It’s only natural to love natural light! Here in Chicagoland and around the country, many homeseekers list natural light as one of their top wants in a new home.
Soft, colorful, and hard to replicate, natural light can help make any space look fresh and welcoming. Taking advantage of natural light can help you keep your lightswitches set to the off position, helping to cut down on your utility bills over time. Even better, studies have shown that soaking up natural light can have major benefits for your health and well-being. In fact, a report from NC State University found that people who spend more time in natural light may experience better sleep, and often report feeling happier and healthier. In the workplace, natural light has been shown to help people feel more creative and more productive, and is listed as a “number one attribute of the workplace environment,” according to Harvard Business Review.
So, what can you do to help bring more natural light into your home? Whether you’re hoping to showcase your house in the best possible light to buyers, or make your new home feel lighter and brighter as you settle in, here are seven creative ways to maximize the amount of natural light in your space:
1.) Keep Your Windows Clean
Step one in letting in more natural light? Clean your windows, taking care to wipe them down thoroughly both inside and out. While it may seem obvious, this is a home chore that many people tend to overlook. Use your favorite cleaning solution and a clean cloth to scrub the window, then squeegee dry to avoid streaks. While you’re at it, take some time to clean your windowsill, wipe down your window panes, and get rid of any dust that may be hiding on your blinds or above your window frame.
2.) Decorate With Light, Bright Colors
Darker colors can absorb natural light, and make a room look dimmer than it really is. Think about how you can lighten up your space using fresh, bright colors. Many home experts recommend using light colored paints, such as cream, eggshell, or other shades of white. Use a matte finish, which can help reflect light more evenly and fully than a glossy coat, which can create glare. Similarly, painting the ceiling a lighter shade than the walls can make a space feel larger, lighter, and airier. Light colored carpets and rugs can make a space feel brighter, as can wooden, stone, or ceramic floors. And when it comes to your decor, look for light colored linens, accents, and furniture pieces to help complement the space’s natural lighting.
3.) Use Reflective Surfaces and Accents
Trying to be strategic about increasing the amount of natural light in your home? It helps to do a little bit of reflecting — literally. According to home design and decor experts, bringing more reflective surfaces, accent pieces, and fixtures into a home can help reflect and amplify the amount of natural light in your space. Some simple but impactful ideas may include hanging mirrors on your walls, or looking for furniture and decor with metallic, glass, or chrome finishes. In the kitchen and bathroom, think about incorporating glass or ceramic tiles into your backsplash; these highly reflective finishes can reflect an enormous amount of natural light.
4.) Do Some Work to the Exterior
When you go outside to wash your windows, take a look around to see if there are any obstructions that may be stopping natural light from flowing into your home. Clear away any overgrown trees, shrubs, or hanging vines that are obscuring your windows. You may even want to consult with a landscape architect to talk about how to set up your outdoor areas for maximum light exposure. If your home has eaves or overhangs above the windows, painting or covering the undersides a light color or metallic finish can help reflect more natural light into your home.
5.) Find New Ways to Let the Light In
Depending on your preferences and budget, there are all sorts of creative ways to add new light sources into a Chicagoland home — from upgrading and enlarging the windows, to installing new skylights in strategic spots around the house. Some Chicagoland homes also incorporate walls of glass bricks in stairwells, hallways, and bathrooms, to let in more light while preserving privacy. You may even consider replacing a solid wood or metallic door with a glass door, or one with a large window. There are plenty of options for doors that come complete with high-security glass features.
6.) Refresh Your Decor
Could your interior design be limiting your light? Look around your space and think about small, strategic steps you can take to let in more natural light. For instance, moving furniture away from windows can help let more light filter in — and make a room appear larger, to boot. You might also think about replacing heavy, dark drapes with window treatments that are lighter, airier, or more translucent. Swapping out dark rugs for light, colorful accent rugs can also help invigorate a room from the ground up, while making it feel lighter and brighter.
7.) Supplement Your Natural Light
Does your home have any dark corners, alcoves, or pockets where the sunlight just doesn’t seem to reach? Think strategically about how you can supplement natural light with artificial lighting. The New York Times, for example, recommends using indirect lighting aimed at the ceiling. Dimmer switches can allow you to increase or decrease the lighting in a room as the sun changes position throughout the day. When you’re adding new lamps or swapping out lightbulbs, look for warm, white lights, which can help enhance the tones of natural light, rather than clashing with them.
Want to Talk Shop With Chicagoland’s Real Estate Experts?
Looking for a home that’s flooded with inviting natural light? Curious about what steps you can take to get your home ready to sell in the months ahead? Whatever your real estate goals may be, we get you — and we’re here to help make things easier, at every step of the way.
As the largest independent and locally owned real estate brokerage in Chicagoland, Baird & Warner is home to thousands of the most highly skilled real estate professionals in the area. Our brokers are hyperlocal experts who know just what it takes to prepare, market, and sell your home. When you sell with Baird & Warner, your agent can even help you connect with professionals that provide expert presale renovation services based on what buyers are looking and paying for in your market, making it easier to get a home updated quickly and affordably before it’s listed. And with mortgage and title services in-house, our full-service approach makes buying or selling a home smarter and more seamless, from beginning to end.