Is your dimly-lit home making you depressed? You're not alone. It's human nature to dislike darkness -- chronobiologist Dr Victoria Revell says "light is critical for our health and wellbeing". If you've got a big budget and a lot of patience, it's always possible to add more windows to your home. Of course, like most homeowners, you're probably looking for a cheaper and easier solution. Luckily, even the darkest of homes can be brightened up with a few simple measures. Here are three low-budget design choices to think about next time you redecorate.
Mirrors, Glass and Metal
Reflective surfaces like mirrors are an easy way to reflect natural light and brighten your dim rooms. Adding a mirror to the wall opposite or adjacent to your windows will bounce more sunlight around the room. Placing a mirror on the wall between two windows can give the illusion of having a third window, altering your perception of the room's brightness. Thankfully, mirrors can fit into any room with ease - try a mirrored splashback in your kitchen, a mirrored wardrobe in your bedroom, or an ornate framed mirror in your living room. If you can't find a mirror that fits into your space, try other reflective surfaces -- glass-topped tables and shiny chrome accents are just two great options.
For many years, homeowners have used gloss paint to brighten up dark rooms. While it may seem like a decent solution, gloss paint comes with its own problems. Unless your walls are in top condition, the gloss will highlight unsightly bumps and dents. Thanks to recent advancements from décor companies, there's now a better alternative available. Light-reflective paint reflects up to twice as much light as regular paint, but its matte finish prevents it from showing up defects. Coating your walls and ceiling with a reflective paint will enhance your natural and artificial room lighting without drastically altering your décor.
When it comes to blinds and curtains, you may think about blocking light out. In reality, the right window furnishings will actually keep more light in. Try opting for Venetian blinds or vertical blinds in your darker rooms -- these can be adjusted throughout the day to let in more light, depending on the angle of the sun. Plantation shutters work similarly -- adjust the louvers to maximise the sunshine in your home. If you're a fan of curtains or roller blinds, switch to fabrics that are light in weight and colour, such as white muslin. These options all preserve your privacy without compromising on natural lighting.