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Morris Williams Realty
Chase Away Dark Spaces

by Lynn Ganster, PA 01/14/2019

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
Lynn Ganster, PA

It all began when I was 18 years old and my soon to be husband and I were searching for our first home. I loved the idea that I could be part of someones life experience but I had a life to live before acting on that idea! I never knew much about the industry, but after seeing the process firsthand of a difficult transaction my husband and I were involved in and how important each part of the ordeal was for both my husband, myself, and the owner, I knew it was something that I wanted to be a part of. Of course, I didn’t pursue real estate until I was finally able to dive in back in 2004, but it’s been a passion for as long as I can remember.

I can sit here and tell you that I have strong negotiating skills, local market knowledge, and so forth – and of course, I do – but one thing I want to share with you, the thing that is the most important tool I can provide you in your home sale or purchase is my passion. I didn’t get into the industry to make money. I got into the industry because I fell in love with it. I fell in love with homes, the character each one had, and the beautiful people I got to help transition from one home to another. I fell in love with hearing people's stories, really getting to know their needs for their futures, and focusing on ensuring that they found a home that actually met those future goals.

Real estate can be a stressful thing, moving out of a home you’ve known for years can be hard, and it can be harder if you don’t have someone to partner with who doesn’t take the time to understand that. My business goes beyond the professionalism I can bring to the table, my years of knowledge about our local market and communities, and past the number of sales I’ve made thus far. Instead, it prioritizes you. How much can you afford? What motivates your move? What do you HAVE to have to make this big transition in your life?

You need a real estate agent who understands that, and seeks to know the answer to those questions, and all of the other important ones that make buying and selling a reality for you. Let’s grab coffee or lunch, on me, and we’ll talk about your real estate goals. I’ll get to know your needs, I’ll share the amazing experience I can provide, and we’ll make sure your next move is in the right direction. You need more than a computer to find your dream home, you need a professional partner who has your best interest at heart from the moment you call to even after we close. I’m doing more than just selling houses in Florida, I’m helping you bring your dream home to life.