Want to have a healthier, happier home? It’s easier than you think. Throw open the curtains!
Have you ever wondered why when you walk into someone’s home, it just feels great to be there? The house isn’t bigger than yours. It’s not better decorated. But you just love it – you just can’t put your finger on what that special something is.
Healthy, Happy Home: What Science Tells Us
Well you aren’t imagining things. There are many reasons a home truly is a “feel-good home.” And scientists, interior designers and architects have not only discovered them, they have measured their actual physiological and psychological effects.
Light Your Way to Your Own Healthy, Happy Home
So what can you do to create your own “feel-good home?” A number of elements create a feel- good home – privacy, sound, views, and more – but I will address one of the major players in this post — natural lighting.
You may have already realized you feel good when natural light floods your home. This post will tell you how much natural lighting makes a difference and how you can use it successfully so that will receive the full physiological and psychological benefits.
How Natural Lighting Affects the Body and Mind
First, a quick look at the hard evidence. According to James Spencer, associate clinical professor of dermatology at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York, “there is no controversy about how natural light affects your mind and body.”
Natural lighting results in:
- better sleep
- a happier outlook
- protection from autoimmune diseases
- a boost in Vitamin D. When UV-B rays hit you, even through a window, vitamin D is manufactured offers protection against cancer, bone brittleness, heart disease, and a host of other ills.
- pain relief through the manufacture of chemical endorphins in your brain.
Not bad, for throwing open your curtains, eh?
Simple Ways to Increase Natural Lighting in Your Home
If you’re looking for additional ways to increase natural lighting and boost your health and mood, try these simple and inexpensive tips:
- Make sure your window coverings let in the maximum amount of light. Add sheers beneath draperies for sunlight in the daytime. Pull draperies closed for privacy in the evening.
- Use blinds that allow you to raise them entirely if you wish, exposing the entire window.
- Wash the windows. Yes, even that film of grunge deflects light.
- If possible, trim tree branches and foliage away from windows. If your windows are blocked you’ll have trouble gaining much natural lighting at all.
- Only a few windows? Large mirrors placed strategically not only increase natural lighting exponentially, they offer a brand new outdoor view. Or lighten up by placing several small framed mirrors in an arrangement for a modern mirrored wall.
- Any good window covering consultant should be able to offer options for window coverings that let the light in while keeping the room private and moderating temperature.
- Don’t forget the old standbys, using light-colored paint and adding reflective surfaces like metal and glass to your décor. That dark color on your wall may be considered chic, but it can absorb light. Add wall décor or accessories with reflective surfaces to bounce light around the room.
- Take a look at the framing around windows and doors. Painting those frames with a high-gloss light-colored paint will create more reflected light.
- Furniture placement should allow light to “travel” through the room, not block its path.
How’s this for a bonus? A house with excellent natural lighting uses up to 47% less electricity. A boon for the environment and your utility bill.
Enjoy getting started on your feel-good home today by just opening up the blinds.
Let there be light.
How do you add natural lighting to your home? Secrets?