Natural light can do wonders for the body: sunshine can help boost your mood, trigger your body’s production of vitamin D, and can even lower blood pressure and improve brain function. But did you know that natural light can also benefit your home? Not only may you be able to save on electricity bills, but it can make you more productive, happier, and calmer, even when you’re spending time inside, away from the heat.

But what can you do if your house’s rooms are always dark or shaded? Here are 9 changes you can make to your home to help allow more natural light in.

1- Make the best use out of reflective surfaces.

A mirror or two can add tons of light to your house, as long as you place them strategically. For the best effect, prop or hang them opposite windows so that they disperse sunshine throughout the room.

2- Paint the walls a light color.

If your walls are painted a dark color, you may want to consider switching things up. Dark hues can make a room look darker, whereas an off-white wall will reflect sunlight better.

3- Rethink your door.

This tip may not be the first one you think of when trying to bring more light into your home, but a door with a glass pane can allow more of it inside. If you’re concerned with safety, consider high-security glass.

4- Move furniture around.

If you have room to do it, move furniture around, a few feet away from windows. This can go a long way, especially if you have a piece of furniture blocking the sunlight!

5- Consider other flooring options.

Dark floors can absorb natural light, which may make your room look darker. Carpets may have a similar effect. Wooden, ceramic or stone floors with a polished finish are the best options to help disperse light better throughout your rooms.

6- Clean windows, replace them if you can, and change up the curtains.

This is perhaps one of the most important tips on this list. A first step is making sure that your windows are clean so that they can let the light in: grime and soot accumulate over time, decreasing the amount of light they’re letting in. If your windows are frosted or have parts that block out the light, consider changing the style of your windows. Similar to flooring and carpeting, dark curtains can absorb light more than you think, so invest in some light-colored curtains, too!

7- Add a skylight.

If you’re planning to make renovations on your home, you may want to think about adding a skylight. Not only will it let more light in, but it can add more character to a room!

8- Trim trees and shrubs.

Sure, shade may be a great thing in the summertime, but overgrown shrubs and trees in your yard may be casting a much bigger shadow than you think, preventing any sunlight from streaming into your home. A little trimming can go a long way!

9- Knock down a wall.

If you have the time, resources, and energy to make major renovations to your house, consider knocking down a wall. This is a huge step, and there are many considerations before making such a huge decision. But if the circumstances are right, knocking down a wall can do more than just let in a little more light: it can open up a room, create a communal space, and be the first step to creating your dream home! Check out NeighborWho’s guide on when, how, and why to knock down the wall if you’re seriously thinking about doing so.

Letting more light into your home can be an easy, budget-friendly way to revamp its look and style. It may take a few tries, but you may be thrilled with the results!

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