People joke about man-caves, but it’s no joke when you can’t see them. Older homes tend to have too few windows, dark corners and narrow hallways that could lighten up. Newer homes have more windows, but usually not in the places they’re needed, like dark hallways and corners. Natural light has so many benefits to our emotional and physical health, that it’s a disservice to live in dark caves. Natural light gives us better concentration, a peppier step and Vitamin D. So, let’s get those dark shadows outta there and maximize your natural light.
Odd shaped windows like ovals, diamonds and ship’s port windows are sometimes placed in hallways and at dark corners of a house to shed some light on the subject. Homeowners might consider placing these odd shaped windows in a pattern such as port-diamond-port or oval-square-oval. Perhaps smaller custom round windows, shaped like bubbles, could be installed around port or oval windows to make a pattern of light in the space. It would certainly be a focal point in the space or room.
Another idea would be to install tubular daylighting devices. These are small tubes cut from the roof like a skylight. The light is carried along a coated metal surface until it reaches a diffuser lens in the ceiling. One tube can illuminate a 100 to 600 foot space. The great thing about TDDs is that they create no dark shadowy spaces, making them good for hallways and dark corners as well as whole rooms.
Other MethodsA coat of a light eggshell or shiny paint would help rooms lighten up. Homeowners would want warmer colors, however, in northern and eastern rooms, because they tend to be the chilliest. Hanging mirrors in strategic spots helps spread the light around and destroy any dark corners or spaces in rooms and hallways. Removing solid inner doors and replacing them with glass doors would help spread the light around, too.
Paisley Hansen is a freelance writer and expert in health, wellness and interior design. When she isn’t writing she can usually be found reading a good book or hitting the gym.