Following on from my article in the October magazine, this time I would like to look at brightening your home without the use of lights!

Here are some innovative ideas to ‘illuminate’ your home to welcome friends, family and buyers, and as the evenings get darker, should give the feeling of more light and space.


If you have the appropriate type of sloping roof, you could add skylights to your ceilings to bring in natural light but these could be quite expensive. You do not need planning permission but if your property is either listed or in a conservation area, these may not be allowed. Replacing solid interior doors with glazed doors (either clear, frosted or stained glass) will also allow any light to travel through your home and reach all the rooms naturally.

Light Pipes/Sun Tunnels

These produce natural soft light from the daylight outside and are especially good to gain brightness in areas where there are no windows or glass doors. The principle of these is that a small dome shape usually situated at roof level will collect natural daylight and direct this down through highly reflective tubing to a fitting in a ceiling which will diffuse the light into the room below. They can also have LED bulbs fitted within the ceiling fitment which will come on automatically if there is not much sunshine that day.


Mirrors are a more reasonable way of transferring light around a room and creating a mirror image will work anywhere in the home to double the play of light back across a room. They are especially effective if placed opposite a window or glazed door and used as a collection of different shaped and sized mirrors in a dark corner can add a scattering of brightness and interest in an otherwise dull place. Another idea to create a softer, scented mood is to place several candles in front of a mirror which will give a gentle ambience and flickering light movement at little cost. If you add a metallic frame to the mirror, this will add even more sparkle and interest.


Carrying on from the mirror theme, glass will also reflect and refract light within the home whether you have glass topped tables, cut glass vases or display dishes. Even a mirrored tray will create reflective ‘light’. Changing wooden shelving or cabinets and replacing them with glass shelves will make a lighter environment and show off your books and treasures much better. Again look carefully at your furniture and if you have lots of dark furniture, consider swapping these for glass topped items or reflecting surfaces perhaps with framework you can see through to make the room seem lighter.

Window Dressing

You might not think that your curtains will make any difference to brightening your home but if they are of a dark colour or heavy bulky material, they could be detrimental to having a well-lit room. Consider changing these to a lighter colour or texture or change to having either vertical or soft coloured wooden blinds which could give you privacy but still allow daylight to shimmer through the slits. Don’t forget that clean windows will give you far more brightness in the room than daylight trying to get through dirty windows!

Interior Decoration

Lightening the colour of your walls will also make the area appear bigger and give the feeling of more space and light. Using brilliant white on the walls will not work but it is a good idea to make ceilings a shade or two lighter than the walls so the light will be reflected and make the ceilings appear higher. Walls painted in a soft hue will be better that any dark paint or patterned feature wall which will absorb lots of brightness in the room.


If your garden is overgrown and trees and hedges allowed to get out of hand, this will also reduce the natural light entering your home and therefore keeping these pruned will not only increase the daylight available, but will also make the garden seem larger.


Any surface that has been freshly polished will produce a soft sheen and luminosity helping any type of light available to bounce off and travel around a room.

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