Sunlight is important to our well-being and worth keeping in mind when designing and decorating your home. Placing furniture near a window will help you soak up the rays. In a perfect world, you can plan by using the path of the sun. My work desk is by the window, where the rising sun’s rays enter the room, whereas we have dinner in a room where the setting sun enters the house. Basically, follow your cat. If there is a strip of light, this is where you sit. Until then, follow these tips for maximizing natural light in your home.
Excerpted from My Hygge Home: How to Make Home Your Happy Place by Meik Wiking. Copyright© 2022 by Meik Wiking. Published by Penguin, an imprint of Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.
Wash and Trim
Dirt on windows reduces the light coming through. Also, pay attention to the effect greenery outside your home is having on the light levels inside – trim around doors and windows. You may want to consider slimmer window frames to maximize the surface of the glass. See more of this Scandinavian-inspired farmhouse’s bright interior.
Shiny materials bounce the light further into your room. A mirror or a glass cabinet will make the rays travel further. The right flooring can work as a light-friendly reflector. Wooden, ceramic or stone floors with a polished finish will reflect more than carpets or rugs.
Height Can Change Everything
The higher up a window is placed on the building, the lighter it will be inside. Windows placed high will let more light into the room and disperse it evenly, while light coming through a low window will stay close to the window. This is why you often see larger windows at the lowest part of the building and smaller ones higher up.
Use the Right Colour Palette
If you have seen pictures of Scandinavian minimalism, this shouldn’t surprise you: walls are usually painted white. In part, this is because shades of white make a space brighter, as it reflects rather than absorbs the natural light entering the room.
Skylights can bring in twice as much light as a conventional window and may bring light into a room where a typical window is not an option. One downside, however, is that they don’t provide the same orientation. That is, they don’t provide you with a view of the outside world, other than a patch of sky, so they should be used wisely.
Remove the Blockade
Will half a wall do it, or a divider? Consider whether you need a floor-to-ceiling wall or whether there could be a space at the top to allow light to travel through.
Get the Balance Right
Consider how you can balance the need for daylight and privacy. Big windows are great for letting in plenty of sunlight, but we also have a need for privacy. Adding a high-level window or using plants to shield the inside from the outside are options here.