Maximize the Natural Light

Natural Light

How to Maximize the Natural Light in Your Home

design experts


Let’s be honest…not every single room in our home is drenched with glorious sunlight. So what can you do to maximize the natural light in those rooms? We talked to some of our favorite designers to learn their lighting tricks. Read on to learn how to utilize the power of reflective surfaces, layered lighting, and oversized mirrors to lighten a room.

Reflective Surfaces

Interior Designer Jovana Halvorson of @HeyItsJovanna loathes doing laundry. The dark and cramped builder-grade laundry room in her home wasn’t exactly inspiring. So she decided to embrace the space, rethink how it could be utilized, and go all out with the design. “It’s a small space, but I knew I could make it feel grand, luxurious, and special,” shares Halvorson.

natural light

Inspired by the old-school cocktail lounges found in New York City that manage to feel luxe, textured, and inviting even in the tiniest of spaces, she developed a mood board and color palette. Rethinking the configuration and enlisting the services of custom cabinet maker Regalwood Cabinets, she was able to make the small space serve as a laundry room and butler’s pantry, complete with an ice maker, dishwasher, coffee maker, and wet bar.

To bring in some much-needed light, and to make the room sparkle, Halvorson used antique-style mirrored tile on the backsplash on both sides of the room—bouncing light off one another. “Choosing a beveled-edge tile creates even more facets and reflective surface area,” she explains.

On the rich walnut wood shelf, the vintage glassware adds to the NYC glam factor and sparkles with light. The metal hardware throughout—sink faucet, the cabinet nobs, overhead light fixture—each adds another dimension of reflection.

Layered Lighting

“I wanted bright, opulent, layered light because the room is long and narrow,” says Halvorson. Overhead, she chose a polished nickel chandelier. The shape reminds her of the sun, illuminating and warming the room. A ceiling medallion adds a traditional element to the room, painted Poolhouse by Sherwin Williams, in a semi-gloss finish.
Coordinated cabinets and trim offer yet another chance for light to subtly reflect. The ceiling and walls are also painted in the same saturated blue, but in an eggshell finish.

Big Mirrors

Oversized mirrors are a signature mark of Virginia-based interior designer Liz Mearns of Imagine Design, @LizMearns. She incorporates mirrors into virtually every room she designs. “Not only do they make a space feel larger, but they also bounce light around in a way that artwork cannot. When placed strategically, a mirror is almost like adding another window that reflects light or brings in the beauty of the outside,” explains Mearns.

Bigger is always better when it comes to mirrors, she says. Mearns employed an extra tall leaning mirror to maximize the drama in this 11-foot-tall dining room wrapped in a beautiful flora wallpaper. “The reflection of a mirror can also double the light from a candle, or the impact of a stunning chandelier,” Mearns adds.

In your own home, use mirrors to establish flow. By pulling the eye in, a mirror can encourage the transition from one room to the next.


— We shared this Maximize the Natural Light article with you in the Winter 2022 issue of NEST Magazine. To subscribe to NEST Magazine, click here  — and be sure to follow us on Instagram @NestRealty

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Posted in Asheville, Charlottesville, Fredericksburg, Global Content, Greater Louisville and Southern Indiana, Greensboro, Greenville, Jackson, Lake Norman, Morganton, NEST Magazine, New River Valley, Raleigh-Durham, Richmond, Roanoke, Shenandoah Valley, Wilmington, Winter 2022
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