A brightly lit living room that is decorated with reflective surfaces and mirrors that leave small specks of dispersed sunlight rainbows across the room isn’t just the perfect decor for the living room — it’s also a sure shot way to keeping your spirits high throughout the day.
In big cities where finding an apartment of your choice is anyway a task of the highest order, we recommend keeping one requirement consistent throughout your search — natural light.
Having spent most of the past year indoors, natural light has now become more important than ever. And this is not just for pictures that go on the gram. But for the essential nourishment that our minds and bodies get from natural light.
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Why direct natural light you ask?
In big cities like New York, where finding an apartment you like is one of the biggest tasks you’ll go through in your 20s, finding one that fits into your budget will probably end up feeling like a complete blessing.
Sure you’ll make some compromises to find an apartment that fits your budget. But we would recommend getting a place that has some form of direct sunlight or other. Why?
☀️ Direct natural sunlight increases focus and productivity. It has also been proven great for decreasing anxiety and increasing immunity!
- Natural light during the morning and evening have been recorded to increase focus, and help you be more productive during the day.
- There have also been ample studies that indicate the positive effects natural light has on controlling blood pressure levels when penetrating from the skin to the molecular level of our blood cells.
If people are exposed to light in the morning that mimics the wavelengths of daylight, they become better at coping with anxiety-provoking experiences. The light simply improves the communication between the regions of the brain that are central to our handling of emotions such as stress and anxiety,” says Ph.D. fellow Brenda Mc Mahon, MD, of the Neurobiology Research Unit at the Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark.
- Natural light also plays an integral role in keeping our immunity, eyesight, and moods in check. Since it is a natural source of vitamin D, it acts as the fool-proof cure to seasonal affective disorder too!
How do I work with natural light to amplify my apartment decor?
In bigger cities like New York, where coming across any apartment at all is a big task, we recommend all our readers to not be dissuaded by the lack of big windows, or the absence of a killer view.
These things might seem like a drawback in the beginning and you’d probably feel like you are settling for less, but a smaller window, with limited potential of what one may refer to as a “killer view”, isn’t the worst thing your apartment could have.
Moreover, we’ve got some pretty easy apartment hacks — that can make even the smallest windows in your apartment act like the best decor ever!
☀️ Start by furnishing with light colours.
Pick a lighter color as often as you can. Making this philosophy the basis of your apartment decor will result in a brighter space, even before the sunlight hits in. Whiter and lighter shades naturally reflect light, and darker shades do the exact opposite.
Pay special attention to your floor, as it receives the most amount of sunlight. This includes the rugs too!
☀️ Make decluttering your mantra, as well as the staple piece in your apartment decor.
Whether your apartment has one small window or 10 large ones, it’s best to keep this place clear and without any obstruction to allow ample light to pass through. This is by far the easiest way to maximize light in your room. It is also (one of) the best possible things you can do for the indoor plants you might be interested in keeping!
Oh and also, regular cleaning of your window area means you are ensuring that the source, as well as the path of light, remains clean.
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☀️ Use the following strategies for reflective and non reflective items:
When it comes to window treatments like blinds and stains, we recommend treating them as lightly as possible.
Ditch the blinds and opt for lighter shades for your curtains. This is especially important if your ultimate goal is to use natural light as an apartment decor piece. Bonus? You wouldn’t have to switch your lights on!
Some of us may be giving up on some much-desired privacy if we keep all our windows open all day. A better option for those of us would be to opt for lighter blinds. These don’t completely restrict light from entering your apartment. And get their job done! Also, slivers of light penetrating through lighter blinds look pretty darn cool.
A. THE LESS SHADOW AN ITEM CREATES THE BETTER
Using reflective objects like glass for cabinet doors, vases, and shelves are one of the simplest ways to create an airy atmosphere for your apartment. You can also dress these pieces up or down, depending on the season or festival!
B. MAXIMISE NATURAL LIGHT BY PLACING MIRRORS AND REFLECTIVE ITEMS ON THE EAST-WEST AREAS.
We recommend doing this as the sun focuses on each of your east and west walls for half the day.
C. TRACK WHERE BEAMS OF LIGHT HIT AND ADD REFLECTIVE PIECES THERE.
This one’s quite simple. You’re the new mayor of Natural Light City. ?
☀️ Take on a small DIY construction project if you’re staying here for a while.
If there’s a certain room of your apartment that you never need to close the door of, consider removing the door completely.
Or! Replace your pre-existing doors with French doors that can be opened completely, letting in ample amounts of light during the day, across all rooms!
And finally, here are our best hacks to turn your apartment into a home, on a budget!!