Let there be light: Ways to bring more light into your home
The current decade has introduced new ways of life and for many, working from home or working half day has become common. Now that we have to stay home more, we need so much motivation to still perform like we are at the office.
The good in all this is the chance to create a unique working space and design it the way you want. One of the main components of a good and favourable working space is natural light as it helps to boost production levels and inspire mental health and wellbeing.
Emmanuel Nuwagaba, an architect based in Kampala, says for a homeowner planning to build a modern home, light is the first thing to consider.
“Aluminium windows are perfect for modern homes. It not only looks good but also brings in great natural filtered light. Aluminium is also good for air circulation depending on how well it is placed and the material used,” he adds.
Whether you are looking at converting a space or looking for a design during construction, here are some tips to help you bring more light into the home:
Steel windows and doors
According to experts, 0.4% to 9.7% of the world’s population is estimated to suffer from seasonal affective disorder associated with how much outside light they consume. Ensure that the windows you install can allow you to receive natural light and also marvel at beautiful views from outside which might increase your productivity.
Have you walked into a home or hotel and immediately fallen in love with their stylish yet clean flooring? Options ranging from wood, stone, ceramic, marble, tiles to bamboo and terrazzo are available on the Ugandan market. Consider factors such as affordability and the overall look you want to achieve in a particular space as you choose flooring because it has a very big impact on the overall look of a home.
The right floor choice will reflect light and make the room appear brighter. If you prefer carpets, fluffy light-coloured carpets can do the magic too. With a variety of shades and sizes to choose from in shops around Kampala, one is sure to find a carpet to match their taste.
Paint your walls lighter shades as they reflect the natural light entering the room, rather than absorbing it. In Uganda, most homes are painted cream or light mustard yellow, which makes many people depressed even before they rent the house. It is also advisable to paint the ceiling a relatively lighter colour compared to the walls as it creates an illusion of height.
Colours like white, blue and grey can be utilsed to make the room feel bigger. However, avoid brilliant white on the walls as it might make the space feel cold as opposed to warm and comfy. Instead, consider using off white to exude a warm feeling.
Consider painting with a satin finish as it reflects more light than a matte finish. Choose glossy walls for your kitchen and bathroom with shiny surfaces on units, as this will reflect light filtering into the room and make the room more spacious and brighter. You obviously do not want a boring kitchen; great kitchen décor is one of the reasons most women spend their time in the kitchen.
When lighter colours are used in the kitchen, especially on walls and cabinets, the kitchen will feel bigger and more brilliant despite its size.
Mirrors are perhaps the most literal way of making a room brighter. They reflect light that would otherwise be absorbed into the wall, and hanging one opposite a window sends daylight bouncing around the room.
Large mirrors give the illusion of a much larger, lighter space, and if the room feels bright and breezy, so will its reflection. In Kampala, such is common in supermarkets and shops to create the illusion of a bigger space.
If you prefer using artificial light to boost brightness in your home, choose warm and soft led bulbs, rather than bright white ones. Warm soft light will give you the feeling of a calm, candle lit dinner date evening. The lighting you choose should compliment the natural light coming into the room rather than compete with it.
You can utilise the natural light during the day and gradually alter light levels as the sun sets throughout the day. This can be made possible by installing dimmer switches in the home so you have more control on how much light you want in the space. Do not forget about ceiling lighting as it also has a big impact on the room.
You can decide to take on PVC, gypsum or false bedroom ceiling options. All these will give a feel of warm and elegance to your home.
Dark colours sometimes look classy but dark furniture and accessories that keep light off the room should be removed. This is particularly the case where they are blocking light from windows and doors. Also, consider replacing dark coloured blinds and curtains with neutral lighter coloured, less designed ones in order to bring in more natural light. Some interior designers use shower curtains with a large skin for windows to attract more light and these do an amazing job.