Your Home Doesn’t Have To Be Gloomy. Here’s How To Brighten It Up

What’s the number one feature people look for when thinking about buying a home? Hint: it has nothing to do with the floor plan or the kitchen. It’s actually the amount of natural light available in the house. 

 

Owners don’t want to reside in a dark and dingy hovel. They want their accommodation to feel bright and airy every day. 

 

Unfortunately, not all homes offer their occupants sufficient light. Around a fifth of people believe that their properties lack natural light when surveyed. The problem is real. 

 

A lack of natural light is no laughing matter. People who don’t get sufficient brightness in their living spaces tend to experience higher levels of depression and have worse health overall. They report lower life satisfaction and feelings of wellness too.

 

Fortunately, getting more natural light into your home isn’t as difficult as you might imagine. There are a whole bunch of ways to do it. And when you get it right, you can make a massive difference to your home, even if right now, you think that there’s no way to improve the situation. Trust us – there is!

 

Brighten Up Your Furniture

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Dark furniture can be something of a “light sink.” It soaks up the available light in the room, making it feel more dismal than it actually is. 

 

This effect has to do with the way that light interacts with objects. The shade of black is defined by its lack of reflection. You only see it because it contrasts with everything else where light does bounce back. 

 

All colors reflect some light to your eye. So when you see something that is yellow, it absorbs all other wavelengths of light except the yellow one. The same goes for blue, pink, red, and the rest of the colors in the spectrum.

 

Choosing brighter furniture, therefore, can make a big difference to the light levels in your rooms. More dazzling items reflect any light into the surrounding area, increasing how bright it appears without the need for building work. 

 

Use Artificial “Natural” Light

 

While architects take time to consider a home’s orientation, some properties are naturally dark. They have small windows or face the wrong direction. In these cases, the best bet is to use artificial “natural” light. It might sound like a strange thing to say, but modern solutions are highly effective. Companies have developed lights that mimic the wavelengths in white light emitted by the sun. So when you switch them on, they replicate natural light that comes flooding through the windows. 

 

Ersatz natural light can come in handy all over your home. You can use it in dark walkways, alcoves, and corners of your room. Try arranging natural lights so that they fill the entire space from multiple angles. Some homeowners install special lights on the floor or recessed behind room features. 

 

Install Larger Windows And Doors

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If you’re a purist and want the real McCoy, installing larger windows and doors is probably the best way to get more natural light. The greater the area for light to flood in, the brighter your rooms will be. 

 

Installing large windows and doors is relatively easy, as long as you have the budget. Renewal by Andersen suggests homeowners use professional installers instead of going down the DIY route. You’ll need to select the type of window that you want, and then consult a structural engineer on the feasibility of expanding the size of the windows. 

 

If you have a patio area, you might also want to install bi-folding doors. These allow you to create what is essentially a wall of glass across the back of your home. If your house is south-facing, this will provide you with lots of extra light during the day. 

 

Clean Your Windows

 

Sometimes, you don’t have to engage in any radical building work to get more light into your home: it just needs a good clean. Windows tend to accumulate dirt over time. Tiny particles in the air stick to them, and eventually, a residue builds up over the surface. If the film is oily, more and more particles will stick to the windows, eventually causing them to glaze. 

 

Cleaning your windows is a bit light cleaning your spectacles. You don’t realize just how much gunk is on them until you actually look through them once they’re clean. Sometimes your windows can look clean, even if they’re not. Your eyes can play tricks on you. Give them a once-over, hire a professional to do it for you, and see if that makes a difference to your interior’s brightness levels. 

 

Choose A Light-Friendly Flooring Option

 

The principle here is very similar to that of furniture we discussed earlier. You want to choose a flooring option that reflects as much light as possible. 

 

Your best option here is bright tiled floors with flecks of reflected material embedded in them. As the light comes into your rooms, the tiles will reflect it, and you’ll immediately brighten up your rooms. 

 

If you don’t like tiles or want a cheaper option, you can also try light wood or laminate floors. Again, the wood will reflect the available incoming light into the room, helping to brighten the whole place up. 

 

Unless you have a lot of light in your home, you’ll want to steer clear of carpets. They have an annoying habit of soaking up all the light and making your interiors feel a little grim. 

 

If you have to use carpet, stick with light, neutral colors. White rugs will help you feel like your rooms are brighter, even if they’re not in reality. 

 

Paint In Light Colors

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Are you starting to notice a theme here? Painting in bright colors can also help you enhance the amount of light in your rooms tremendously. Again, going as light as possible is your best bet here. Paint the walls of dark rooms white, and immediately benefit from additional internal reflectivity. Unless you have a specific interior theme in mind, avoid brilliant white. It can make rooms feel cold and depressing. Choose a slightly off-white color, or cream, and get that bright, cozy feel you see in all the magazines. 

 

Don’t like paint? You can also cover your walls in highly reflective wallpaper. Again, you’ll want to choose bright colors here. But you can take wallpaper a step further by selecting varieties that include flecks of metallic, which will reflect more incoming light into the room. 

 

Where possible, make the ceiling a few shades lighter than the walls. This practice helps to mimic natural lighting by making things brighter above your head than around to the side. 

 

Finally, look for paints with satin or even gloss finishes. These will reflect more light than matte-effect colors. 

 

Fill Your Rooms With Shiny Objects

 

Have you ever wondered why light fittings in showrooms are always so metallic and shiny? It is because these surfaces help to scatter light more widely. 

 

Polished metal surfaces are incredibly effective at increasing the light levels in your room. If you’re skeptical, take a torch and then point the light at a metallic object in your living space, like a vase. Then take note of how the light scatters. You’ll notice that it goes all over the place, instantly firing off light beams into all your nooks and crannies. 

 

Making metallic surfaces attractive can be a challenge – granted. But if you can figure out a way to include them in a way that suits your decor, they can make a big difference. Shards of hammered metal on the wall, for instance, look not only great, but also add internal reflectivity too. 

 

Place Mirrors Strategically Around Your Home

 

Mirrors are the ultimate reflective surface, bouncing back over 95 percent of the light that hits them. People who live in dark, dingy homes, therefore, can use them to their advantage. 

 

Place them opposite sources of light in your home, such as windows. As the light floods in, it will hit the mirror and then scatter back into the room. 

 

Mirrors are particularly effective in narrow spaces, like hallways. 

 

Trim Greenery Around Your Home

 

For some people, there are no problems with the design of the home itself or the interior features. Instead, the problem is greenery and shrubbery around the house, blocking incoming light.

 

Do a quick check of your house’s exterior walls and see whether any plants are casting a shadow over your windows. Audit your light levels at different times of the day, since the direction of shadows can change from hour to hour. If you spot anything blocking light, cut it back, or remove it entirely. 

 

Wrapping Up

 

Getting more light into your home is part and parcel of making your living arrangements more enjoyable. Sometimes you need to make radical changes to get more light into your accommodation. But often, small modifications, like hanging a new mirror, is all you need. And that’s good news for people who are on a budget. 

 

So, does your home have enough natural light? Or would you like more?

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Top Safety Concerns In Any New Office

If your business is moving to a new office, or you are starting up your first one, there is a lot that you are going to have to consider. One of the main issues that will always be necessary to look into is the safety of the people who work there. There are a lot of safety concerns that you will come across in any new office, and in this article we are going to take a look at some of the most important of these. If you are aware of these, you should find that you know what to do to keep your employees safe – and ensure a brighter future for the company.

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Slipping & Falling

 

If you look at the statistics for office safety across the world, the single biggest cause of injury is slipping and falling. Therefore, if you can do whatever you can to avoid these instances occurring in your office, you are going to be keeping your employees much safer, and everyone is going to appreciate that. So what can you do to make sure you keep slips and falls to an absolute minimum? As it happens, there are a couple of important things to bear in mind.

 

Firstly, consider the kind of flooring you have in the office, and whether it might need to be replaced with something safer. If so, do that before you actually move your staff into the office. Then you need to make sure that there are some basic health and safety routines in place to ensure people don’t run and make slipping more likely. At the same time, be sure to keep the floors clear of obstructions. That will ensure that fewer people slip or fall in your office.

 

Collisions

 

Collisions can either be with other people or with objects. In either case, the majority of collisions are avoidable, and you should make sure that you are doing whatever you can to stop them from occurring. In a new office, you will want to clear the floor of anything anyone could collide into before they start working there. On top of that, consider whether there are any potentially problematic parts of the office – blind spots around corners, for instance – and what you might be able to do about them – such as putting up a mirror or a sign suggesting people to take care in that area. With that kind of attention to detail, collisions will be kept to a minimum.

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Sharp Corners

 

It’s not just children who need to take care around sharp corners – any of us could be injured in this way. In a new office, you might not know which corners are going to be sharp at first, so you might need to make sure that you are checking them all out to begin with. If there are any that seem particularly problematic, you need to make sure that you are going to cushion them in some way, or even have them attended to and sanded down. With sharp corners being one of the most common safety problems in offices across the world, this is more important than you might at first assume.

 

Poor Lighting

 

Although it might not seem as though poor lighting is a hazard in itself, it’s not hard to see why it might pose a problem in any office. After all, if your office has poor lighting, it means that people are more likely to suffer from the above causes of injuries, especially tripping and falling. Poor lighting can also cause people to have ongoing health problems. In the worst case scenarios, you might find that your employees have a lot of headaches and fail to come into work. It is clearly important to make sure that your new office has decent lighting before you let anyone work there.

 

Hopefully, this will usually be a pretty simple fix. It will probably just mean that you need to replace the lights that are up, or even just the bulbs. At other times, you might need to completely strip out and rewire new lighting in to ensure that all parts of the office are covered. As long as the lighting is sufficient, your employees are going to be looked after much more, and suffer less from working in your office.

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Electrical Faults

 

There are few safety concerns more important than potential electrical faults, given that at the very worst end of the scale it can cause death. When you are moving into a new office, this is one of the first and most important things you need to check, to ensure that you don’t cause any harm to be done to any of your employees, partners or guests to the office. You need to look into this as early as possible, and definitely before anyone actually starts working there.

 

Of course, you should not check it yourself, but rather you should hire an electrician to do so for you, as doing it yourself could be dangerous. Make sure you get them to check the entire system in the office and that they fix any issues that they find. This is a non-negotiable part of setting up in a new office, so make sure that you don’t overlook it. You should also ensure that you get the electrician to return every six months or so, just to check that everything is still safe and in perfect working order.

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Plumbing Issues

 

In a similar vein to the electrics, you should also make sure that you have the plumbing checked out too. Although it might not be quite as serious as faulty electrics, pipe problems can still pose a problem and could cause some safety issues if they are left untreated. In the worst case, you might even end up with flooding in the office – and if that is combined with electrical problems, then that is likely going to be a recipe for disaster. As you can see, this is really important.

 

Again, the solution is to call in the professionals to take a look, and to fix anything that might be out of place. Do this before anyone starts working there to ensure that you avoid any serious emergencies.

 

Fire Safety

 

Nobody wants to be caught in a fire. That much goes without saying. One of your main priorities as a manager is to ensure that the office is safe from fire as far as is possible. There are two main routes you need to follow here: preventing fires from breaking out, and making sure that you are well equipped to deal with it if it does happen anyway. Both are essential, and you should make sure that you do whatever is necessary in both cases just to make sure.

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In order to prevent fire, you need to make sure you have decent and strong protocols in place for how to behave in the workplace. That avoids any silly behavior causing a fire, which is vital. You also need to make sure that electrical faults are dealt with promptly, as above, and that your people are trained in fire safety as well as possible, and regularly too. That should hopefully prevent the majority of fires.

 

No matter what, occasionally fires do break out in offices, and it is essential to make sure that your staff know what to do if that happens. That is where the training comes in, and particularly training around what steps to take if there is a fire. That’s why fire drills are so important, and not to be overlooked. You should also make sure that you stock your new office up with all of the necessary equipment: fire extinguishers and so on, as well as making sure there are fire doors in place and so on too, and that fire exits are never blocked.

 

As long as you do all that, you can say you are doing everything possible to both prevent fires in your new office, and deal with them if they occur as well as possible.

 

Air Quality

 

Poor air quality is related to a number of health and safety issues. Notably, it can lead to your employees having breathing problems or other health issues, and you need to make sure that you are avoiding this as well as you can. That means taking a look at the ventilation system, and ensuring that it is maintained as well as possible at all times. This will also help in preventing the spread of illnesses and diseases, which is especially important during a global pandemic such as the coronavirus pandemic. On top of that, a general cleanliness is vital too, so make sure that you clean the office well before anyone starts working there, and regularly thereafter. It all makes a difference.

 

If you do all that, your employees are going to be safer and your office is going to be a much better place to work in many ways. Make sure that you don’t overlook any of these important concerns.

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7 Easy Ways to Transform Your Home into a Comfort Zone

In a bid to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, people have been asked to remain at home. The directive keeps the majority of Americans but essential workers from going to work, which has resulted in more people working from home. Most people are now working remotely from home every-day, and this can be challenging.

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If you find yourself self-isolating or working from home for the very first time, then you’re most likely wondering how you can remain productive. The livability of your home has never been more important. Below are some of the ways that you can transform your home into a comfort zone.

Windows

While windows may seem like a problem that is out of your hand, making just a few small changes can make a big difference. Glazing windows is one of the techniques that can create a huge difference. It involves adding an inert gas between the glass plates. The result is a soundproof window that acts as a barrier between you and the outer world.

Apart from soundproofing your inner environment, windows also help filter in natural light that can transform your home into an idyllic environment. Ideally, big windows are better suited to transform a closed room into a bright one.

Lighting

Although natural light is the best, in some cases, it may not be an option. But you can settle for artificial light. Whether you settle for general lighting, like an overhead bulb, or target lighting like a desk lamp, ensure that your room is well lit.

You can make your home a comfortable nook, but without proper lighting, you’ll just make things worse and give yourself a headache by living in a poorly lit room. A good way to light your room is to find a balance between bright light and subtle shade for your walls.

Optimize Your Bedroom

According to NCBI, humans spend one-third of their lives in their bedrooms. Therefore, if your bedroom isn’t optimized for your comfort and relaxation, you will suffer the effects of sleep deprivation. But before you can optimize your bedroom, you need to first consider your sleeping structure. This means making sure that you have a bed that is right for your needs, and a mattress suitable for your sleeping style.

Next, use the feng shui method to transform your bedroom into that of your dreams. Ensure that your bed is positioned in a position where you can clearly see the door, but this doesn’t mean that it should be in a direct line with it. Also, allow more room on each side of the bed for a nightstand. Choose a color similar to your skin tone for decorating. However, this isn’t an opportunity to show off those flashy colors. Finally, implement different levels of lighting between your sources of light. It’s important that you make sure that the lighting in your bedroom is easy on your eyes to help calm your mind before you get into your bed.

Get Comfy Pillows

You need comfy pillows to make your home more comfortable. The pillows aren’t just meant for your couch. Pillows are essential for different places in your nook. From the outdoors to the bed, investing in comfy pillows is a good way to make your home feel more inviting and relaxing.

Ideally, you should get different types of pillows. For instance, you would want long pillows for your bed, throw pillows for your couch, and pillows that sit at an angle to make you more comfortable when watching movies.

Create the Right Atmosphere

To create the right atmosphere, you need to improve indoor air quality. This is important to improve your health and that of your loved ones. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the air inside most homes is more polluted than outdoor air. Mold, pet dander, pollen, and radon are some of the common pollutants inside most of our homes. Additionally, you also need to think about indoor humidity. When the air is too humid or too dry, it can have a negative effect on your health and even cause damage to your home.

To clean the indoor air, you need to clean your HVAC system. A dirty system can harbor and also circulate allergens in your home. To keep your system clean and well-maintained, you should get a full-service HVAC company to have a look at your air filter and replace it. In average homes, the filter should be changed every two to three months. However, if you’re concerned about the air quality in your home, ensure that you check your air filter every month.

Update Your Artwork

Do you remember when you last picked something new for your walls? If your walls have had the same arts and prints for the last few years or decades, then it’s time to take a tour to the art show, student sale, or art gallery, and pick some fresh pieces that speak to you. New art can go a long way in transforming your home.

Plants

While plants are aesthetically pleasing, they also have other benefits to your body and health. They act as natural purifiers by taking in the carbon dioxide in the air and releasing oxygen. By providing your inner space with fresh air, they help make your home more livable. There are several other health benefits that come with adding a plant in your home. For example, they help prevent allergies and decrease the risk of blood pressure.

Bottom line: All the above tips can help transform your home into a comfortable and livable nook. You want to live in a place where you can create memories, and there is a bonus point to creating a home that is inviting to friends and loved ones, it is also inviting to you, too! What’s more, a calm home will reduce your daily stress. By investing just a little time and money in your home, you will actually be investing more in yourself. Regardless of how much time you spend in your home, your home should be a comfort zone where you can relax. 

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Simple Ways To Create A More Relaxed Bedroom

Our bedroom should always be the most relaxed place in the house. No matter how much chaos is going on downstairs, we can retreat to our bedroom at the end of a long day, and relax. Well, at least, we should be able to do that! If your bedroom doesn’t have a relaxed atmosphere, then you’re doing something wrong. On that note, here are a few simple ways to create a more relaxed bedroom:

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Use Candles For Lighting Purposes

Candles are a fantastic addition to your bedroom. For starters, they just make the room look a lot nicer and create a more homey feel to the place. But, they can also be used to build a really relaxed atmosphere in your bedroom. Candlelight is unique in that it’s dim but also flickers slightly. It really makes you feel calm when you’re sat in a dark room that’s lit by candles. Plus, along with the dim lighting, you also get the benefit of a relaxing scent. If you go on any website that sells candles, you will find plenty that comes with a scent that’s designed to help you relax and feel calm. Basically, if you want a relaxing bedroom, you need to get your hands on some candles!

Get An Adjustable Bed

We all know that having the right bed and mattress is essential for relaxation purposes. Normally, people spend ages looking at different types of mattresses to try and find one that reaches their peak comfort levels. However, as you’ll see on the ChooseMattress website, there’s a new trend called adjustable beds. Basically, these are similar to hospital beds, only you can have them at home. As well as sleeping on a very comfortable mattress, you can adjust the bed, so you’re able to sit up and watch TV or recline in the perfect book-reading position. In essence, an adjustable bed gives you a more relaxed environment as you will feel comfortable no matter what you’re doing or what position you want to lie/sit in.

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Decorate Your Ceiling

It doesn’t matter what type of home decorating you’re doing, most people neglect their ceilings. Usually, they leave them plain and don’t give them much thought. In most rooms, this isn’t a problem. But, in the bedroom, your ceiling can be used to make the whole room feel more relaxed and calm. You can do this in many ways, but it all revolves around the same thing; painting your ceiling. If you paint your ceiling with relaxing patterns or shapes, it will help you feel nice and calm when you’re in bed every night. Some people even like to paint a night’s sky on their ceiling and have little stars up there. There’s something so peaceful about getting ready to sleep and staring at a ceiling with little stars on it. If you’re trying to relax more, think about decorating your ceiling.

 

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Bathroom Features That Scream Elegance

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The bathroom is one of the most important rooms in the house even though it doesn’t take up much of your time. The time you do spend there, however, is central to the rest of your day, so it’s only right that you feel comfortable. Comfort comes in many forms, but none are better than an elegant design. The only problem is that elegance isn’t easy to get right. Luckily, the bathroom fittings will hit the nail on the head and transform the room.

 

Here, then, are the features that have the best results in the elegance stakes.

 

Cabinets

 

Cabinets, in general, don’t come across as elegant. However, that’s because you have never thought of them in this way before. Now that you know the role they have to play, you can begin to make the necessary tweaks. In truth, it all boils down to the material. A generic material like wood is pretty basic and can be found in pretty much every house in a ten-mile radius. This isn’t very luxurious, but marble is as it is a high-quality material that is quite rare. If you decide to paint instead, make sure you choose a color with a high gloss.

 

Bidet

 

There are a few things you can think of that every bathroom has, such as a shower and a sink. Whereas these features need adjusting to add a touch of class, there are fittings that add it straight away. What are they? Well, there are a couple of examples, but the main one is a bidet. To begin with, not many people have one, which makes it luxurious in itself. Plus, its function is also pretty high end! With the help of http://www.toiletbidet.com/bidet-attachments-top-3-pick.php, it’s possible to pick one up with all the trimmings. Once you install it, the bathroom will never be the same again.

 

Lighting

 

Renovators think they have to make wholesale, sweeping changes to make a big difference. The reality is that the little things have the biggest impact. Take the lighting for example. Sure, you can switch the fixtures out to something more glamorous like a chandelier. And, it will certainly hit the target briefly. Or, you can keep the same spotlights you have now and play with the brightness. Soft lighting is much more akin to elegance because it isn’t as powerful. So, as http://www.delmarfans.com points out, it should be used to create an atmosphere in the room.

 

Space

 

Sorry, but there isn’t a bathroom on the planet that people think is elegant which is tiny. One reason anything is graceful is that it has lots of room. Think about it for a moment. Could you call a bathroom luxurious if you had to bump into your partner every morning? Or if you had no room for a simple scale? As such, it’s imperative that you use the space wisely. A great trick is to add storage options that double up as bathroom features. Another tip is to opt for a corner sink that takes up hard to reach space.

 

Do this, and your bathroom will be the envy of the whole neighborhood.

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