Have you ever walked into a room and wondered why it felt so cozy? Or maybe you’ve visited a friend’s house who had gorgeous furnishings but the room felt flat and sterile. Chances are your feelings in both places were heavily influenced by one thing: lighting. Light is a powerful element of home design that greatly affects our moods and shouldn’t be overlooked. There’s two types of lighting that affect your home design and feeling: natural light and artificial light.
Using Natural Light in Home Design
Using the natural light in your home to its best advantage is called daylighting. Some homes are fortunate to have large windows that let in a lot of light through the day and help the space look larger. Other homes have smaller windows and rely more on artificial light. Even if you have smaller windows, there are ways to amplify the natural light in your home.
Choose Window Treatments that Let You Control the Light
The best techniques for successful use of daylighting let in as much light as possible without sacrificing privacy or overheating the room. Some window treatments like dark drapes either block the light or let all the light through. If you have large windows, sheer curtains can filter the light, but they may fall short in privacy or temperature control.
Plantation shutters like Polywood® plantation shutters or wood Ovation® Shutters can be completely open and pulled away from the window to let all the sunlight in, tilted to let in some light while retaining privacy, or closed all the way for temperature control and complete privacy.
Use Mirrors and Colors to Reflect Light
By strategically placing mirrors across from windows in your home you can amplify the light in a room and make the room look more spacious. Using light color paint will reflect more natural light than darker colored paint.
© Pamela Dyer at Homeonfernhill
Using Artificial Light in Your Home Design
The Swedes have perfected the art of using artificial light to create a cozy atmosphere known as Hygge. Interior lighting is so important to them due to their long, cold winters. Even if you live in a warm, sunny part of the U.S., you can still use these Hygge tips to create a cozy place for your family and friends.
Layer Your Lighting
Some rooms have one main, bright overhead light. The problem is this one bright light can create harsh shadows and feel sterile. By using multiple sources of light you create pockets of light and soft shadows and give a cozy feel. Place floor lamps, sconces, table lamps, etc., strategically throughout the room to create balance.
If your room has a low ceiling or you want a minimal look, you can install recessed lights in the ceiling. Consider placing some lighting on a dimmer so that you can adjust the lighting through your day and depending on your task.
Use Light Fixtures as a Focal Point
Having one statement light fixture in your room can be artwork in itself. Choose a fixture that goes with your home’s style and your lighting needs. Chandeliers are a more traditional light fixture which direct light upwards. Pendant lights direct the light downward and are a more contemporary light fixture.
Choose the Right Bulbs
One of the most important lighting elements is that you choose the right light bulb. Daylight bulbs are bright, have a cool blue tone, and are best saved for offices and commercial settings. For residential spaces, look for warm-toned light bulbs that are slightly yellow and often labeled soft white with a Kelvin temperature between 1,800-3,000. Choosing the right temperature of lighting is especially important for LED lights which are increasing in popularity.
Ready to Brighten Your Home with the Right Window Treatments?
If you want to know which window treatments will best complement your home design and natural lighting, give us a call at 877-786-2877 or fill out the form below. We can put you in touch with one of our local window treatment experts who can come out to your home for a free in-home consultation.