The do's and don'ts of using light in the design

Designing the perfect home for you and your family can be a fun and rewarding experience. However, it can also be daunting, especially if you don’t know where to begin. Too often we put all of our focus on colour scheme, furniture, textiles and accessories. For me, the most important element of design in my home – and something that is often swept under the carpet – is natural light.

Natural light can make a monumental difference to a room. Get it wrong and your space can be left feeling dark, dreary and depressing; get it right and it can transform a room into a light, airy, enjoyable space. Light has the ability, if used correctly, to unveil the true potential of your home. It can help you open up space, which will in turn help to make a property more desirable and have an impact on its value.

 

Feeling a little overwhelmed? These are my do’s and don’ts of using daylight in design:

DO:

Design rooms using light and bright colours – You probably already know that light colours create a sense of space in a room. However, using an off-white or other pale colour on your wall will also act as natural light reflectors, creating a bright, fresh room filled with natural daylight. I find using a light paint around the window trim particularly effective.

DON’T:

Crowd windows – Try to avoid using heavy drapes, thick blinds and layered fabric curtains or ensure curtains pull right back away from the window to ensure none of it is obscured. Using heavy materials around windows can often overwhelm the space and limit the amount of natural light that can enter a room. If privacy is a concern opt for simple, lightweight or sheer window coverings to create the light and airy feeling you’re looking for.

DO:

Consider using roof windows – Roof windows are a great solution for bringing more daylight into a house, particularly those with high ceiling spaces. Not only can they open up an aspect of a room but they also create a bright, well-ventilated space to relax and unwind in. Roof windows or sun tunnels can help turn a dark area of your home into somewhere the whole family can gather. Even by adding a single roof window to a room you’ll see a noticeable difference in how often you can use it. Look at larger areas of your home and think of the possibilities. Look at loft space, if it’s an area you don’t use, think about vaulting the ceiling to add height and light.

DON’T:

Use too many matte surfaces in rooms – Using matte surfaces in the home such as dark wood, dark textured carpeting and rugs can give it a dull look and hinder the amount of daylight that can fill the room. Light hardwood or laminate floors instantly make a room look bigger, or if you prefer a softer surface choose a light coloured carpet. Shiny surfaces reflect light so consider using paint with sheen and high gloss floor tiles. Mirrors and bright furniture can also allow daylight to flood the room and give the home a cheery and welcoming look.

DO:

Change a solid exterior door for one with windows – Sounds like an obvious one, which it is, but the difference this can make to a room / hallway is immeasurable, particularly to a room that has restricted daylight.

DON’T:

Over accessorize – To create a light and airy room accessories should be minimal. Clutter and fussiness can close in a space. Limit yourself to just a few pieces you really love which add personality to a room without taking up too much space.

Original article hosted at Building Inspiration.


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