Tips to brighten up your home

Is your home starting to look a bit dingy? Do you watch adverts on TV and social media and wish your home were as bright as the ones they use? If you would like your home to be a brighter space for you to enjoy just take a look at the few tips below, they may help you to achieve the bright home you desire.

Paint it brighter

Sometimes, giving your home a spring clean will help to make you feel better about it, but that will not get rid of the darker coloured walls that were so fashionable just a few short years ago.  So start by painting the walls and ceiling in lighter colours. You could opt for white and add colour in other ways, but for most people that is too striking and light shades of beige and grey are the most popular.

The traditional way is to paint the walls whatever colour you want and the ceiling white. This may seem dated to some people, but it works and will make your home feel brighter.  Painting the ceiling white will ensure the room feels tall and open.  If you paint a dark colour on the ceiling, for example, it can make the room feel very enclosed.

Another trick with white paint is to gloss the frames no matter what colour the door itself is.  This puts a clean looking break between the doors and the walls, and works even if your doors are wood. White gloss paints just need a wipe occasionally to keep it looking as good as new.

Brightening up your home - with white

Photo by Nathan Fertig

Change your windows

Some windows are of a style that keeps light out rather than letting it in. This particularly applies to older houses and if this is one of your problems, you should consider changing them. Bi-fold windows are a brilliant replacement option.  Most of us have heard of bi-fold doors and seen them on modern day extensions, but it’s possible to have the same design for windows too.   They will let in all the light you want, are easy to open and close for fresh air as you want it, and they do not take up as much space as some traditional windows.  They’re a fab window to have in a kitchen that overlooks a garden for instance, to really open the room up in the summer months and not feel so cooped up inside.

Once your windows have been dealt with, don’t hang heavy dark coloured curtains that will hide them from view. Lightweight curtains in pale shades that complement the wall covering will look the best.   Or choose voiles to soften the light that comes in, allows some privacy, but doesn’t darken.

Blinds should also be considered.   They are good for controlling the amount of sunlight that is allowed in on a hot summer’s day. There are lots of different materials that blinds are made from, and different styles to choose from. They are suitable for all rooms in your home, and there are even waterproof ones that will repel the moisture of a bathroom.  Most blinds can be retracted out of the way when not in use, so the home remains as bright as possible in the day time.

Brightening up your home

Photo by Toa Heftiba

Consider your furniture

If your furniture is looking dark and dated, it could be time to either replace it or renovate it. A deep coloured sofa could have some cream throws to cover it. They are inexpensive to buy and easy to wash when they need it.   If you want a new sofa, but budget is limited, then check out outlet stores and second hand furniture charity shops for a bargain.

A wooden table can be sanded and painted a lighter colour, with the legs and backs of the chairs made to match. Recover the seat cushions and you have a new dining suite for very little cost.  You don’t always have to start from scratch and buy new – instead you can be more eco-friendly (and purse friendly) and amend what you already own.

If you are buying new furniture, opt for light colours that are easy to clean, Surfaces that can be wiped over are a good idea when possible when they’re light, especially if you have kids or pets.

Wooden floors generally look great, and a couple of lighter rugs in front of your sofa and other appropriate places can make them look even better.  Keep them in good condition by having a no shoes on the rig policy!

Do not place anything that stands higher than the windowsill in front of the windows. This will shrink the size of the windows and of the room. In fact, furniture is best placed as far away from the windows as possible so that they do not interfere with the natural light.  Blocking the windows can make a space feel cluttered, less spacious and less airy.  Do not cover them if you can help it.

Mirror, mirror on the wall

You can talk to your mirrors all you like, just do not expect them to answer you. However, what they will magically do is reflect light around the room and this not only makes the room brighter, it gives the illusion of a larger sized room. A large mirror on a wall directly opposite a window can do wonders for the brightness of your room.  It’s a simple trick, but one that works wonders.

Brightening up your home - lighting

Photo by Vera Cho

Save money on your lighting bills

Change all your bulbs to LED and save money on your utility bills. From a lighting point of view that is a bonus. They will emit a much cleaner, whiter lighter that can be more easily adjusted. You can control the level of light with a remote control, or with an app on your smartphone. The apps also let you turn the lights on and off when you are away from home. You can change the colour of them for a warmer glow in the winter months too.

All these advantages and they cost less money to run, last for years longer than traditional incandescent or fluorescent bulbs, and do not give off any of those annoying humming sounds that some lights do. They are also more environmentally friendly both in the way they are manufactured and the way they are disposed of 10 or more years later when their life is over.

Add some colour

So now everything in your home is paler shades, brightly lit or has much more natural light, and looks clean and fresh.  Now is the time to add a bit of colour. This is best done with a few accessories, which can easily be removed or changed around at any time.  The best thing about keeping walls and furniture neutral is that the décor can be whatever colour you want and you can switch it up easily without having the expensive task of redecorating and refurnishing the entire room.

Cushion covers are a great way to put colour and patterns into your home, and so are the curtains and table coverings. You can hang some pictures on the walls, and have some plants around the place. Remember that plants will take the carbon dioxide from the air and replace it with oxygen, so help to keep your home smelling fresher. The plants do not need to be ones that need lots of work. In fact, big leafy ones can be very effective and need very little maintenance.  Try a rubber plant, devil’s ivy and Zanzibar for starters as these grow quickly but need very little attention.

A brighter home can be better for your mental well-being, as well as being a more pleasant place to live in.  Happy brightening!

 

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