Embrace the Sun: Tips for Maximizing Natural Light in Your Home


Summer is the season of sunlight and especially in Rochester, NY, we want to enjoy as much of it as possible. What’s a better way to embrace the season than creating a light and airy sanctuary that mirrors the outdoors in the comfort of your home? Natural light, while beautiful, isn’t only about aesthetics; it infuses your living space with energy, elevates your mood, and enhances your well-being. Transform your interior to the perfect, sunny space by opening the windows, drawing back the curtains, and following these tips and tricks for making the most of the natural light in your home.

1. Use Light-Enhancing Colors

White is the brightest and most reflective color available, though it comes in many variations. Whether you choose a warm white or cooler color depends entirely on personal preference. Personally, we love Pure White, Westhighland White, or Alabaster from Sherwin-Williams.

Did you know that painting the eaves on the exterior of your home can also help reflect more light indoors? It’s similar to painting your ceiling white; the underside of the eaves in particular to light up your home.

If you’re not a fan of white and prefer to use bold or vibrant colors instead, make sure you use a paint with a high density of pigment. Low-pigment paints not only are more difficult to get an even color with but also can become dreary and dull at night time. We recommend Sherwin-Williams as they’re well reputed for the quality of the pigment in their paint. Some colors that are recommended for rooms with plenty of natural light include deep purple, bright blue, rich green, neutral beige, bright yellow, or a bold orange.

2. Take Advantage of Light Reflecting Surfaces

Glass is natural light’s best friend. This highly-reflective material can be used for glass doors on cabinets, glass tabletops, glass tile and backsplash, or mirrors to reflect additional light in your home. If you’re hanging artwork, add a glossy finish to the piece or frame it in glass to additional shine. Polished metal fixtures and decorations can also help! If you have a solid, opaque exterior door, replace it with a glass door to invite more sunlight into your home. Not only will all of this make your space brighter, but it’ll make it look bigger too!

3. Think About Window Placement

The more windows means more sunlight! However, when installing new windows or designing around the ones you already have, keep in mind how the sun interacts with them. For example, northern-facing windows—a favorite among artists, especially painters—will give you the best indirect natural light without overheating your home from the sun. South-facing windows will bring direct sunlight into the home which could be problematic in the summertime. Direct sunlight can be uncomfortably warm on a day that’s already hot enough. The sunlight that comes through your east and west-facing windows will change throughout the day as the sun rises and sets.

4. Use Optimal Window Treatments

Curtains and drapes are often necessary for privacy but they’re often the first culprit for blocking out natural light. Choose light colored window treatments instead of dark ones that will absorb the sunshine. Sheer drapes are also a good choice to balance privacy with letting light in. If your windows aren’t already UV-protected, you may want to choose solar shades or sun shades. The fabric is woven just tight enough to provide protection against UV rays while still optimizing the view.

5. Install Skylights

Skylights are an excellent choice when it comes to natural light. They’re essentially windows in the ceiling with the sun constantly shining down on them and they won’t be obstructed by furniture in your home like windows might be.

If you want to install a skylight or new windows, you need a contractor who knows what they’re doing. Quality Homes of Rochester would love to help you get the most out of the summer’s natural light for your home no matter how big or small of a project it may be!