Realty Executives

Get Rid of Dark Spaces

by Susan Christy 05/26/2019

Moving into a new home is an exciting time. There is so much to do with packing up the old place, closing on the purchase, and moving in that you probably haven’t spent much time wondering what your new home is like early in the morning, or late in the afternoon. After visiting your new home just a few times during the buying process, you may be unprepared for how your home appears at different times of the day.

Then, one morning, you wake up, look around and think it’s still night because you don’t see light streaming into your home the way it did into your fourth-floor walk-up apartment. You feel the walls closing in and wonder if it was all a mistake.

What’s up with that?
If the home is older, it might have fewer windows. In an effort to conserve energy and lower heat and air conditioning bills, older home designs had less glass exposure. Of course, modern improvements to thermal windows makes this less necessary, but if you’ve purchased an older home, or are planning to, consider some of these alternatives for brightening up your space.

Lighten up!

  • Remove heavy window coverings and curtains and opt for more sheer versions or install adjustable blinds to let in more light. Not only will this brighten things up, but it will also give your home a modern, clean, minimalist vibe. Lighter colored blinds reflect more light than wood, and lighter natural woods reflect more than darker ones.
  • Shine light on the walls and the ceiling. Adding a couple of floor lamps that direct light up the walls and onto the ceiling can brighten up any room. Or, add sconces to brighten things up in dark hallways and smaller rooms. Choose lamps without shades, or with very light shades to maximize the brightness.
  • Use paint to add light to the room. Interior paints are rated by their LRV (light reflective values). Before choosing a paint color, learn where it falls on the scale (from zero to 100%). Paint dealers can help you choose colors that have a higher LVR so that your home reflects more light. Often, the LRV is listed in the color “fanbook” or on the paint swatch. The higher the value, the more light reflects into the room.
    Consider buying sample sizes and paint swatches on the walls so that you can view the paint in all light ranges throughout the day. If painting swatches on your walls makes you cringe, hang up a piece of butcher paper and paint the swatches on it. That way, you can quickly take it down when your mother-in-law pops in for an unexpected visit.
  • Make glass and metal your friend. Reflective surfaces found in mirrors, blown glass decorations, and metallic art helps bounce light around the room. Placing two mirrors opposite each other gives infinite reflections that open a room or give life to a dark hallway. Or, place crystal vases or brass candle holders in the darker area. Frame photos and art with metallic frames.
  • In the kitchen and bath, add reflective surfaces such as glass or metallic tile to backsplashes and showers. Chrome reflects more that brushed surfaces such as nickel, so opt for those in your bath and kitchen fixtures.
  • If renovations are in your future, consider a more open concept, enlarging windows, or adding skylights to increase your light exposure.
  • Pay attention to your landscaping as well. Older homes often come with mature trees that cast larger shadows. Give yourself the opportunity to experience all four seasons before removing them, though, because that shade might come in handy in the warmer months.

Check with your real estate professional for recommendations on local contractors to help with addressing structural changes and extensive landscaping alterations.

About the Author
Author

Susan Christy

Hello, and thank you for visiting!

When it comes to real estate experience, few compare to Susan Christy. As a full-time Realtor for over 30 years, Susan has been successfully selling and finding homes for her clients since 1987, and her in-depth knowledge of the real estate process is hard to match. There are few challenges Susan hasn’t experienced and successfully resolved. She has not only the expertise to seamlessly close a real estate transaction, but the personal skills to instill a comfortable confidence, putting her clients at ease. She carefully listens, puts a plan in place, and follows through to the close of escrow and beyond. Susan is the real estate professional with the tact and skill to negotiate the highest return for her sellers and best possible price for her buyers: the true professional you want on your side.  

Susan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Education from Arizona State University and taught special education for four years prior to beginning her real estate career in 1987. She was raised in the Arcadia area of East Phoenix, where she has also raised her two daughters. Susan has been affiliated with Realty Executives for over 20 years, among the most highly respected real estate brokerages in Arizona, and has garnered many honors for superior sales performance, including the Phoenix Association of Realtors President’s Roundtable, Realty Executives 100% Club and Executive Club awards and the Realtor.com Online Marketing Award of Excellence. In addition, her superior performance has earned her membership in the Top Agent Network (TAN), as well as the CLHMS (Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist) and National Association of Realtors BPOR (Broker Price Opinion Resource) designations. She maintains active membership in the Luxury Home Tour Inc. of Arizona and the Arcadia Camelback Tour.  

Specializing in Phoenix, Arcadia, Scottsdale, and Paradise Valley, but experienced and able to assist with real estate needs in nearly all areas of the Valley, her goal is to provide superior service second to none. Her clients can expect expert representation, communication, and negotiation skills from contract to close, intensive attention to detail throughout all phases of the real estate transaction, and above all, integrity and professionalism. She is: Client Focused. Results Driven. Please feel free to contact Susan at any time to discuss how she can best assist you with your real estate needs.