In homes, a good lighting plan is one of the most important design elements. It offers multiple benefits to homeowners and can help sell a home for a higher price if done correctly.
Well-lit spaces increase visibility for security purposes and give character to a particular space while also allowing occupants to see clearly when working on projects or enjoying their time outdoors.
It makes any room look more inviting, spacious, and airy. While there are many ways to ensure sufficient lighting is available throughout the year, there are some architectural tips and tricks that deserve special attention given how effective they are.
1. Large Windows With Shutters
To start with the obvious – in order to have lots of light all year round, you want to have large windows wherever possible.
Now, it’s important to note that it’s better to have fewer windows that really are on the larger side, than multiple smaller ones.
This is because the window frames are blocking the light that comes into your room. While this may seem like a small detail, it can really add up, especially in places that don’t get too much light as it is.
That said, it’s important to consider privacy issues when installing large windows. You want to be able to enjoy the light that seeps in, instead of having to feel like it’s a spotlight for the neighbors’ enjoyment.
The simplest and most effective way to ensure privacy is to have window shutters installed.
For larger windows, you can install ones similar to the plantation style shutters available at shuttercraft.co.uk that are operable up and down so they will spring open when you want to let in lots of light and naturally close themselves when not needed.
Plus, they give your home an elegant appearance. That way, you can enjoy both the warm sunlight and the privacy you desire.
2. Open Concept Floor Plan
Having an open concept floor plan is another architectural tip that’s really effective to ensure sufficient lighting all year round. Letting in lots of natural light through the windows also allows for a view of the outdoors.
There are many homes today that have an open concept floor plan already installed because they realize how important it is to have lots of light inside.
By simply removing the walls you don’t need, you’ll not only make the space feel more airy, but you’re also letting in plenty of natural light.
The only thing to keep in mind is that you don’t want to touch the load-bearing walls – they are what’s keeping the structural integrity of your home.
If you’re not sure how to determine which walls are load-bearing, an architect or structural engineer will be able to help you with that. Afterward, all you need is a sledgehammer, some safety goggles, and maybe some earplugs as well.
3. Glass Room Dividers
If you like the idea of an open concept floor plan, but don’t really want to have a kitchen in your living room or a study in your bedroom, you can always opt for glass room dividers instead.
These allow your space to be divided up into multiple areas while also ensuring that each area can get plenty of sunlight.
With these types of dividers, the only thing you need is a door to separate them from one another and voila – privacy plus lots of natural light! For extra privacy, you can opt for opaque glass – although that will let less light in.
That might be a good option for a home office or the like. However, the kitchen can look incredibly well framed with just regular transparent glass. That way, you can keep all the aromas inside the kitchen area, while the light is free to travel throughout the home.
4. Transom Windows
Finally, for bathrooms, bedrooms, or really any room if you’re not a fan of the open concept floor plan, the best way to get some extra light in is to install transom windows.
Those are the windows – which can but don’t have to be able to open, that are placed above the doors. They come in various shapes and sizes, but for this purpose, you should look for ones that allow a lot of light to come in.
Favored by the Spanish Architect Gaudi, they’re a proven way to ensure sufficient lighting all year round, while enjoying maximum privacy in your home.
Of course, in order to truly have plenty of light all year round, it’s important that you also ensure there’s layered lighting in each room.
In other words, don’t just rely on the ceiling light, but invest in table, floor, and wall lights as well. With these four tips, combined with the various artificial light sources, you’ll have your home looking bright and airy no matter the season or the time of day.