It is the season of pumpkins and constant reminders from the talking heads to set the clock back an hour on Sunday. Autumn has arrived. It usually takes me a couple days to set my clocks back. The clock on the car dash will be wrong, but I would rather be chastised by my son and remember that it is an hour ahead than figure out how to fix it. We gain an hour of sleep, but lose an hour of daylight to enjoy the long Autumn shadows cast by colorful trees at the end of the day. At this time of year, sellers and their agents are challenged to keep the interior bright as the sun is setting earlier. According to the National Institutes of Health, increased darkness can lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder. That’s right, SAD, the symptoms beginning in the late Autumn and Winter… daytime sleepiness, decreased energy in the afternoon, unhappiness and lethargy. These are not the feelings a seller wants to have associated with his house. So, here are some ideas to lighten things up.
Remove the solar shades.
They were installed to keep the sun out and to lower electric bills in the warmer months, but now you want that light to warm your house, and still have the effect of lowering the power bill.
Replace the dark drapes and Roman shades.
Sheer fabrics are inexpensive and lighter colors are energizing. Roman shades and some other window treatments block the sunlight even when they are fully open. Try Venetian blinds. They allow control of the amount of light coming in and can be angled to direct light at a particular area.
Light up the dark corners.
Every house has places that get little exposure to natural light. Search living areas for the dark corners and places that need a boost, and strategically place lamps on tables and floor lamps to make the place more inviting.
Increase your wattage to the maximum allowed on your lamps.
Simple and inexpensive, but immediately effective. Switch out those soft bulbs for stronger wattage, not to exceed the fixtures wattage tolerance.
On the website http://www.solatube.com/residential, you will see this, “Solatube products unite the sun with advanced engineering to bring beauty and comfort to your home. Our revolutionary daylighting and Smart LED systems utilize patented optical technologies to brighten interiors with natural light while our energy-efficient attic ventilation systems make your living space more comfortable. And that makes your home a better place to live.” Correct. Not a cheap fix, but probably not as expensive as you might imagine.
Dark walls absorb light while brighter walls tend to reflect it. It is just science. Consider lighter color choices, particularly accent walls opposite windows
The same principle as brighter paint, mirrors reflect light, and can actually create the illusion of a lighter space. A large mirror opposite a window doubles the light and smaller mirrors lining the backs of bookshelves, or several arranged on one wall will bounce the light around the room and can make the room look bigger.
Clean the windows.
Sunlight is lost through a window pane when it struggles to get through dirt, grime and soot. It is a tedious job that no one enjoys and that is why it needs doing
This blog is inspired by my father’s den.
Walt Smith, Broker
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
803 622 5210