Decorating with Daylight by Samantha DeRose


Let There Be Light:  Using Daylight to Open Up Dark Spaces
Natural light is one of a home’s best assets. Those blessed rays, filled with sunlight and vitamin D leave you feeling positive, happy and vibrant. Here are four ways to increase natural light in any part of your home.|

1. Add Windows
First things first, take some time and evaluate the existing natural light in each room. Determine which rooms get the most light and which conditions may be contributing to the problem. Next, lighten up your existing window treatments. Use translucent shades that provide privacy and let light into the space. If the budget allows, install large windows to the sides of your home that has none, or increase the size of your current windows. This major renovation can range between $2,000 – $7,000, depending on the type, dimensions, materials used, security features, the complexity of the installation, and, of course, the number of windows needed.
2. Add Tubular Skylights 
More advanced and less pricey than traditional skylights, Tubular Daylighting Devices (TDDs) are the modern way to let the light in. They are a great solution for many rooms where a traditional skylight wouldn’t be an option. TDDs can be installed on almost any roof and unlike large skylights, they keep a fairly low profile. Solatube International, which manufactures TDDs, also says that the tubes are time and cost efficient: A professional can install one in two hours for around $600. Amy Samuel, owner of Amy Samuel Designs, says, “I like using Solatube products because they are energy efficient, do not leak, and my clients love them.” If multiple TDDs are installed in a space, reducing the use of artificial lights, they also reduce the room’s heat gains. Overall, tubular daylighting devices efficiently capture the sun’s rays and pipe them into your home, resulting in brighter, more colorful rooms that cost nothing to light.
3. Add Glass Doors
Installing glass doors is a great way to add more natural light; externally and internally. If your home faces north, causing a dim and dark entryway, adding a glass front door might be your best option. If privacy is a concern, there are many textured patterns that offer an elegant way to create privacy while still allowing light in, says Pella, makers of energy efficient windows and doors. The average maximum cost of fiberglass entry doors is around $1,500, depending on the size, frame material, glass type, finish options, etc. You can also increase natural light flow through your interior rooms by replacing all doors with hinged glass or French doors. This will allow a vast amount of light to pass through entryways, bedrooms and hallways.
4. Add a Mirror
The more shiny surfaces you can add to your home, the lighter it will appear. And adding a large mirror to your wall is so simple and cheap, anyone can do it. Prices for a decorative mirror can range from $50 – $500, depending on the size, shape, material and where it is purchased. This easy fix not only bounces light across the room, but also adds depth that breaks up claustrophobic wall planes. Try adding mirrors opposite from your windows to reflect light (both natural and artificial) all around the room. This can make even the smallest room seem large and a dark space instantly brighter.

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By Guest Blogger Samantha DeRose

Kitchen before installation


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