Interior design gets more complicated if an apartment doesn’t get enough sunlight. If it’s a north-facing apartment, or an apartment with no windows, you need to put your thinking cap on. Here are some design strategies if you’re faced with an apartment that gets minimal sunlight.
Light Colors Reflect More Light
The paint or wallpaper you use in this type of apartment is critical. Light colors should be applied to every wall and the ceiling. White is preferable, because it reflects the most light. Darker colors for paint or wallpaper will only compound the problem in an apartment that’s not well-lit. Any artwork or paintings that go on the walls should maintain the light color scheme as well.
Lots of Interior Lighting
It can’t make up for direct sunlight, but interior lighting is another important factor. A light bulb in the middle of the ceiling in each room doesn’t cut it. Install floor lamps in darker corners of the apartment, or use standing lamps to add more light. If you have the option, install additional ceiling lights near the walls to brighten the room up. A row of lower-wattage bulb fixtures, aimed at the wall, works best. Facing them towards the wall serves to make them less obtrusive overall.
Installing lights that protrude from the wall can help considerably to lighten up a room. The light from these is reflected from the ceiling as well as the walls. The kitchen and back bedrooms can be especially dark in this type of apartment, so put some thought into providing additional interior lighting in these rooms.
Light-Colored Framing and Trim
The framing around doors and windows, kitchen cabinets and other wood surfaces should use lighter colors. Remember, it’s all about reflecting available light in a low-sun apartment. Every little bit helps. Darker wood frames and trim make the room darker, while lighter colors and stains on your woodwork do the opposite.
Mirrors to Reflect Light
The use of large mirrors on the walls can complement an apartment that gets minimal sunlight. Like the light paint scheme, mirrors can serve to reflect more light from the sources you do have. Positioning these takes a little work. If you use mirrors, make sure they’re situated in locations that won’t shine in your eyes all the time. They have to be installed with the existing interior lighting in mind, so they can work in conjunction with each other.
Plants to Brighten up the Room
Adding some shade plants to a low sunlight apartment can help to brighten up the rooms. Try hanging plants suspended in baskets from the ceiling, or a taller plant, such as a small tree, in the corner. Keep in mind that even heavy shade plants require some sunlight, so this option might not work for an apartment that has no windows.
If you have an apartment that gets minimal sunlight, it doesn’t have to feel like a dungeon. You just have to get more creative with your interior design to make it work.