How to Brighten the Rooms in Your Santa Cruz Home

Posted by Lauren Spencer on Sunday, February 20th, 2011 at 11:01pm.

Ideally, to make a room light and bright you want a lot of large windows that let in natural light. Unfortunately, most of us don’t have large windows in every room of our Santa Cruz homes.  So, what do we do to brighten those dark rooms?

Increase Natural Light

If a room has one large window, make the most of this natural light by placing a mirror opposite that window.  The mirror will scatter and reflect the ambient daylight throughout the room.

Add Artificial Light

Another great way to lighten window-challenged rooms in your Santa Cruz home is to add artificial ambient lighting.  Ambient lighting, whether natural or artificial, sets the tone and mood of each room. Here are several ways to add artificial ambient light to your rooms:

• Recessed fixtures:  Recessed fixtures throw light downward in a cone shape, so place them in an evenly spaced grid pattern.  This allows pools of light to overlap and provide consistent lighting.

• Chandeliers:  A chandelier can overpower a room if it’s too big or seem out of proportion if it’s too small.  To calculate the best size chandelier for your room, measure the width of the room in feet.  Double that number to get the diameter of the ideal chandelier in inches.  For example, a room that’s 10 feet wide should have a chandelier no wider than 20 inches in diameter.

• Surface-mounted fixtures:  Unlike recessed fixtures, surface-mounted fixtures do not disappear into the ceiling or wall.  If you want to achieve a unified look, match the color of the surface-mounted light with the color of the ceiling or wall. Surface-mounted lights come in a wide range of styles.  They can be very functional fluorescent types with white diffusing plastic covers or decorative crystal designs that add sparkle and drama to the foyers and hallways.

The best ambient lighting is subtle lighting that comes from all directions and softens the look of your room, making it more livable.

Looking for a Santa Cruz home with a lot of windows or well-place ambient lighting?  I can help.  Call me today at 831.662.6522 or email me at

For additional real estate information please visit my website at


Ambient lighting

Evenly spaced grid pattern

Best size chandelier


About Lauren Spencer

Award-Winning Santa Cruz REALTOR®

Lauren Spencer is your local real estate expert, specializing in Santa Cruz real estate and surrounding communities—this is where she lives, works, and plays too. Let her know your questions about the community and county and she'll be happy to fill you in on all you want to know! Lauren Spencer has consistently been voted best local REALTOR in Santa Cruz and is always happy to offer her advice and expertise. Call her at: 800.226.4717.

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