[Ad – This post is in collaboration with Solstro.]
Light influences almost every design decision. It defines how you decorate, where you place your furniture, what colours you choose and how your space will feel. Light allows you to create a space that’s bright & airy or cosy & comfortable or both. Light influences our mood (ever noticed how fast-food chains have a bright and cold light that creates an atmosphere that doesn’t make you want to hang around?) and light connects.
Do you see what I’m getting at?
Light should be your main consideration when planning a space and it really doesn’t matter what kind of project you’re working on!
The one thing that all of our homes over the last years have had in common was that they were light and bright. Our house in Manchester had large windows and was on a corner plot which meant that we had the added bonus of windows on 3 sides of our house.
Our current city centre apartment has huge windows which ensures that it’s still bright even on the current gloomy winter days and one of the things we love about our soon to be new home is that it’s super bright, too. It has really high ceilings and massive windows, it’s also on a high up floor which means that the windows aren’t blocked by other buildings.
So, how can you get more light into your home? What to do if your home isn’t bright and airy? And what do you do if you just can’t go knocking holes into walls and add more windows?
When we start to plan any room we always begin by considering the light. When we started planning our home extension (you can read about the full plans and design here) our main consideration was making sure that our space would be as light and airy as possible.
Did you know that light from above is around 30% stronger than light from the side? That’s why one of the main features of the extension was the glass roof which covered all of the new kitchen/dining extension. (Yep, we’re a bit sad that it won’t be happening now).
If you can’t have a full glass roof a great alternative are roof lights like the ones available at Solstro roofwindows. They’re ideal for extension and loft conversions and they can even be connected to each other to create one long band of light. There are also Velux windows that can be controlled by remote and some even have sensors so they close automatically when it rains!
As lovely as it is to add large new windows there are always going to be less ideal situations where you have to work with what you have and can’t just go knocking holes into walls.
Use mirrors to bounce light around your room, add reflective surfaces, paint your walls light, use light curtains, keep your windows free to let as much light in as possible and add lots of artificial lighting (you can see our guide for getting your lighting right here).
It’s unlikely that every room in your home is going to naturally be light and bright so if you have a dark room with a lack of natural light there’s another option, too. Instead of trying to fight it, work with it!
Even if you use every trick in the book, you’ll probably never manage to achieve a bright room if there’s just not enough natural light so embrace the dark side!
Although we love bright rooms, one of our favourite rooms in our home was the dining room which was probably the darkest room in our house. Instead of trying to make it light we instead painted it dark. Choosing to paint the walls a dark colour didn’t make the room darker, on the contrary, it accentuated everything that was placed in front of the dark background and created a super cosy and welcoming feel.
Getting light right is important and don’t worry if you have a dark room or space – there are always choices and options!
Do you prefer light and bright rooms are dark and cosy spaces? What’s your favourite wall colour? Do you have any tips for getting creating a light and bright space?