Florida is known for the warmth of the sun’s rays. With an average of 237 sunny days each year compared to the US average of 205 and its proximity to the equator, there is little mystery as to why Florida is known as The Sunshine State – and why so many flock to its shores. This perk is even more available to those with coastal homes, as the combination of sunlight and oceanic views is second-to-none.

However, the sun that is so envied throughout the rest of the country has to be managed, or it can create a washed out or tired look. The sun is a great way to boost the style of your home, but those rays need to be managed with care. Here are some tips for using the sun to your coastal home’s advantage.

Benefits of Having Natural Light in Your Home

Though there is the obvious pleasing aesthetic to naturally lit homes, natural light actually offers other benefits beyond the way it looks. Improved sustainability by reducing heat requirements from fossil fuels in the winter is one important benefit, but it is far from the only gain. Others include:

  • Increased Health. Exposing yourself to natural light increases the vitamin D concentration in your body, which will, in turn, support bone growth, help prevent some cancer types, and lower the risk of heart disease. Using natural light to brighten your home will also reduce the amount of fluorescent light that you are exposed to, lowering any potential eye damage from artificial lighting.
  • Better Sleep. The amount of natural light that you are exposed to each day has a direct impact on the amount and quality of your sleep each night. According to the CDC, one of the times of day your circadian clock is especially sensitive to natural light is up to one hour after your typical wake-up time. Exposing yourself to morning sunlight can help you feel more alert throughout the day and fall asleep easier at night.
  • Improved Mood. Spending time in natural light can improve your mood and productivity. It is believed less serotonin is released when nights are longer and days are shorter, causing a type of depression called Seasonal Affective Many professionals believe exposure to sunlight for at least 30 minutes each day can help reduce symptoms in depressed individuals.

Who knew improving your home’s aesthetic could also boost your health?

Optimize Natural Light

Windows are not only an important part of your home’s aesthetic, but they can dramatically alter the type of natural light that enters your home. South-facing windows are often considered a top choice for those seeking sunlight and natural warmth, as they will be exposed to sunlight throughout the day. Skylights are also exposed to consistent sunlight throughout the day. East-facing windows will allow in the softer sunrise light, while west-facing windows will allow in the warmer evening sunlight.

The light that enters your home can be managed to create unique effects, sending light dancing along your walls at certain times of day. Crystal chandeliers will catch light rays, throwing them in stunning displays of color in the room. The colors and designs of stained-glass panels or windows will capture and reflect the light, adding artistic touches to any room. Mirrors will also reflect light, brightening a room that may not have much access to light.

Mitigating The Sun’s Effect on Your Home

Unfortunately, too much of a good thing can be detrimental. Allowing too much natural light into your home can dramatically reduce the effectiveness of your air conditioning and increase the heat you feel in your home, so it is vital that you incorporate moderation techniques to control the harsh sunlight on the hottest days. Overexposure can make any space look weary. Effective methods include:

  • Window Film. Stylish, high-quality window films can block a notable amount of the sun’s heat and UV rays while still allowing the room to be brightly lit. These fixtures come in a wide range of opacities and can stay in place year-round, ideal for coastal climates that may not experience dramatic winter temperature drops.
  • Blinds offer a great amount of customization, as the slat’s height and tilt can be controlled to your aesthetic. They can be installed on the inside or outside of your home. Some blinds also have reflective components to block heat more efficiently before it enters.
  • Curtains And Shades. Curtains and shades are ideal for rooms where you occasionally seek significant light control, like bedrooms. Shades and curtains are made from fabric, often blocking out much of the natural light. Lighter fabrics will block out less light than darker fabrics, also filtering out less heat. Blackout curtains and shades are made to block out all light, ideal for sleeping areas. Curtains and shades are a great option for boosting personality and adding flair to any space.

Creating A Comfortable Outdoor Space

Inside your home is not the only space that can benefit from strategies that optimize the natural light without allowing it to become overwhelming. Adding shade is a crucial part of enjoying your outdoor oasis. Some options that give your space a bit of personality while offering respite from the sun’s rays include:

  • There is a reason large and oversized umbrellas are staples of enjoying the outdoors: they are great at blocking the sun to create shade without taking over a space. They are easily portable, allowing you to use any area of your yard while still keeping a shaded space.
  • Pergolas And Overhangs. Pergolas and overhangs are effective in larger spaces where you seek shade that does not block the scenery. These permanent structures can be designed to blend seamlessly with your existing décor and aesthetic.
  • For areas where you only occasionally want to be covered, a retractable awning is an excellent choice. Made from durable materials that resist fading and wear, they are customizable shade options that can be pulled back when not in use.

One important note for any outdoor fabrics or materials, either in sun-blocking implements or furniture, should be fade-resistant. The Florida sun can be unforgiving, quickly damaging any materials that are not made to withstand the state’s climate. However, changing out the fabrics and overhangs on occasion is an easy way to update your outdoor style.

Building a Sun-Inspired Space

A comprehensive design strategy can create a cohesive space that carefully blends natural light and comfort. CRT Studio specializes in helping Florida coast homeowners turn their home into a pleasant, light-filled oasis. Contact Rob Turner of CRT Studio at (407) 440-4446 or rob@crtstudio.com and let us help you create the coastal home that fulfills your dreams.