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10 Smart Ways to Maximise Light in Your Living Room

Give your home a brightening boost this winter by squeezing out every last drop of daylight.

All of us have a couple of rooms in our homes that get less light than we’d like, particularly in winter. You may find that you gravitate towards those pleasing sunny spots, while avoiding spaces that feel gloomier.

By Laura Wheat, Houzz Contributor
Opinions expressed by Houzz Contributors are their own.
Original article on Houzz.

Heavy curtains, dark carpets and the wrong paint colour can all take their toll on the impression of light in a space.

If you’d like to get more use out of your living room in the daytime, take time to consider what improvements could be made. These 10 inspirational tips should help you to see the light.

Be clever with curtains

When hanging drapes for insulation or to soften your space, take care that they don’t obscure precious light-bestowing glass. This means making sure the poles are long enough for curtains to be drawn back beyond the window frame.

Original image on Houzz : Turner Pocock

Create a reflection

Original image on Houzz : Blakes London

Use a large mirror to throw light back into a dark room. Position it either opposite or diagonal to a window for maximum luminosity.

Be inspired by 10 dreamy ideas for the ultimate winter retreat

Add lightweight appeal

If privacy is an issue in your living room, sheer blinds offer protection from prying eyes without compromising on light. 

Choose from simple white roller blinds, as seen here, or Roman blinds made from loosely woven cotton or linen.

Browse more options for privacy-enhancing window treatments

Original image on Houzz : De Rosee Sa

Ditch heavy drapes

Original image on Houzz : Marcio Suster Architectural Photography

Blinds not your bag? How about some chic sheer curtains instead? These gossamer-thin drapes lend this living room an ethereal quality without losing too much light.

Take your curtains right up to the ceiling for maximum drama.

Get switched on

An effective lighting scheme is an integral part of any living room, and one that’s especially important in a space that lacks a sunny aspect. Try a combination of ceiling, floor and table lights, and have dimmers fitted where possible to create ambience. Use lamps as accessories – symmetry creates impact.

Check out ideas for wall lights that don’t need wiring in

Original image on Houzz : Marcio Suster Architectural Photography

Combine and conquer

Original image on Houzz : Skinners of Tunbridge Wells

If your living room is north- or east-facing, but your dining room looks south or west, consider the impact of removing the dividing wall between the spaces. This means you and your ground floor get to soak in both the morning and afternoon light.

Install see-through doors

If you want to keep the divisions between connecting rooms but still max out on light, give your living room a lift by swapping solid doors for glass alternatives.

Original image on Houzz : Prewett bizley Ltd

Add a little shimmer

Original image on Houzz : Hush Design Ltd

Wall mirrors aren’t the only light-infusing accessory you can introduce in a shady spot – look out for other shiny metal or glass pieces. These silver tables bring a hint of boudoir glam to this living room, particularly when paired with sparkling accents and super-soft upholstery.

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Houzz is the world's largest platform for home renovation and design. We'll email you every few months with articles showcasing inspirational ideas.

Every attempt has been made to try to ensure that the information contained in this article is accurate at the time of publication. However, any articles written by any third party are the views of the authors alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Barclays Bank PLC Group ('Barclays') nor should they be taken as statements of policy or intent of Barclays. Barclays takes no responsibility for the veracity of information contained in any third party articles and no warranties or undertakings of any kind, whether express or implied, regarding the accuracy or completeness of the information is given. Barclays accepts no liability for the impact of, or any loss, however arising, from, any decisions made based on information contained and views expressed by any third parties or in their articles.