Feature image: Grace & Glory
When you think of what ‘home’ stands for, what comes to mind? For most people the words safe, secure and comfortable are what they think about. Your home is your sanctuary, a place to be yourself, a place to relax and rejuvenate. A place you can be 100% yourself without worrying about what people think and what you look like! In a world where we are always on the go, having a peaceful home environment is needed more than ever at present. Creating a healthy home can enrich so many other areas of your life, allowing you to reach your full potential, keep you focused and – most importantly – making you feel happier.
Without even realising it, the quality of light in a home has a large effect on people in many different ways. Dingy and drab environments can make you feel sluggish and down, where studies have shown that productivity and mood can be positively affected by well-designed lighting choices. We all know how we feel when the sun is shining; it makes you feel light, airy and cheerful. Have you ever noticed how everyone just seems to be in a better mood in summer? Well, yeah, that isn’t a coincidence – it’s because of the sun. Hooray for the sun!
With a few clever lighting choices, you can get a year-round feel good factor in your home, helping you to feel organised, focused and happy. So if your home is feeling a bit drab and dull, here are some helpful hints to help you change this….
Introduce more natural light into your home
Before you even begin to think about artificial lighting, it is so important to use what nature gave us first. Natural light has many health benefits and often through badly designed homes, the natural light is blocked or restricted. Exposure to natural light increases our intake of vitamin B and D, both of which are important in the regulation of many of our body’s functions. Also if you suffer from headaches and eyestrain, then natural light actually makes it easier to see. Natural light is also great for the environment, your well-being, looks great from an Interior Design aspect and will save you money!
Unless you are planning to majorly remodel your home, you are little restricted to the amount of sunlight coming into your home, though there are a handful of techniques that you can apply to make sure you are taking full advantage of it.
Let light in
Avoid placing large items in front of window areas, keep these clear so the natural light can flow without any interruptions. Opt for translucent blinds, which provide privacy, but will create a soft glow and will bounce the light over to the adjacent wall. Make a habit of opening the curtains and blinds every morning to allow the light in, you will be surprised how this will mentally set you up for the day.
Credit – English Blinds
To maximise natural light, place a large mirror in front of a window and it will reflect the light and views from the window. Using multiple mirrors can make a room appear larger also. There are so many stylish mirrors out there, so this is your chance to get really creative – remember though, the bigger the better!
Credit – Loaf
Much like how a mirror works, by including reflective furniture and accessories it helps the natural light to bounce throughout the room. Some stylish mirrored furniture will achieve this beautifully, but if the mirrored look is not for you then try painting the furniture with gloss paint.
Credit – My Furniture
Floor, wall and ceiling colour
To help the natural light flow throughout the space, keep the walls, floors and ceilings light with white or pale pastel tones. If you are one for bold colours, though, try adding colourful hints throughout the space in the accessories, soft furnishings and furniture.
Credit – Rachel Kennedy Designs
Keep it clean!
Keeping windows, bulbs and fixtures clean will allow everything to shine bright throughout the space.
Credit – Persora
Artificial lighting tricks for the feel-good factor
If you have done all you can with the natural light on offer in your home and still need a lighting lift, then don’t despair because you can fake it. Artificial lighting has never been so good and can be used in multiple ways to create both a soothing and productive atmosphere in your home.
As already mentioned, we humans respond to natural light well, so if you have lack of natural light in your home, the use of daylight bulbs might be for you. They’re designed to provide a similar level of brightness to natural light and will ultimately give you most of the same benefits. These bulbs however will never replace the real thing though, so only use if you have to.
Credit – The Glow Company Shelf
Stay clear of harsh lighting
Some artificial lighting such as fluorescent bulbs can be harsh, migraine-provoking and just nasty. Most of the time you will find this type lighting in offices, but some property developers have been known to add them to homes too – I know horrendous right?
This type of lighting screams cheap, will give you a headache and not to mention the style factor will be down to 0%. Often if you are taking on a house renovation, you will find many homes built in the 1950s-70s era will have these still lurking in them. If that’s the case, get rid of them as soon as possible and breathe easy that lighting like that has left the building!
Use clear, glass and light lampshades
If you are craving for more light in your home choose light, glass or clear lampshades and bulbs. Heavy patterned lampshades can create atmosphere, but they can seriously restrict light also. A good suggestion is to choose a light toned lampshade for the main source of light in a room, then add additional decorative lighting for drama and style.
Credit – Lights 4 Fun
Aim to mix a range of lighting types in your home to serve different purposes and to stop the setting feeling flat or fake. Ambient is soft lighting that illuminates large spaces and Task is bright, focused light fixed in one position.
For example; in a kitchen, you’ll want task lighting for busy work surfaces but ambient lighting for eating or chatting after hours. If you have a desk in your home office, bedroom or living room, that will call for task lighting, but ambient is best to help you unwind in front of the TV or in bed. By applying this rule, you will find the lighting in your home will assist you both mentally and emotionally throughout your day and will ultimately make your feel happier.
Credit – Homesense
Dimmer switches are a handy addition to any home, allowing you to choose the amount of light you want in a room. Yes you can create a dark atmosphere, but unbeknownst to many, these clever little switches also allow you to crank up the light in a room also.
The key is to use your dimmer at a medium setting most of the time, so that you become used to that as the default level of light, and then when winter kicks in or you need more brightness, turn it up to full volume. The best aspect of dimmer switches are that you can adapt the light to your mood, helping you to feel the benefits whenever you need it.
Credit – Dowsing and Reynolds
By making a few small adjustments with the lighting in your home, you will find your overall mood, productivity and happiness will increase. Sometimes we don’t always realise how much our environment has affected us, until it has changed. Light is there is be used, so be fearless and make it work for you and your needs!
Credit – Abode Living