We'd all like a home bathed in natural light, but often various factors make this impossible.
Windows that are too small, building facing north, flat on one of the lower floors, obstacles placed right in front of the windows: these are some of the reasons why our home, or one room in particular, does not get the right amount of natural light.
The problem can be solved by following some tips.
1. Use light colours
One of the main properties of colours is that they can reflect or absorb light. White, for example, reflects around 80% light, but this percentage drops as the colour becomes darker. So, it's important to choose light colours to decorate the room we want to brighten up.
Paint the walls white, or in pastel or neutral colours, according to your tastes. Choose light-coloured flooring or, alternatively, carpet the floor in light natural colours.
The same goes for furniture, too: if the furniture is made of wood, favour light types of wood, like pine, maple or birch. For lacquered or laminated furniture, the choice may vary from white to light grey, from natural tones to pastel colours.
If you don't want to do without touches of brighter colour, you can add accessories and ornaments, or fabrics, in vivid colours.
2. Go-ahead for reflective and transparent surfaces
Another very effective plan to brighten up a room is to use reflective and transparent surfaces.
You can have mirrors, which also help to make the room look larger, and choose glossy finishes for furniture and coverings, such as tiles for the bathroom and kitchen. In this case, if the surface is not too large, brighter colours can be used.
In a bedroom, for example, it can be very helpful to have mirrored doors on the wardrobe, while a dark entrance hall can be made brighter by a large mirror on one of the walls.
For transparent objects, you cannot but choose glass-top tables, chairs in plexiglass design, and plastic storage boxes, which are a great help for giving more light.
3. Reduce the walls
Walls are a hindrance to light coming in. One solution would be to replace some walls with an "open-plan" design, or with glass doors. The walls between kitchen and living-room, or between the study and the entrance hall, can be redesigned using bespoke plasterboard open-back bookshelves, or glass doors with a wooden or wrought-iron frame, supported on a tooled base.
This solution enables natural light to circulate between the rooms and to bring light even to the darkest corners, such as a windowless corridor or hallway.
4. Use artificial light
Combining natural and artificial light can be a solution for lighting a dark room.
Avoid an overhead light in the centre in favour of various light sources placed at strategic points.
For lighting in general, choose a floor lamp and put it near a wall: in this way, the light will be reflected on the wall, providing good all-round lighting.
LED strip lights, which are currently very much in fashion, also help to increase overall lighting. Placed around the edge of the ceiling, inside recesses or along the border of the bookcase, they create a comfortable scene-setting atmosphere. They can be completed by table lamps or ceiling spotlights, where needed, for example above the dining table, beside the sofa or on the desk.