Low on natural light? Follow this guide to get an apartment that’s as bright as your future.
A well-lit apartment not only gives the illusion of a larger space, but it makes your apartment feel airier and more welcoming. There are, of course, many different methods to brighten up a space (thank you Thomas Edison for the light bulb), but nothing compares to the appeal of natural light.
Au naturel lighting is highly favoured in interior design (as opposed to artificial lighting) as it brings an abundance of benefits to both the home and the homeowner. Not only can this natural light source helps to reduce energy consumption during the day, introducing daylighting design also helps to boost vitamin D and improve overall health and mood.
Unfortunately, not all apartments have access to natural light and large windows or are facing the east or west side. But fret not as there are a plethora of solutions to harness natural light into your humble abode.
1. Downsize and declutter
One easy way to invite natural light into your home is to trim down the number of furniture and decors. By decluttering your apartment, you’ll realise how roomy your home actually is and this allows more light to pass through without any obstruction. If getting rid of things is not an option, you could also try moving large furniture pieces away from the windows and doors to allow more light to shine through.
2. Transparency rules
Unlike landed homes, you can’t change the structure of your apartment unit. That means you can’t install any sunroof, light shelves or skylights that could immediately solve your lighting issue. Before you even contemplate moving to a landed home, you can try this method that doesn’t involve any renovation at all. If you have any solid doors in your apartment, replace them with French doors, glass doors, or just leave it empty (but of course don’t substitute your main door with a glass door, you don’t want outsiders to pry into your private life). That way, sunlight can transmit from one interior space to another with ease.
3. Mirror, mirror on the wall
You know how mirrors help broaden a space through light reflecting? It’s also a great way to usher in natural light into your living quarters. If you’re living in an apartment with a low ceiling, get a large mirror and fix it to your wall to get the most out of the sun rays. Sunlight from the window can reflect against a mirror, casting more brightness between four walls, which simulate the effect of an open window and adds a sense of depth for your home. On the other hand, you can also buy furniture pieces with mirrored accents or a metallic sheen.
Tip: Position your mirrors opposite your window to double the amount of sunlight.
4. Keep it light
If you want a brighter home, ditch any heavy fabrics like velvet and brocade as these curtain materials tend to make the room feel dark, gloomy and cramped. Instead, go for lighter fabrics like linen and cotton, to let the daylight in and promote better lighting system.
5. Adopt a neutral colour scheme
Remember how in primary school we learned that the lighter the colour, the more light it’ll reflect? The same theory applies here. Instead of going dark and bold, colour your wall and furniture with cool and light coloured tones like white, grey, cream or beige. Besides, rooms with lighter hues simulate a clean and bright illusion of spaciousness.
Tip: Paint your ceiling a shade lighter than your wall to help bounce light around the room.
6. Bigger windows, brighter home
By far, this is one of the most obvious and perhaps most expensive ways to add more natural light into your home. If you’re looking to expand your windows, choose picture windows for the maximum effect as it brings in ample light, fresh air and — depending on where you live — a breathtaking view. Nonetheless, the weather in Malaysia can be scorching hot at times, so do glaze your windows to reduce glare, while at the same time balance heat gain and loss.