8 Bright Ideas to Boost Natural Light

Bringing natural light into your home is both economical and enjoyable. Here are seven ways to let the sun shine in throughout your house.

  1. Use mirrors & other reflective surfaces in your decor

    1/9
    A18bac4d4ff32dc16c30f913e1aa2215

    Zillow Digs home in Malvern, PA

    Shiny surfaces—especially mirrors—reflect light. Place them strategically to fill your home with new spots of brightness. Mirrors close to your windows amplify natural light by bouncing it into your space, making windows feel bigger and brighter.

  2. Take the heaviness out of window treatments

    2/9
    E2ba0df136bf0d272294dfad73b1873b

    Zillow Digs home on Bainbridge Island, WA

    Choose window treatments that offer privacy but still let light pass through. Some of the easiest, most versatile options are sheer curtain panels in a light color. Think off-white linen and cotton under heavier fabrics and patterns that can be closed at night. Avoid options that block light even when they’re open, like Roman shades.

  3. Keep it clean

    3/9
    De3e851cacd5ef949383457e69e0cb07

    Zillow Digs home in Portland, OR

    Keeping your windows clean to allow in the maximum amount of natural light. It may sound simple but cleaning windows, blinds—even lampshades, and bulbs makes a big difference. Pro tip: wash windows on a cloudy day to minimize streaking.


    Related:  How To—Clean EVERYTHING

  4. Pay attention to paint

    4/9
    802723c108562f0341199a58e1fbc80f

    shutterstock.com

    Paint color, and finish have a big effect on how bright your room looks. Lighter colors reflect natural light better than darker tones. If you prefer a darker palette, remember that shinier finishes will help brighten things up. This is especially true for ceiling paint. White ceilings are popular because they reflect ambient light down into the room. Boost this effect by choosing a ceiling paint with a satin or high-gloss finish.


    Related:  In Living Color—7 Tips for Brightening Your Home's Palette

  5. Consider skylights or other structural changes

    5/9
    C5fb7e7cf0afb3e40b31b71ea9110ed8

    solatube.com

    Adding a skylight reduces your lighting costs and provides the pick-me-up that only real sunlight can. Dimly lit areas like bathrooms are very popular spots for easy to install “sun tunnels” or tubular skylights.

  6. Move your furniture

    6/9
    165c3eb2cc8f26252a5cab43e5c8e6d2

    Zillow Digs home in Forest, IL

    Inadvertently blocking windows when arranging your furniture can cut into a room's natural light. Rearrange your space to keep natural light sources free and unobstructed. Keep larger pieces toward the center of the room. Even knick-knacks on a windowsill block a surprising amount of light.

  7. Door Change

    7/9
    7666383d5d5d8f051afd23de5c61c362

    Zillow Digs home in McKinney, TX

    Try swapping a solid exterior door for one with window panels, or framing your entry in frosted glass. Or, install a glass storm door over your existing one, so light can enter when the door is closed.


    Related:  A Contractor’s Tips for Open-and-Shut Door Installation

  8. Think outside of your home

    8/9
    94e2f2dc520e612d586dbaed697e3a9c

    Zillow Digs home in Redmond, WA

    For best results, don’t forget to maintain your outdoor spaces. Trim hedges or branches away from the windows. Also, carefully consider the placement of porch swings and other patio furniture. These steps will increase natural light inside your home.

  9. For More...

    9/9
  10. See the House of the Week

    Hotw600x450

    Discover and admire beautiful and innovative home architecture, from grand Victorians to quaint cabins and all the styles in between. Take a look at the latest images and inspiration!