We may wish that we could make the most of the sunny days by adding a skylight or two into our homes. This is not always practical or affordable so you need to look at other ways to maximise natural light.
The most obvious thing to look at first is colour and finish of the paint on your walls. Dark, matt colours tend to absorb light and make a room look darker, thus smaller. Lighter, smooth and glossy colours reflect light and can make a room look lighter and more spacious.
That is why you should never paint your walls in dark colours or opt for dark furniture if you live in a small flat, or it would end up look even smaller than it already is, not to say claustrophobic.
Next we look at the window treatments. Do you have heavy curtains that crowd out the little light that comes in? Have you got a side window that could be covered with merely a sheer curtain?
The next thing to look at is the furniture in the room. At first glance it may not appear to make much of a difference but it definitely can. A room that is cluttered will usually feel darker than one that is not and darker furniture can also make the room appear darker. If you are going for a lighter feel, consider using glass table-tops and steer clear, where possible, of dark, solid furniture.
Accessories in the room can make a big difference. Ancient cultures knew about the light reflecting properties of mirrors and you can apply these same principles in your own home. Use mirrors to catch existing light and to reflect it into darker corners.
If you have a dark coloured couch and want to disguise the fact, use light coloured throws. (Make sure that the colours tone in with the overall colour scheme.) Alternatively, brighten up the couch with some brightly coloured cushions. Cushions in the right colours inject a feeling of fun and lightness into a room.
Do not forget the wall hangings. A brightly painted picture or set of colourful photos can help to open a room up. Even consider the way the pictures are framed. An oversized frame with a light mounting can introduce more light into the room.
There are many ways to maximise the natural light in your living space. You just need to play around with colour and texture.