6 ways to bring sunlight indoors

6 ways to bring sunlight indoors

If some of the rooms in your home are on the dark side and could do with brightening up, there are lots of different tricks you can use to bring sunlight indoors.

Two Velux-type windows in a bedroom

Skylights

Installing a skylight or Velux-type window has one of the most dramatic effects possible, allowing sunlight to flood in from the open sky above. They really can transform a space from dark & dingy to light & airy. There are lots of attractive blinds on the market specifically for this type of window from manufacturers such as Roofwindows.co.uk.

Bathroom with a mirrored wall

Mirrors

Mirrors are a great, inexpensive way of increasing the amount of sunlight coming into your home. Placed strategically opposite a window, they bounce and reflect light around a space. They work especially well on dark stairways and bathrooms.

Desk and chair against a brilliant white wall

Reflective walls

Various companies have developed interior wall paints which contain light-reflective particles. It’s a subtle, clever way to maximise natural light entering the property.

Glazed internal sliding doors

Glazed doors

Glazed doors (both exterior and interior) can make a real difference to the amount of light entering a house and dispersing it throughout the rooms contained within. B&Q have a huge range of glazed doors – traditional, folding and sliding. Similarly, glazed wall panels can divide up larger open plan spaces – creating defined zones for living without blocking light. They’ll need to be made of toughened glass if safety considerations demand it of course – small children or boisterous pets running round, for example.

Daylight bulbs

Daylight bulbs

If you have a room that is windowless and at the centre of the house, you can easily fake natural sunlight these days. There are now specialist bulbs on the market that mimic sunlight, illuminating your room with a sunny glow.

Open-plan living area

Remove unnecessary partition walls

If it’s not load-bearing, removing a wall won’t require the installation of an RSJ – and should be relatively inexpensive. If it’s made of plasterboard rather than solid stone or concrete it’s even easier! Removing walls between kitchen and dining rooms has become common practice. One of the major benefits of this is to allow light to flow between the front and back of the house. Other common areas where this can have a dramatic ‘opening up’ effect is the hallway, landing and larder areas.

Can you think of any other great ways to bring sunlight indoors? We’d really love to hear your thoughts.

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Tips for transforming your bedroom into a relaxing space

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colourful bedroom with tree patterned wallpaper

Your bedroom should be a safe haven, a place where you can relax, unwind and forget about the troubles and stresses of the world outside. However, many of us don’t maximise on the space that we have to make into the sanctuary that we both need and deserve. To make your bedroom more relaxing, there are several changes you can make to improve on the quality of your rest, which can improve your overall health as well as your emotional and mental well-being. Here are some ways that you can make your bedroom more relaxing.

desk space in a bedroom

Make space to sit

If your bedroom is big enough and you have the room to play around a bit, then you should consider making a little seating area in your bedroom. Many of us just end up sprawling across the bed to read or mess around on our laptops, but this can affect our sleep patterns because we end up associating the bed with mental activity when it should be associated with rest.

Either bring in a chair or small sofa, or do something even simpler like put some cushions on your windowsill to make a nifty window seat. This is a great way to make your bedroom a more relaxing space, giving you a place to curl up and unwind.

cream bedding with yellow ochre throw and coloured cushions

Invest in a new bed and mattress

Your bed is extremely important, so it’s crucial that it’s of a high quality and provides you with the right level of comfort and support so you get the most out of your rest. If you’ve been sleeping less well lately, or have noticed that you’re tossing and turning more in the night and waking up feeling less rested, then it may be time for a new bed and mattress.

A high quality bed and mattress can transform your sleep and rejuvenate you. Visit Bedstar for more information, and see if you can find a new bed and mattress that suits your needs. They provide a wide range of bed frames and help you find the best mattress with their online questionnaire. Ordering a bed from Bedstar online will also guarantee you next day delivery, so you don’t have to worry about when your new bed will arrive.

Bedroom with cream colour scheme

Create an atmosphere

At the moment, does your bedroom really feel like a place where you can relax or is it just somewhere to put your head down at the end of the day?

Redecorating your bedroom can be a great way to create a relaxing atmosphere. For example, painting the walls in a calming colour can help you to unwind at night, and lighting can also be used to help you wind down in time for bed. By investing in some dimmer lights or soft bedside lamps, you can transform your bedroom into a serene and relaxing space.

Remember that your bedroom should be your sanctuary, rather than just another room in your house. By making a few simple changes, you can make your bedroom a more relaxing space, giving you somewhere to rest and refresh yourself.

How to make a home more comfortable in hot weather

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M House designed by Jamie Falla Architecturecredit

Depending on whereabouts you live, the summer months can be unbearably hot or a bit of a washout. Obviously, if your local climate is cool, damp and miserable, your main problem will be staying warm not cool, but if your summer is likely to be hot and humid, you need to take the necessary steps to ensure your home is comfortable.

There are lots of efficient ways to keep a home nice and cool when the weather is hot. Some are very simple; others are more expensive. Either way, it’s definitely worth spending a bit of time getting your home ready before the hot weather arrives or you could end up suffering in the heat.

Black and white photo of a woman and an early air conditioning unitcredit

Install air conditioning

They may be expensive, but air conditioning systems are the most effective way of keeping a home nice and cool when the temperatures rise. An air conditioning system is essentially a climate control device. It can be set to whatever temperature you prefer, be it reasonably warm or freezing cold. You can also adjust the temperature in different rooms, so if you prefer sleeping in a cool bedroom but prefer the living areas to be a few degrees warmer, air conditioning is ideal.

However, in order for an air conditioning system to run efficiently, it does need to be regularly maintained. Filters need to be checked once a month and replaced if necessary. Regular maintenance will improve the quality of the air circulating through your home and ensure the system runs economically. For best results, schedule air conditioning maintenance with an AC repair company in the spring so that any problems can be dealt with before the temperatures soar through the roof. That way you can enjoy a nice cool home even when it’s baking hot outdoors.

Vintage image showing man and woman inspecting a room thermostatcredit

Set the thermostat to the right temperature

It might be tempting to switch off the air conditioning if you’re leaving town for a few days, but this is a false economy. If you do switch it off, your home will soon heat up when it is hot outdoors and by the time you come home, the place will feel like an oven. Sure, it will soon cool down once the air conditioning kicks in, but the system will be placed under immense strain as a result. For this reason it’s much better to have the air conditioning running 24/7.

For best results, set the thermostat to a lower temperature at night when you need to sleep, and then turn it up during the day when you’re in and out or not at home. This will place less strain on your climate control system and help it to run more economically.

ceiling fan in a bedroomcredit

Buy some fans

Electric fans are a quick way of cooling a room down when the weather is hot. Fans don’t actually cool the air down, but they do circulate it throughout a space, so a fan makes the room feel a lot more comfortable. If it is a warm and sticky night, plug a fan in so you can enjoy a gentle breeze wafting over the bed. It might be a bit noisy, but many people find that white noise helps them fall asleep.

Window with 'Air conditioning works best with windows closed' noticecredit

Close the windows

Don’t open the windows if the weather is hot. All this does is let the warm air in, not to mention the insects. Try and keep windows and doors closed during the day – especially if you have the air conditioning turned up. It’s OK to open windows at night, however, as this will provide much-needed ventilation.

White sitting room with white curtains closedcredit

Shut the blinds and curtains

Always close blinds and curtains to keep the sun out when it’s hot. The thicker the curtains, the better, as thick fabric will block the sun more effectively. Some blinds are made from reflective fabrics, which is useful in rooms with a lot of direct sun, so consider buying this type of blind when you remodel your home.

Garden art galery built into a tall hedgecredit

Create shade outdoors

A useful way of cooling a home down is to plant trees and foliage on the side of the property that gets the most sun. Trees and shrubs don’t grow overnight, but in the long-term they’ll be a valuable sunshade. If this isn’t possible, you should definitely make good use of blinds and curtains instead.

As long as you’re careful, it should be possible to keep your home reasonably cool, even during very hot spells. And if you’re in the middle of a heatwave, stay out of the sun as much as possible and drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated.

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Star buy!

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vintage Seth Thomas starburst clock

This wonderful vintage starburst clock was our ‘star buy’ at yesterday’s auction.

Also referred to as sunburst clocks, this one has a brushed metal face with a radial pattern of wooden star/sun rays.

vintage Seth Thomas starburst clock

Produced by the very good maker Seth Thomas in the 1960s, it wasn’t cheap – but it’s a great example. The condition is superb and it’s keeping perfect time.

vintage Seth Thomas starburst clock on our bedroom wall

The clock seems very happy in our bedroom. We know we shouldn’t be keeping shop stock, but it won’t do any harm to look at it for a while.

The modern, stylised shape and brushed metal is softened by the warm wood, providing a great link between old & new when going for that eclectic look.

vintage Metamec starburst clock

We already have an example of this type of clock in our top floor lounge/bedroom.

detail of vintage Metamec starburst clock

It dates from the same period, but this one is made by Metamec.

vintage Metamec starburst clock on our upstairs lounge stone wall

This one was also bought as shop stock – two years ago!!

Put in the shade!

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collection of vintage lamps including a pair of olive green Poole Pottery cubes, one tall, teak Danish example and a lime green glass pear shaped base

We’ve bought lots of lamp bases recently and have been trying to marry them up with shades that we also pick up from time to time.

large white vintage geometric table lamp base topped with a vintage Genia Sapper "Heidi" fabric shade

We think this combination really works. We bought this original 1960s/70s white pottery base at a market last week. We already had the Genia Sapper Heidi pattern shade… and hey presto, a match made in heaven!

diptych image of vintage Danish teak lamp base with two different shades

We had a couple of options available for this vintage Scandinavian teak base. Both have natural tones in hessian type materials. Each works fine… but we’re not sure that either is the perfect shape & size.

detail from vintage Danish teak lamp base

The actual base is stunning though, with its tactile sculptural form – very Dansk Designs actually.

pair of small, olive green, cube-shaped vintage Poole Pottery lamp bases with geometric pattern decoration

We’ve just acquired two of these geometric pottery bases. They were produced by Poole Pottery in the 1960s.

detail from pair of small, olive green, cube-shaped vintage Poole Pottery lamp bases with geometric pattern decoration

The bases are the stars of the show here, so we’ll keep it simple for the shades. We’ve got some of those cylindrical off-white fibreglass shades, which are a pretty good fit… but a slate grey fabric would be perfect.

vintage pear shaped lime green glass lamp base

…and then there’s this stunning lime green glass shade – possibly by Holmgaard. This base is quite tricky – we’re not even sure what we’re looking for – but it will jump out at us one day!!!

Take a seat!

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vintage leatherette Art Deco 3-piece suite

We’re super-pleased with this purchase we made on Thursday. We’ve been on the hunt for a club chair for some time…

vintage leatherette Art Deco 3-piece suite

…then not only did we get a club chair, we got two club chairs… and a matching 2-seater sofa!!

It’s an original 1930s Art Deco suite, re-upholstered in the 1960s in a tan leatherette. Fantastic shape, comfortable with lovely stud detailing.

And a little extra… the lady who sold it says it was re-covered in the same leatherette as was used for Concorde. We’re trying to track down some old photos from the plane or Concorde airport lounge interior.

vintage leatherette Art Deco 3-piece suite

Fudge approves – and has made himself very much at home!

vintage leatherette Art Deco 3-piece suite

It’s found a home in our top floor bedroom/lounge. We spent the entire day re-arranging everything to accommodate it.

vintage leatherette Art Deco 3-piece suite

It was worth it though… there’ll be many books read in these chairs…  cups of tea /glasses of wine drunk, crackling fires watched.  We love it already!