Light up your home with a new windowThe depths of winter are when we really notice that the lovely home that we bought in the middle of summer is actually a cave in winter.

Natural light is so important for our well-being, and our dull, dreary winters often leave us desperate for spring and sunlight. If your home is particularly short on daylight there are alterations that you can do to make your home brighter. Here are a few suggestions that we might be able to help you with:

Glass is your friend
Add windows and glass doors to flood your room with extra light. Kitchens and lounges are the obvious places, but don’t forget halls, stairs and landings. They’re often dark, but can help light the rest of your house. Skylights and Light Tubes are also wonderful ways to get more light into your home.

Remove obstructions
Do you really need that door or that wall? If not, consider having them removed. Small rooms are notorious for being dark, so taking down unnecessary partitions will instantly open up your house and maximise on space and light.

Clever decorating
Painting your wall a light, bright colour will instantly lift a dark room, but sometimes it just isn’t enough. If this is the case for you, why not consider embracing the dark and enhancing it? Use deep colours that will make your room oh so cosy, but fill it with atmospheric lighting such as candles, lamps and spotlights. Gorgeous textures will also work well, and will add a luxurious feel to this kind of room.

To find out if your house is suitable for alterations such as adding windows, skylights and light tubes, or removing partitions, give us a call on 01234 765050 and we can help.


The righlight fittingst lighting can make or break a room, but more than that – if you get it wrong you can suffer headaches, sore eyes and frustration. Do your research before deciding how you should light your home and consider how the natural light will affect your choices.
The aspect of each room will greatly affect how you will use it and what lighting choices you should make. South facing rooms are ideal as the hub of the home. Natural light will flood in all day and if we’re lucky with the weather, may even be too bright during summer months, so it’s also worth considering some blinds. If your home could work better for you if it was arranged differently internally, it might be easier that you think to move some walls or doors – contact us for a no obligation chat.
East and north facing rooms receive little direct sunlight throughout the main part of the day, so you will need more artificial lighting in these rooms, whilst west facing rooms receive the afternoon and evening light. Taking this into account when you plan how you will live in your home will mean you get the best use out of the rooms you have.
Whatever way your rooms face and whatever natural light they receive you’ll be able to find artificial lighting that suits your home and your lifestyle. The living room is where you’re likely to spend most of your time; it’s frequently used for family get togethers, listening to music, watching TV, relaxation, playing and entertaining. Flexibility is key here – make use of dimmer switches that give you the option of turning down the light to watch an atmospheric film, lamps for sitting under to read a good book or do a crossword, and brighter lights to play a board game.
Kitchens and kitchen diners are also well used rooms. You’ll need to consider the practicalities of being able to see properly when you’re cooking, as well as the aesthetics. A great way to solve this issue is to install under unit lights. Halogen bulbs are very effective for this. They’ll create a bright, clear light so you can see exactly what you’re doing without having to strain your eyes. The rest of your kitchen can be lit with ambient lighting, especially if you use it as a dining area.
Dining rooms often need two sets of lighting. Over the table you’ll want a direct light so guests and family can see each other and their food. However, if you’re fond of long dinner parties then you might want a more ambient effect with separate lamps that will provide a cosy, relaxing atmosphere in which to socialise.
How you light your hallway is important, as this is the first impression of your home. Welcome visitors with warm lighting that gently accentuates your hallway, rather than harsh lighting. If you have access to natural light, make the most of it by keeping window dressing to a minimum. Maybe removing a door will help? That might sound drastic, but it’s something we’re often asked to do, and the results can be quite astounding, with natural light flooding into a previously dark and dingy space.
What type of lighting you choose in a hallway will depend greatly on the size of your space and the height of your ceiling. If you have a long hall, consider more than one ceiling light. If you’re lucky enough to have high ceilings, you might like to consider making a feature of your lighting and hanging a chandelier, or maybe a multi-light pendant. If your ceiling is lower, you’ll need to choose lights that fit as flush to the ceiling as possible, or avoid inviting tall people into your house!


For narrow halls, avoid wall lights as they’ll create an obstruction and narrow your usable space even further. For a modern twist, you could consider spotlights in your skirting board – if you have an idea for something different, we can quite often help to make it a reality – just ask.


The bathroom is where people do the most personal grooming and should be brightly lit, maybe with halogen bulbs or spot lights. This kind of light accentuates the shiny surfaces in the bathroom, creating a crisp, clean look, but can be quite harsh for long, relaxing baths, but a smattering of candles will solve this.
A mix of lighting works well in the bedroom. Make use of dimmer switches so you can adjust how bright you have the lights. The main overhead lighting should be soft and warm, so you can relax, but with separate bed side lamps for reading in the evening. Having these wired in so you can control either bedside lamp is a boon if your partner is prone to falling asleep whilst reading! Having to get out of a warm cosy bed to switch off someone else’s bedside lamp isn’t conducive to a relaxing bedtime routine!
If you’re in the process of re-modelling your home or maybe you’re planning on building your own home, take some time to consider exactly how you’d like your home to be, and then talk to a builder such as KJ Hill. We can help you turn your dream into reality, or explain why it just isn’t possible, and maybe suggest an alternative – but either way, you’re one step closer to your dream home, rather than a carbon copy of every other house in your street. It doesn’t have to be a complete remodelling project like an extension, but maybe partitioning an open plan living space will make your home work for you better, or converting your garage or loft will create a room that would be of so much more benefit that the higgledy piggledy storage space that it may be currently. Go on, set your imagination free and dare to be different!

To discuss your needs, contact us today!

K.J. Hill are commercial and residential builders in Bedford, operating contracts across the Midlands, East of England and London. We are skilled in loft conversations, garage conversions, residential extensions, new build houses, new build flats, pebble dash render as well as renovation of care homes, offices and more! Check out our residential and commercial testimonials to find out what our clients think of us. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn