Welcome back. Today, I’m going to show you how to maximize the amount of light that comes in your windows.
In my last post I talked about scraping and painting your ceilings to help reflect more natural light into your home. As we learned, more light can boost your mood, making you happier and helping you love your home.
Today, as part of my continuing series “Fall in Love with Your Home February”, we will be focusing on the windows in your home.
If you have mini-blinds (well, in my case I had maxi-blinds), they can block up to 25% of the light coming in your room, even when they are raised! Look at your window blinds, curtains and/or valance. Do they cover more than half of a window pane? Or more than 3-4″. If they do, they are blocking light.
Take a look at this photo taken today in our bathroom. The “maxi-blinds” were completely pulled open (picture on the left), but look how much light they were blocking when I took them down (picture on the right). You can see there is more light being reflected on the ceiling and the door. And it is a cloudy day. Can you imagine how much light is blocked on a sunny day?
Next up, take a look in our master bedroom. The top pictures show the room with roman shades that covered one whole pane height, or almost half of the upper window. The bottom photo is taken around the same time of day with new shades hung much higher. The amount of light increased in the room is dramatic!
As you can see below, I hung the shades above the window, and they only overlap the window by about 3-4″.
I also added curtains to the windows, but the rod extends far enough to the sides that the curtain doesn’t cover the window.
When opened, they only slightly cover the window casing.
What you saw above is akin to cheating the size of your window. If you install the blinds
and hang the curtains
outside the window, it makes your windows appear larger than they are.
Now, I’d like to bring in a professional interior designer so she can show you some of the rooms she has redesigned to maximize the amount of light coming into the windows.
The photo below is from her portfolio. Believe it or not, the two pictures are from the same dining room. The photo on the left is the before picture. And the photo on the right shows the room with the bulky valance removed and curtains hung on the outside of the windows. Even with the new dark dining set, the room has a much brighter feel.
This living room that Caitlin designed, was a bit drab and dark
(even with an exposed glass door).
But, after removing the valance and opening the mini-blinds, this room beckons us to enter and enjoy. Look at all that natural light flooding in.
I understand that we all need privacy sometimes. So, feel free to draw your curtains or blinds at night. But, I beg of you, please open them every morning! Invite in a little sunshine to brighten your day. And find yourself falling in love with your home.
Disclosure: Those of you that know me, know that Caitlin is my sister, but she REALLY is a talented interior designer. Besides if I told you she was my sister from the get go you wouldn’t have paid attention to her fantastic room makeovers. But seriously, she is NCIDQ Certified and an Industry Member of ASID. So, if you live in the San Jose, CA and need some expert design advice, look her up!
A few products you might be interested in (commission based links):
Hi there! I love all of your tips! I was wondering where you got your fireplace screen from. It’s so cute and I’m needing to get one 😀
Kara, not sure which fireplace screen you are referring to. I have an insert I made in another post: https://prettyhandygirl.com/build-fireplace-insert-draft-stopper/
Oh my goodness… That’s not the one I was referring to but I LOVE this one even more! Looks like I know what my next project will be ;). Thank you for sharing your creativity!!
Love the Roman Shades! Where are they from if you don't mind sharing the info!
Thanks Pretty Handy Girl. I am light obsessed and try to bring the warmth and sunshine in whenever I can for me and my clients. It gives me a charge and always makes the space more inviting.
Visiting from A to Z, I love natural sunlight! I'll be following to see what else you have in store!
I completely agree! I recently took down dark wood blinds on my french doors and the difference in light is amazing. The space is so much lighter and happier! I love what you did with the woven shades and tab top drapes in your bedroom too!
We live in AZ and love the sunshine. We are currently living in a townhome with one neighbor connected to our home and one just a short distance away, so we do need some privacy. We opted for shutters in our great room which can be completely opened and accordianed against the wall during the day. Our kitchen window is a garden window that has no covering at all. I've just added a plant & some other items that obscure the view for privacy. Our sunroom has all windows & doors on 2 sides & no coverings. You would have to actually be in our backyard, snooping in our windows to see anything, so no need for coverings. I'm amazed at the number of people who live in closed-up houses all the time, both day and night. I agree with you, let the sunshine in!
This is a great post. Such a simple idea that makes so much difference! I'm going to move up my kitchen curtains TODAY! Thanks. Lisa~
Brittany, what a great idea! I have a room that doesn't get much light even on sunny days. Moving the blinds up will eek out every bit of light available to me. Thanks so much!
Wow, I can't believe what a difference it makes. Who would have thought? Well, apparently your sister! Ha!
Tips on the curtains I love and I will be changing mine pronto!
I have done the same thing with my bamboo blinds – I hung them up way higher than our window to let in more light! We have only one window in our master bedroom and it's not very big, so when I open the shades the whole window shows!
I grew up in San Jose, CA but live in So. Cal. now! That's SO cool your sister lives there! It's very beautiful up there…
Organizing Made Fun
Looks great. I am all about hanging them higher to allow light in! so glad I found your site tonight.
I despise blinds…I love nothing more than open windows…but have to have those dust collectors. Your window looks great!