A few little home improvements can make a massive difference for older people who due to health and mobility issues, may not be able to get out as much as they’d like.
Improving the natural light in your home isn’t just useful for visibility – natural light also offers a host of health benefits, too. For starters, it provides us with Vitamin D, an essential nutrient that can help with bone health and boosting our moods.
It’s recommended that everyone get at least a few minutes out in natural sunlight every day, but for those with mobility issues or when the winter months hit, this isn’t always possible. That’s why ensuring you’ve got access to plenty of natural light in your house is so important – that way, you can still enjoy its health benefits but from the comfort of your own home.
Here are a few home improvements you can make to improve the natural light in your or a family member’s home:
Fit extra windows
The obvious place to start with adding extra light into the home is by considering your windows. Are there enough, and are they letting in all the natural light they could be?
If a room is lacking natural light, consider whether or not adding another window would be possible. If it is, doing so is an obvious method to embrace more daylight. Windows without any decorative glass or cottage bars will maximise the light entering your home, as will bay windows due to their arc shape.
Alternatively, if the room that’s in desperate need of light leads straight into the back garden, French doors could be another option to let light flood in. They’ll give you quick and easy access to your garden and offer beautiful views of the great outdoors from the comfort and warmth of your home.
Make use of mirrors
Home improvements don’t necessarily mean structural for example adding mirrors is a quick fix for darkened rooms – when put opposite or adjacent to a window, they’ll catch the natural light and reflect it back around the room. They’re especially great for narrow corridors where installing a window wouldn’t be possible. Plus, if your mirror reflects an image of the outside, it’ll give the illusion that you have more windows than you actually do.
Consider a conservatory
Conservatories were originally created as greenhouses with glass-panelled walls and roofs that could let in natural sunlight while still staying warm in the winter. And while they’ve become more versatile in use since then, their fundamental purpose is still exactly the same.
Adding a conservatory to your home will essentially create a space that offers unlimited natural light from all angles, and whose interior is completely customisable. You can fit your conservatory with comfy chairs for mid-winter sunbathing, and soak in natural sunlight without having to feel the cold.
Paint with light colours
Another home improvement tip – where dark wall colours soak up natural light, lighter colours tend to reflect it, giving off the appearance of a brighter space. Whites, cream, pastel blues and greys are all top choices for creating lightness.
It’s also a good idea to fit your home—especially darker rooms, like kitchens—with light-coloured, reflective surfaces. They’ll work the same way mirrors do, and send natural light spreading out across the room.
Keep windows clean
This one seems like an obvious choice, but yes – the cleaner you keep your windows, the more natural light will shine through.
For elderly parents, maintaining window cleanliness is easier said than done, so ensuring they have access to easily-cleanable windows is important.
Tilt and turn windows are a simple-to-clean style that also offer versatility. They can be opened slightly from the top, to let in light breezes, or fully from side hinges. This allows them to be cleaned easily from the indoors, so you won’t have to spend time outside in the winter.
Rearrange the furniture
Shifting the furniture around in your room is another obvious choice when you think about it – putting bulky furniture in front of a window will inevitably block out the light!
You should try to make sure as much natural light can pour in through your windows as possible, so avoid anything that’ll cast a shadow across the room, as well as heavy curtains. If you can place a chair strategically beside a window so that you can still enjoy the natural light without shielding it, even better.
From that, we say let there be light! To see how Anglian can help you improve the natural light in your home with new windows, doors or a conservatory, click HERE for more information.
Visit our Living Independently section for more advice and information on making life easier at home.