How to Add Natural Light to a Room


One of the first assessments I make in a room is the quality and quantity of natural light entering the space. Adding in natural light can truly transform a room. It is key in creating a welcoming + comforting environment. I always get feedback from my clients like, 

“Wow! I never knew how to add natural light to this room, or I never thought it was possible!”

Oftentimes, changing the light fixtures, adding in bigger windows, or receiving a window treatment is transformative for a space. Today we are going to discuss simple ways you can add more natural light to a room, as well as  some solutions with a bigger impact but would require a professional for installation.

Adding Natural Light to a Room

how to add natural light to a room by J. Reiko Design + Co.

DIY Ways to Add in Natural Light

  • A simple way to make a room feel brighter is to paint the room a lighter color. Lighter colors are more reflective so it bounces around natural light coming in. It makes your space feel more open and airy. 

  • Another DIY trick you can do is adding more mirrors into a space. This will also give a similar effect to the lighter wall colors. It will reflect light, and make the space feel more open. Try putting the mirror directly across from a window to maximize its effect. 
How to add natural light to a room and space

Professional Ways to Add in Natural Light

  • Add window treatments. This will allow for light in, but also provide protection from light damage to fabric or upholstery. It will also allow privacy and let light in depending on the treatment you receive. This blog by Innuwindow explains the kinds of treatments well. It is important to understand your priorities (privacy vs. light filtering) when selecting window treatments. Personally, I love light and can’t seem to get enough of it so I always go for a simple roller shade that offers some privacy, but won’t prevent diffused light from entering my space. Find your perfect balance! 

  • Add in skylights. Another way to add more light into a space is by adding skylights. Skylights will help make your space feel even more bright as the ceiling is no longer dark and with shadows. The skylight adds more light into the top of the room, making the entire space feel lighter and more open. Skylights add lots of light to a space without sacrificing any privacy.
  • Add in Solatube. A cheaper alternative to skylights is solatube. You can add solatube light fixtures on to your ceiling to give the same effect skylights give. This technology requires a small roof penetration but directs sunlight down a mirrored tunnel, amplifying its effect.
  • Replace Windows with Larger Ones.  If you are ready to go all in with your home design project and really want more light, I suggest replacing your windows with larger ones. Floor to ceiling windows will always add more natural light into your space and can be part of the construction process. Windows and doors should be a key component of your architectural design, so I recommend speaking with a professional if this the path you choose.

See how we added more light into the Crabapple Street Project by removing a separating wall to take advantage of light provided by these floor to ceiling windows.

Alternatives to Natural Light

How to add natural light to a room

If you are unable to tackle the suggestions above, or if you are looking for simple ways to add more light – proper artificial lighting can go a long way. I always suggest layering light into your space, giving you versatility and control. 

Here are some simple ways to add more light to the space: 

  • Replace your standard light switches with dimmer switches. This allows you to control the light you are adding to your space. You can raise or lower the light easily, customizing it to your liking. 

  • Add in accent lights like table lamps, floor lamps, etc. This will subtly add more light when you choose to. Overhead lighting is the best and easiest way to add general lighting to a space, but it can often feel harsh or overwhelming. Adding accent lights or lamps allows you to have softer light when you don’t need/want overhead lighting. 

Adding light to a space will always help it feel more welcoming. It can seem daunting to consider how to add more natural light to a room, but there are some very simple ways to accomplish it. If you’re ready to take the next step, have questions or want to start a design project, head over to my contact page to set up an in-home consult. 

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