We all want our homes to be practical and efficient. Things that both function properly and serve a specific purpose are the most desirable. Just because things are efficient does not mean we have to sacrifice good looks. Some of the most efficient uses of your space can be beautiful as well.
Here are five ways you can make your space more efficient and beautiful. All of these solutions can be both attractive and practical.
Use Natural Light
The most efficient light is the natural light provided by the sun. The proper placement and use of windows and even skylights makes it possible to bring in this natural light. Not all homes were originally designed with this in mind. However, you can still take advantage of what nature has to offer using a few simple tips.
- Add Better Windows: Many homes are designed with simple windows where other options will work much better. South facing windows (on homes in the Northern hemisphere) get more light. Consider replacing a standard window with another one. The cost of bay windows makes it a practical option to bring in more light and even add a seating or reading area.
- Add a Skylight: It is often possible in kitchens or bathrooms to add a skylight to bring in more natural light. Placed correctly, this can greatly enhance the look of a room without a great deal of additional cost.
- Paint Your Eaves White: Paint the underside of the eaves of your home white. This will result in reflecting more light in the windows, making rooms seem brighter.
- Use Reflective Surfaces and Paint Indoors: Choose glossier paint colors on walls to create the illusion of more light. Use mirrors in your décor to reflect more light into the room and create a feeling of depth.
The proper use of natural light can save you money on utility bills and the cost of light bulbs. Besides that, it causes the release of feel good chemicals like serotonin in your body, making it better for your mental health.
Use Creative Window Coverings
Creative window coverings can filter light in creative ways. They can also create the illusion of more light through proper placement. Curtain rods that are wider than windows allow all of the glass to be seen when they are open. This means all of the natural light the window can let in reaches the inside of your home.
Sheer curtains of various colors can be used to set the mood in almost any room. Softer blues, yellows, and greens are relaxing and create a mellow feel.
When curtains are closed, they can also increase the efficiency of your home while covering your windows in beautiful ways. Thermally insulated curtains keep heat out in the summer and heat in your home throughout the winter.
Creative coverings for your windows not only make your home more environmentally friendly and efficient, but they can be beautiful too.
Combine Décor and Storage
Remember that bay window we added? Window benches can serve not only as a great place to sit and read, but as storage areas as well. Adding pillows and even padding makes these spaces even more appealing. Wicker baskets add texture and character to a room while also offering practical storage solutions.
Tables with storage space make great accent pieces. Ottomans and entertainment centers also often offer extra space to keep unsightly or infrequently used items out of sight.
Replace Those Old Appliances
That old refrigerator from 1990 not only looks horrible and makes your kitchen appear outdated, but it is also wasting energy. Modern appliances, whether in stainless steel or various colors, come in energy saving options. These enable you to lower utility bills and are better for the environment.
Washers, dryers, and dishwashers use less water and look better. Microwaves require less power and offer shorter cook times using less energy to complete the same tasks as your old one. New stoves and ovens are not only more energy efficient, but are safer. These appliances are all available in beautiful, modern options customizable to match the rest of your home décor.
Wooden doors swell and contract with changes in humidity and temperature and often lack adequate insulation. The insulating properties they do have often deteriorates over time, letting the elements in and the heating or air conditioning in your house out.
Replacing them with modern equivalents will make your home much more efficient. Modern doors are also beautiful and much more secure than their older counterparts. Doors, just like windows, are often one of the primary issues with the efficiency of your home. Replacing them adds both beauty and value.
Just because your home is efficient and practical does not mean you need to sacrifice beauty. In fact, many practical improvements will also add value and beauty to your home. Use these five tips to get you started.