natural light and hardwood floors

Let’s face it—energy bills can quickly become astronomical, especially with a house full of people. Luckily there’s plenty of sneaky ways to cut down on your energy costs, without sacrificing your comfort or getting snarky comments from your teenagers. In fact, maximizing natural lighting can actually make you happier and healthier in the long run, thanks to good old vitamin D. Check out these five tips to help you get the most of out the natural sunlight available to you, so you can rest easy when the bills come around.

  1. Mirrors

Get instant brightness and added space in your home with the help of cleverly placed mirrors. This sneaky trick can help natural light bounce off the mirrors, spreading through your rooms and halls. For the best effect, place mirrors across from and beside windows.

  1. Windows

You can insulate or replace your windows (more on that here), but it’s actually your window trimmings that play a surprising part in how energy efficient your windows are. Too many types of blinds don’t do anything for you; by replacing them, you can get major savings on your energy bill and get updated, stylish blinds. You can opt for specific, insulating blinds, or just clear out heavy, old curtains for lighter blinds that let in maximum sunlight.

natural light in modern living room

  1. Paint

Your choice of paint color can play a big part in how well light moves around your home. Darker hues tend to absorb lighting, making rooms appear darker and gloomier. Ever seen a black room? No amount of natural sunlight can fix that! Choose pale hues, like whites, creams, and yellows on your walls and ceilings to help sunlight diffuse naturally throughout the room.

  1. Doors

If your home is stuck with small, infrequent windows, there’s not a whole lot you can do about them. But you can work with your existing doors, and make them a tool for maximizing the natural lighting you do get. Where possible, remove all unnecessary doors like kitchen and dining room doors. You’ll immediately notice more light moving through to connecting rooms and hallways. If that’s not an option, swap your wooden doors for doors with glass paneling, as well as sliding glass doors at the back if possible. How’s that for instant windows?

natural light in open, airy interior

  1. Furniture

While you might love your beautiful, dark furniture, the sun sure doesn’t. Rooms full of heavy furniture trap natural sunlight, making rooms appear dark and even musty. When decorating, opt for furniture that’s lighter woods and fabrics, and try to avoid overly tall or wide furniture. The more space there is, the brighter your rooms will appear.