How To Maximize The Natural Light In Your Home

Sunlight can make you feel happier and increase your vitamin D intake. Plus, it creates a welcoming atmosphere for guests. Getting enough natural light can be tricky with fewer windows or open spaces, though – so here are a few ideas to bring in more natural light.f

1. Paint With Light Colors

Colors either absorb or reflect light. So, use hues such as white, gray, or tan to lighten up the room. Remember: you can add pops of color through throw pillows, artwork, or rugs. Also, add these colors to your ceiling to make the space feel taller.

In addition, consider the type of paint. For example, use shinier ones like satin or semi-gloss. This can reflect light while adding a sense of personality.

2. Hang Mirrors

Mirrors reflect sunlight while making the space feel larger. This is especially useful for people who live in apartments. Plus, with more natural light bouncing around the walls, the room can feel more relaxing. It might even increase energy levels and reduce feelings of depression.

Also, use other reflective materials in your design. This can include things like glass furniture and metallic lighting or faucets.

3. Enlarge Windows and Doors

If you want to update your windows or doors, this tip fits perfectly. Having larger windows and doors lets in more light and makes a space feel welcoming. It can give off an open and airy vibe.

Look for casements with minimal framework. Picture, bow, or bay windows work best. Plus, larger windows increase ventilation and improve indoor air quality. For your doors, upgrade to a patio or garden-style one.

4. Add Glass Blocks to Your Walls

This is a distinctive design idea that adds character to your home. The glass will reflect light and give you a brighter space. These work well in high-traffic areas, such as kitchens or living rooms.

Another good place for glass is in your basement, which may not have many windows. You can choose from different textures and colors to fit your design style.

5. Keep Up With Window Maintenance

This is a simple task that ensures dirt build-up isn’t blocking light. Rinse your windows with water and dish soap using a microfiber cloth. If you have higher casements, use a sponge mop on a pole. Make sure to spray down the outside of the window with a hose.

Also, while outdoors, trim back your trees so light can shine through on a sunny day. In addition, plant some low-growing perennials to increase curb appeal.

6. Use Lighter Window Treatments

Your heavier drapes may be good for winter. However, lighter materials can let in more sun as the weather warms. Look for sheer curtains in a single panel. Blinds are another excellent option that allows you to control the amount of light.

Solar screens are also perfect for softening sunlight. These can also protect your furniture and carpets from harmful UV radiation.

7. Add Skylights

Skylights can bring in natural light and are an excellent project to add to a home renovation. They are available in various sizes and layouts. Skylights work well in kitchens or bathrooms, which require ample lighting. Plus, they give you a nice view of the sky.

Be sure to hire a professional to install these. Since it cuts into your roof, improper installation could lead to leaks. Once installed, you can enjoy natural light and reduce your electricity bills.

8. Use Reflective Materials for Your Backsplash

Backsplashes are a staple in modern kitchens. If you’re looking to make an update, consider using reflective materials like glass. They give your space a sleek appearance and allow for plenty of natural light.

Consider using recycled glass tiles, too, which are better for the environment. Plus, they are more stain- and mold-resistant, so your kitchen can stay clean. Metal backsplashes, such as stainless steel, are also common. These are durable and easy to maintain.

9. Paint Your Eaves White

The overhangs from your roof can impact how much light is reflected inside. So, painting them white increases their reflective properties. The project doesn’t require major renovations and is a cost-effective solution. Just have someone watch the ladder when you’re working.

Even if you have a differently colored exterior, still consider this project. You usually can’t see the eaves much from the outside, so it won’t impact your curb appeal.

10. Be Smart About Furniture Colors and Layout

If you don’t have many windows, or just have smaller ones, find ways to maximize your existing light. For example, play with the furniture layout. Turn couches towards the windows to reflect light around the rest of the room.

You can also place chairs and shelves in a way that complements the windows rather than blocks them. Then, try to explore lighter colors throughout the decor, including white and shades of gray.

Make Your Home Brighter

Home remodeling and rearranging are great ways to increase a room’s functionality and design. Adding more natural light is a beneficial upgrade for your well-being, so follow these tips to brighten up your space today.


 Evelyn Long is a Baltimore-based writer and the editor-in-chief of Renovated. She publishes home decor advice and product roundups for readers in spaces both big and small.

How To Amp Up Your Small Rental Apartment

Renting a new apartment is an exciting opportunity for decorating your place in a way that lets your personality shine through. Even if the rental apartment is small, there’s no reason to compromise and not go big on style. Depending on the type of apartment you have and your own personal taste, there are tons of ways to decorate your living space! We have a few ideas on how to amp up your small rental apartment.


One of the best places to start with when it comes to amping up an apartment is the lighting. Picking the right set of lights can give your room a defining character and become the standard by which you add the next set of furniture and decor.

If you’ve been staying up to date with lighting trends, you’ll know that certain styles of lighting can trick visitors into thinking the space is much larger than it actually is. Ceiling fixtures that hang down draw the eyes upwards and open up your apartment in a way that makes it feel larger than it actually is. If you have permission to swap out your ceiling fixtures, this is a great place to start!

As for floor lighting and lampshades, you’ll want to go for softer, more incandescent lights as they make your room feel inviting and warm, as opposed to colder tones that can often appear uninviting.

Lastly, an aspect of lighting that many people don’t quite appreciate enough is reflections. Intelligently using mirrors both as decor and as an instrument to complement and improve lighting in your apartment can go a long way in creating a more open, brighter space that radiates positive energy. You’ll want to place mirrors directly in the path of light coming in from the windows to bounce the light around and give the impression of a larger room.

It’s The Small Things

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not always big statements like oversized doors and beds that give small apartments character and size, but rather tiny items that can make a big impact. Attention to detail goes a long way in spicing up any apartment and every little change you make counts.

A great place to start here is with doorknobs. It might sound random, but they’re actually one of the items we interact with the most in any home. Rustic door knobs can add a unique life to your apartment, and convey a thoughtful, nostalgic sense of style with just a glance. Certain well-crafted door knobs also combine form and function by being incredibly appealing to look at and use, as well as secure thanks to modern locking technology. If you have permission to change out your doorknobs, this small change can make a large visual impact.

For even smaller apartments that might not even have doors to open, there are still several things that you can do to enlarge and beautify the space. A common piece of decor that people use in small apartments is a glass partition. Adding a glass partition is an ingenious idea for small studio apartments that often have just one room to boast of. Partitions stretch small spaces while still allowing for light to pass through. For apartments that might not be able to accommodate glass partitions, consider a foldable wooden divider. These serve a similar purpose, and can even be a better fit aesthetically for some apartments depending on lighting and other decor.

Work With The Bed

Smart home design in small apartments revolves around intelligently managing bedroom decor. Since beds take up a large amount of the limited space available to you, how you decorate and use it can have a big impact on your quality of life. For starters, using trundle or retractable beds that you can use as a sofa or slide away when not in use is a common sight in smaller apartments.

As for decor, certain visual tweaks like using bright and bold handmade pillow covers is an easy way to make a statement. You can pair these with a comfortable and slim duvet that folds up easily into your bed’s storage for clever space management.

Utilizing Space

Renting out a small apartment, even one that’s been renovated recently, comes with its own quirks. These quirks take the form of unique nooks and crannies that you can take advantage of to make your space your own. A common example of this, particularly in cramped cities like New York, are the tiny alcoves below the windows found in small apartments. Adding a small couch or table here can do a lot to create a cozy space for you to inhabit.

Living Large

Being smart about how you decorate and use your small rental apartment is all it takes to make the most of what you have. Use your apartment’s unique features and accent them with subtle decor to live larger than ever before.

Author Bio:

Carolyn Mitchell is a freelance writer and content strategist with a passion for home décor. She can often be found re-painting and updating the furnishings in her home, and she is also a dedicated cat mom to two adorable kitties.

5 Aesthetic Lighting Techniques

Lighting your home interiors should be approached as an artistic endeavor. The way you use light shifts the ambience, affecting your mood and how you experience your domestic spaces. Employing light as an element of decor is as sophisticated as it is simple.

Whether electric, USB, or solar, lighting in the home should impart feelings of nurture, comfort, and the intimacy of personal space. Even the kitchen needs to feel cozy, while you’re in there slicing and dicing.

For all the areas of the home we’re going to discuss, lighting is about function as much as it’s about form. The function needs to be calibrated to its purpose, while illuminating the action in an aesthetically pleasing way.

Let’s discuss 5 aesthetic lighting techniques that impart both ambience and luminous functionality.

Technique #1: Layered Lighting for your Home’s Warm Heart

Overhead light in the kitchen is the default because it’s where we prepare food. You’re cooking, so you need to see what you’re doing but you’re also unwinding from your busy day in the sanctuary of your home.

While overhead lighting lets you see clearly, it can be oppressive and intense. Our first aesthetic lighting technique solves the problem by positioning light where it’s most needed—over the countertops, hidden under the cabinets.

Layer lighting in your kitchen with overhead, recessed lights. Positioned intelligently, these provide lighting which is both unobtrusive and miles more functional, focusing on the action.

Over the dining table, a low-slung chandelier creates warmth and intimacy, while lighting your evening or early morning meal. The idea is to deploy light for specific purposes that serve function while creating the soothing mood that makes your home’s warm heart even warmer.

Technique #2: Purposeful Lighting for your Home’s Hub

The living room is where most people spend the bulk of their time at home, hosting friends and family, relaxing with a book or movie or just hanging out. A lot goes on in living rooms, so your lighting needs to acknowledge that multi-functional intent.

The living room is the repository of beloved decor like paintings, often elevated to the status of heirlooms with fine art framing. Accent lighting showcases your treasures attractively. As in the kitchen, recessed lighting illuminates without breaking the mood. The light deployed has a specific purpose: to give pride of place to that heirloom painting or your collection of handcrafted swords.

Strategically placed task lighting provides illumination you can read by. With a standing lamp or a minimalist table lamp fulfilling a specific purpose, the mood of the room is enhanced, honoring function while maintaining the calm aesthetic you desire.

For entertaining, wall grazers add drama, highlighting architectural elements and revealing beautiful textures on walls, floors and even your furniture. Grazers tell an aesthetic story about the space itself, bringing it to life.

Technique #3: The Transforming Bathroom

In the morning, it’s “go time.” You’re transitioning from sleep to the busy day ahead, so you need lighting that’s energizing but gentle. Choose lighting that’s diffused and more closely resembles daylight.

Wall sconces on either side of the mirror with a third sconce positioned over the bathroom mirror create this effect, especially when positioned close to the mirror. Another solution is a mirror equipped with LED lighting, casting an even, diffused light.

But because the bathroom is also the site of relaxing evening baths, a dimmer switch is in order. The daylight illumination of your busy mornings can be readily transformed with a dimmer, creating two moods that align seamlessly with your lifestyle.

Technique #4: The Intimate Bedroom

Ambient lighting that imparts a soothing environment is ideal for the home’s most intimate space. While you need to see while dressing and perhaps to read before bed, the bedroom is a sanctified space, demanding a unique lighting approach.

Those who read before bed will appreciate the presence of task lighting for that purpose. This is best achieved with small, wall-mounted fixtures or pendant lights that leave the bedside table clear for a stack of books.

The ambience of your bedroom is enhanced with moody lighting that provides illumination without bringing daytime intensity into your sacred sleeping space. Light which is soft and adjustable may be provided by a statement standing lamp, or an overhead fixture that emits a calming, low light. The primary goal of bedroom lighting is keyed to its purpose, which is sleep and, of course, intimacy.

Technique #5: The Right Bulb

Once you’ve selected your aesthetic lighting schemes, choosing the right bulb for the light fixture and its purpose is your next task. With ecologically-sound solutions readily available and bulbs for all purposes, the bulb is the finishing touch, providing exactly the right intensity and mood.

Thinking of lighting as an element of decor pushes your interiors to the next level, recreating them as functional oases of domestic beauty and bliss.

Author Bio:

Carolyn Mitchell is a freelance writer and content strategist with a passion for home décor. She can often be found re-painting and updating the furnishings in her home, and she is also a dedicated cat mom to two adorable kitties.

How To Pick The Ideal Lighting Setup For Your Home

People often neglect lighting when decorating the rooms in their home. It’s often an afterthought, rather than being considered a crucial part of the décor, even though it is the latter. If you want your home to shine in more ways than one, you have to pick the most ideal lighting options for every room. Doing this feels difficult at first, but you only really need to follow a few steps when making your choice. Here are some tips that will help any homeowner pick out the right lights.

Consider the four types of lighting

Before you can pick out the best kind of lighting for every individual room, you have to get familiar with the different kinds of lighting that exist. A lot of people think that a light is just a light, but it’s more complicated than that. You have to see where it’s coming from and how it illuminates a room before you can decide whether or not it fits the look.

There are four types of lighting that are generally used in home settings. You have your ambient, task, general, and accent lighting. With task and ambient lighting, you can derive their purpose from the name. General lighting normally refers to overhead lighting from a ceiling lamp, but it can refer to every other kind of light source, depending on how it’s positioned. Accent lighting adds flair and personality to a room. It’s strictly decorative, even if it can help you perform certain tasks.

Think in layers

Most home lighting isn’t particularly complex. Homeowners often rely on a singular ceiling light to take care of a room, while only certain rooms have lamps for task lighting purposes. This singular view of lighting only diminishes and limits the room’s aesthetic. There’s a lot more that can be done by thinking of a room’s lights in layers.

Every room needs to have at least three different kinds of light sources. You’ll always have one overhead light that provides general lighting, but it won’t always be on. Ambient lighting can replace it or compliment it, depending on how you place it. Task lighting is only important if you have a particular task that requires good illumination in one area of the room. Adding a few lights to accent a room’s look makes it a lot more pleasant to spend time there. Combine a few of these and you’ll give a well-decorated room a perfect atmosphere.

Get to know different light bulbs

The type of lightbulb you use has an enormous effect on how the light is projected in your home. In most cases, homes are outfitted with a range of bulbs that include incandescent lights, halogens, and fluorescents. They provide all sorts of different kinds of light, and their efficiency varies from bulb to bulb.

Incandescents are the ones most akin to sunlight, but they’re ridiculously short-lasting for how much power they use. When you want efficiency, LEDs are your best bet. They’re the most efficient ones by far, and produce pleasant enough lights to be worth installing.

When you decide on a particular lightbulb, consider whether you want them built-in, hanging from a chandelier, or fixed to a lamp. Built-in lightbulbs are great for ambient lighting and they’re not too difficult to install, especially when it’s done by reliable electrical services that you find locally. Lamps and chandeliers are simple enough, as you just need to screw in a lightbulb. This doesn’t mean you should disregard built-in ones, though. They all have their uses.

Stick to a specific style

A room’s lighting depends on the style that it’s decorated with. You won’t use the same type of lights for a midcentury look as you would for a sleek and contemporary, modern room. It all depends on the picture you want to paint with your light design.

Having to choose a particular style for your room can feel overwhelming. There are so many bulbs and colours available that it feels like finding the right piece of hay in a haystack. The good news is that you don’t have to build a style from scratch. Art often imitates art or at least takes inspiration from it. 

Consult home décor magazines, as they will always have detailed descriptions of lighting in a room. You can get a good idea of how certain lights would match your room’s style. Then it’s smooth sailing from this point and you’ll have your ideal lighting system in no time.


Lights are a crucial part of every home’s décor. They give visibility, help set the mood, and improve the overall look of every room. With the right lighting options, you can turn a gorgeous setup into a movie-like setting. The trick is to figure out what kind of lighting best suits it. If you’re having any doubts, consult the above pointers and you will undoubtedly choose the right lights for every room.

Summer Backyard Home Improvements

Home improvements are always fun tasks. Even though they take some of your time and money, you always know that you’re putting these resources to good use. The particularly fun activities are the ones that include improving your backyard. If you already like spending time in your backyard, but you want to make it even more enjoyable, there are a lot of things that you can do to achieve that. Namely, there is a long list of summer backyard improvements that will make your backyard look and feel much better.

Add a patio

A patio or a deck is always a good idea, especially if you plan on spending a lot of time in your backyard. Besides bringing the special appeal to your home, the patio also helps you extend the living area. If you live in s small house that usually feels cramped, the patio is the thing you need. The patio also makes a great space for the outdoor furniture and it makes your home seem larger.

With a brand new patio, you’ll create a space for endless entertainment during the whole summer. You’ll have a space for family get-togethers and both kids and adults will adore it. Finally, the best thing about a patio is that it requires zero maintenance. Besides occasional sweeping, you won’t have a lot to do when it comes to maintaining your patio.

Build an outdoor kitchen

Outdoor kitchens have been very popular over the recent years. They are the real game-changers and they make your backyard more enjoyable and luxurious. Even though an outdoor kitchen is a huge investment, it does pay off. If you like spending time outside with your friends and family, an outdoor kitchen will do a lot to make these gatherings even more interesting.

When building an outdoor kitchen, you should pay special attention to space. Since the kitchen will take up a lot of space, you should think well where and how you would build it. You should also consider the architectural style of your home. If you want the kitchen to fit in, you should build it in such a way that it looks well with the rest of the exterior.

Work on the lighting

One of the things that can transform any space in no time is the lighting. Lighting, besides being a rapid way to bring a change, is also an inexpensive way to do so. Since hot summer nights suggest that you are going to spend more and more time outside, you’ll want to have the backyard properly illuminated. With some decorative outdoor lighting, you can make a serious change.

You don’t have to host gatherings during the day only. If you choose to do it by night too, you’ll be amazed once you see what difference in the atmosphere the lighting can make. Having experts help you with the lighting is an even better idea. For instance, professional electrical services are irreplaceable when it comes to switching to LED lighting. Once you step up your lighting game, you’ll add a new touch of style to your backyard.

Install a pool

The pool is by far one of the best things you can invest in. Besides being a ton of fun, the pool is also a sign of class and style. Even though the pool requires high maintenance, it still is a great investment. If you can’t bear the hot summer days, a brand new pool might be very helpful.

The heat in the summer can become unbearable and having a chance to escape from it is priceless. That is why the pool is such an amazing investment. Having a pool means having an opportunity to relax, exercise, or just have fun. Besides all that, the pool increases the value of your home.

Hang a hammock

If you’re looking for a simpler and quicker change in your backyard, you can just hang a hammock. It’ll cost nothing and you’ll get a perfect spot for relaxing, reading a book, or napping in your backyard.

All you need for this to happen are a couple of trees. However, even you don’t have those, you shouldn’t despair. You can purchase a tree with a base, that will be the perfect setup for the hammock.

Plant trees

Finally, the easiest way to improve your backyard is to plant some trees. Trees and shrubs will make your backyard seem more natural, graceful, and harmonious.

To avoid overwhelming the yard, you should be careful about the amount of the trees and shrubbery you’re about to plant. You can choose your favourite trees and strategically place them all over the yard. Even though that’ll be a simple change, it’ll still be very important and it’ll shed new light on your backyard.


Making small improvements around the house helps you bring value to your home and make your home a more enjoyable space for you and your family. With these changes, you’ll treat your backyard as well and make the best possible space for the summer.