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9 ideas for lighting up a dark home for sale

over 1 year ago
9 ideas for lighting up a dark home for sale

We’re at that time of year when it’s dark when we wake up, dark when we get home from work and pretty much dark from 4pm in the afternoon. While some are ready to embrace the Winter Solstice with candles, fairy lights and a dash of Danish hygge (to create a cosy environment protected from the outside world), many of us really struggle with the lack of daylight.

Within that group are property sellers, who need as much natural light as possible to present a bright and spacious home to potential buyers. As well as rooms that can come across as a little gloomy just because they’re being shown at the wrong time of day or year, vendors also have to factor in new research from the University of Sheffield.

Its academics conducted an experiment among 750 people, showing them 3D room simulations with different levels of natural light. It found the more natural light that entered a home, the happier participants said they felt. The pinnacle of happiness was when the windows accounted for 40% or more of the wall space.

Increasing the amount of natural light in your home is a sensible step for sellers and there’s a sliding scale of how this can be achieved, from the easy to the extreme. Here are 9 ideas to try:-

  1. Clean your windows: smears, grease and grime will all prevent the maximum amount of natural light getting through. Wash glass with warm, soapy water and follow up with a squeegee for a streak-free finish.
  2. Remove fussy window treatments: any fabric or slats that cover the glass will block natural light. Install tie backs so fully opened curtains stay that way, and always have blinds and shutters open when photographs are taken or people view the property.
  3. Add a mirror: it’s a classic interior design trick but a failsafe one. Positioning a mirror either opposite a window or by the side of one can make it feel as if there’s actually twice as much natural light than there really is.
  4. Light up dark corners: if you’re dreading showing potential buyers around in the dark, pre-light your home. Position table lamps in the darkest corners – you can now get cable-free, charge-able options that don’t need a power source – and use full spectrum light bulbs to replicate natural light.
  5. Rethink exposed brick: exposed brick has had its design moment but it was cited by the University of Sheffield as one of the most light-absorbing wall finishes possible. Smooth plastered walls are the best for reflecting natural light but if you do have exposed brick in a small, dark room, consider painting it with white masonry paint.
  6. Paint over dark colours: dark colours can drink in what natural light there is, so before you put your home on the market, a trip to a DIY store may be due. Shades of white and delicate pastels may not be to your taste but they will prove a hit with buyers – and will maximise natural light. Choose Dulux’s Light + Space paint as it’s designed specifically to reflect natural light.
  7. Install glass-panelled doors: solid internal doors can block the flow of natural light but you can let light flow from one room to another by installing glass panelled doors. If safety is a consideration, opt for half glazed doors where the glass is at the top.
  8. Make window openings bigger: if the size of your window aperture is out of proportion with the scale of your room – a common problem in period and new build properties – it may be possible to make the opening bigger. If privacy is an issue, an architect may recommend you install clerestory windows – a strip of glazing that sits just below the ceiling.
  9. Consider a sky light, roof lantern or roof window: if a room is persistently plagued by low levels of natural light, it might be worth consulting with an architect. A roof lantern or skylight can sometimes be retrospectively fitted to a single storey extension, while a roof window can brighten a loft room.  

For more advice on selling your home this winter, please get in touch.

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