If you’re battling a dark, north-facing room, there are all kinds of ways to let in as much natural light as possible. We often tend to focus on what's going on on the interior, like the color scheme or the type of flooring. However, it’s important to take a look at the outside, too, as Richard Petrie from Thomas Sanderson (opens in new tab) highlights.
- See also: How to make a dark room brighter: 12 ideas to lighten your spaces
The interiors expert shared a simple tip to help us make the most of the longer days, and it involves getting the pruning shears out. He reminds us to trim back any trees and shrubs outside windows and doors, as they could be blocking out glorious sunshine.
‘To bring more light inside it’s useful looking outside and seeing if any trees and shrubs are covering your windows,’ Richard says. ‘You could consider replacing overgrown plants with smaller, low-lying plants to keep your view unobstructed and the natural light pouring in,’ he adds.
This simple step could make a massive difference to the level of natural light in any given room. If you’ve had an overgrown shrub on your patio blocking out some of the light in your living room through winter, you might not have noticed. But now the clocks are changing, try giving any plants surrounding your windows a trim.
Similarly, keeping window sills clear will maximize the amount of light in a room. There might be a few trinkets you love having on display, but don’t let the indoor space around your windows get cluttered, as it’ll undo the good work you’ve done outside.
So although we might think of cleaning the windows, replacing old blinds, or putting up a strategically placed mirror to get the light flowing, think about possible obstructions outdoors. Pick a nice day for it and combine the pruning with some spring cleaning, and bask in your bright and freshly cleaned home.
A bright room goes beyond just looking nice, as it has a positive effect on our wellbeing. If a room feels airy when you enter, it will be a much more inviting and relaxing space compared to a dingy room with artificial lighting.
- See also: 20 living room lighting ideas and expert tips to getting it right
One thing you might not have considered is that having an overgrown tree too close to your house can in fact reduce the value of your home. Trees that have sprawling root systems such as the American elm and the willow tree need to be planted away from the building so they don’t affect things like plumbing - as well as potentially blocking out light.