I have said before that our last move will be our last, unless we win the lottery or move to sunnier climes. We brought this house with every intention of our family growing into it. It was not perfect when we brought it and we have great plans for it and have undergone some renovations already. For the time being however, with a one and two-year old combo, we are largely making the most of what we have.
One of the essentials on our tick list was a south or south-west facing garden. This was non negotiable and as such we do now have said south-west facing garden. One problem this does pose however that I had not considered was potential impact it would have on the brightness of some of the rooms. The sun is on top of our house by about 11am and as such some of the rooms have lost their natural light quite early on in the day. Bright rooms, especially those with natural light, are fabulous addition to your home, promoting space and happiness. Unfortunately given the orientation and layout of our house and whilst we are still awaiting the dream extension that will see us with a wall of glass, we are left with artificially brightening up our rooms to create that light bright space we all crave. So here is how we have done it.
Our dining room, for the time being it is a living room come dining room. The dining area however is further away from the huge bay window (which looses sunlight circa midday) and as there is a conservatory off the back of the house it blocks any natural light coming off the garden. As such we have opted for huge hanging lights across the length of our dining table. Having three low-lying individual lights that spread the width of the dining table as opposed to one centred ceiling light really enhances the room and ambience, especially at meal times. It also is a fantastic light source when at the dining table, which currently doubles up as both mine and Mr Tammy’s desk, pending the office makeover. A top tip – lights should be hung at least 30 inches above the table top.
Our hallway. This is probably one of the darkest spaces in our house as there is no natural light whatsoever. To brighten this space I have of course used a bright light paint, pure whites are often the best way to go and added a large mirror, to give the illusion of a bigger space.
In terms of lighting we have A three-pronged ceiling light encased by glass, one day it will be crystal… The reason behind the glass or crystal however is not just aesthetic. Rather it is light reflecting and enhances the brightness and adds a little sparkle to the room.
The kitchen come utility area, this is a close second darkest room in the house. It is also an odd design which I have posted about in the past – one day it will be an open plan living, kitchen, diner. For now though it is a dark and the utility area is bordering on a waste of space. If ever there is a room that should be well-lit it is the kitchen, it is after all the hub of the house, not the mention where the sharp things are kept. When we brought the house the kitchen was a dark red colour. I have nothing against red but it really didn’t do the lack of light any favours. So we got our white paint out (again) and teamed it up with chic shadow – a light silvery grey colour, which really helped brighten to space and modernise it. By far the best bit of advice I could impart however is the choice of lighting, or light bulbs to me precise. We replaced the already installed bulbs with LED bulbs. The difference was staggering. On a dark dreary morning the illuminate the entire kitchen flooding it with bright white light. They are a little more expensive than your average light bulb but they were worth every penny. They are also designed to last upward of 4 years – so you really do get your moneys worth. Another tip for brightening your kitchen is to include lights that are more specifically ‘kitchen lights‘, lights that sit under cabinets for cupboard doors or under shelves for example. These help brighten work surfaces, shine a light on your food preparation and lighten dark nooks and crannies.
What do you think? Have you got any top tips for brightening the dark spaces in your home? I’d love to hear from you.
*This is a collaborative post.