhance the amount of light in your home. So, make good use of well-placed mirrors, shiny floors in your kitchen and glossy countertop surfaces, as well as metallic elements to reflect and refract natural daylight in your home. You can lighten colors on walls and ceilings and even choose a paint that is reflective and has a satin finish rather matt.
Think about what’s outside
While it’s lovely to develop a sunroom or conservatory at your home, it pays to make sure you don’t bring too much of the outside, inside. Remember that larger shrubs and trees can quickly become overgrown and will block sunlight so that your windows and interiors are shaded. That will deprive you of some natural daylight despite all your efforts to make sure you are making the most of it.
Finally, don’t forget to pay attention to your furniture as well as your general décor when you’re assessing what you could change in your home to increase the amount and impact of natural daylight. If you have a lot of older, dark brown furniture, for example, then it’s going to soak up the light so if it’s of value to you, in any sense, be careful where you place it and try not to group too many things of the same dark colors.