It’s here, that extra special time of year… summer! Summer is the warmest season of the year, in fact, here in South Carolina the average temperature of our summer days is 85- 95 °F. The summer season is filled with many sunny days and here at Coastal Transformations we are big proponents of letting natural light in and using it to your advantage. As we prepare for the hottest season of the year, we thought it was appropriate to give you some tips for making the most of the sunny weather.
The abundance of sun this season means we have a big opportunity to cut down on energy expenditure by making use of this great natural resource. If you’re not ready for a big renovation or lifestyle change, then here are some simple things you can do everyday to make the most of the sunlight this season:
- Everyday, open your blinds/curtains/shades to allow more light in through your windows.
- Following after the step above, turn off your lights and let sunlight illuminate your home during the day instead of artificial light.
- Keeping doors open between your living and dining room, or a well-lit room and not-so-well-lit room allows you to eliminate the need for lights on in multiple rooms.
- Spend more time outdoors. It’s summer, which means the weather is perfect for you to take some of your daily tasks outdoors. Have your meals on your porch/balcony, take a book and read outside or just spend some time with your family outdoors. Again diminishing your reliance on artificial light and saving you money in the process.
Summer is also a great time to think about how the interior design of your home allows for maximization of natural light. It might just be the right time to roll up your sleeves and make a few changes to allow yourself to reap the full benefits of sunlight. Some of the most common design changes you can make to increase the natural light in your home include:
- Using mirrors. Placing a mirror across from a window will allow it to be reflected across the entire room, making it brighter and lighter. Don’t worry, you don’t absolutely have to put a mirror across from a window, just placing one in a room allows light to bounce from wall to wall.
- Cleaning your windows regularly. Keep dirt and dust off your windows to allow all sunlight to freely stream in.
- Rearranging furniture. Your furniture might be blocking all your natural light.
- Changing your curtains. Heavy fabric curtains/drapes like velvet or brocade can make your room feel dark and small. Instead, invest in curtains made from cotton or linen, or another light fabric.
- Repainting. The old adage that black absorbs light and white doesn’t is true… to an extent. Walls that are painted in dark colors won’t reflect sunlight as well as walls painted with light colors. If your room is nice and bright, you’re less likely to want to turn on the lights before the sun sets. Consider repainting some of the darker walls/rooms in your home to something on the brighter side.
All of the tips highlighted above are great ways to increase the amount of sunlight you can bring indoors in easy and simple ways, but if you’re really looking increase the natural light in your home, consider investing in a bigger project. If you really love natural light do one, or all, of the following:
- Remove any obstructions. Trees are great, but if the branches are growing out in front of your windows, they might be blocking the sunlight from coming in. The benefits of tree trimming are actually two-fold as overhanging branches could be a danger during a storm. Have a professional arborist come by and trim your trees and bushes so that they’re not blocking your windows or glass doors.
- Get a skylight/skylights. Skylights are one of the best ways to bring light in. Skylights are an investment that eventually pay for themselves through energy savings. Save more on electricity and heating costs during the colder months of the year, and since most brands are adjustable, you’re getting just the right amount of sunlight during the summer.
- Replace heavy doors with glass inserts. If you have a solid, heavy front door, or other exterior door, this might be inhibiting your natural light potential. Getting a new door is great for increasing your light intake, but you don’t necessarily have to go to all that trouble. You can achieve the same results with door glass inserts, they are much more affordable and super easy to install. Additionally, you get to be creative with the design of your door glass, with multiple beautiful options to choose from.
Make the most of the sunlight by experimenting with some of the things above. Remember, summer doesn’t last forever and in the fall and winter months it’ll be a lot harder to get your daily quota of natural light. We help customers express their creativity and increase natural light throughout their home with high quality skylight and decorative door glass installations. Every project we undertake starts with a detailed consultation and ends with a transformation to last a lifetime. Bring in the summer sunlight now and enjoy it all year long!