So it is the last month of summer and although we get amazing long days in Ireland during the summer months, we also get super short days in the winter (major sad face!) But it may be cold outside and what is the most amazing thing to come home to when it’s cold?? A beautifully warm interior. We also tend to get one or two dull and wet days..ammm here and there But I personally used to love when the wind was roaring and it was super wet outside on a lazy Sunday, and if you are from Kerry you know this happens often in winter! But I would just grab a coffee and iPad and go to the brightest room in the house – the conservatory… Ahh, the conservatory, south facing with floor to ceiling windows … absolute perfection! It may be cold outside but this space is warm, bright and super cozy! Buuut, this is my parent’s house! and the majority or interiors (most of my rental apartments included) are not flooded with natural light. So what do you do if your home does not get great natural light? What if your favourite room is facing north and gets grey hues even on the brightest day?
I totally get you, it can seem so daunting and hard to brighten up a space when its darkness is due to the primary construction of the interior (Who in the right mind is gonna tackle that?) or just Ms Mother Nature (oh yeah that seems even easier to fight) ahahaha I hear ya! But there are a few very simple tricks that can make a room much brighter and inviting! This is one of the most common complaints from my clients and I am going to show you my go to tricks that I have used for brightening up any interior!
So please sit back while I explain my little tips.. and as always if you need any more tips or ideas please leave a comment below and I will be glad to help xxxx
1: Heavy curtains goodbye!
The light from the top of a window will reach the farthest into an interior so a major “no no” is dark curtains. These will simply absorb any light and is definitely not a good idea for an already darkened interior. Try translucent shades or a light linen (lovveee linen) curtains.
PHOTO: Courtesy of archzine
2: Go “Au naturel”
Okay so this seems is a no brainer. Go for a natural colour scheme. The lighter the colour the more the light will reflect. This should be your mantra for designing a dark space. One more time ‘light colour more light reflected’ Simple!
PHOTO: Courtesy of scandinavianhomedesigns
3: What paint to use:
Okay following on from the point above you should keep your tones neutral in the interior. When selecting paint for the interior make sure and use a matt finish. Using a glossing finish will create a glare rather than reflect the light, whereas a matt finish will reflect the light in all directions (I know this may not seem reasonable but just trust me on this I use this trick all the time!) For paint – go matt.
PHOTO: Courtesy of lalalovelythings
4: Where to use shiny surfaces:
So you do not want to go glossy on the walls, but you do want surfaces that will reflect any of the light coming in. Opt for some mirrored furniture, metallic finishes and décor pieces that glimmer.
PHOTO: Courtesy of thedesignchaser
5: Mirrors mirrors all around:
This is my fave and definitely my most used for client. Mirrors are a great way to catch light and also make a space feel larger. It is budget friendly and mirrors also add a glam element to any space LOVE! Another tip is to use two mirrors directly opposite each other. This will give your interior limitless refection’s!
PHOTO: Courtesy of woontrendz
6: Do not obstruct the natural flow:
Whether you are designing a bedroom, living room, or kitchen, never place anything (bar a light curtain) right next to the windows. I see this in kitchen design all the time. People put the kitchen cabinets right next to the windows! Storage, of course, is key in kitchen design but you are much better off going for open shelving. For me getting a good source of natural light in an interior trumps extra cabinets. This also goes for books cases in living rooms and wardrobes in bedroom. They should never be placed right next to the window. The best placement is on the perpendicular wall. This will also allow the natural light bounce off the opposite wall. What you are basically doing here is arranging your furniture so that it promotes the flow of the daylight.
PHOTO: Courtesy of decoholic
7: Supplement your light:
Last but not least when you are placing table lamps and floor lamps in the interior, please do it with care! You want to supplement the sunlight. For example, when the light is fading in the evening less light will bounce off the ceiling. So what to do? Well if you place a floor lamp that’s light flow is aimed upwards (aka “no heavy” lamp shades), the light will bounce off of the ceiling and make up for the natural lighting not hitting this space.
PHOTO: Courtesy of westelm