10 Tips on How to use Natural Daylight to make your Interior Feel More Spacious
10 Tips On Using Natural Daylight To Make Your Home or Office Feel More Spacious
Natural daylight is irregular, it changes with the time of day, season, weather pattern and with movement. It sets your internal body clock and gives you a sense of the world around you. Not only is it proven to decrease stress but also it increases productivity and gives the illusion of an enlarged space.
Up until now unfortunately there is no artificial light that can capture the beauty of natural daylight in an interior. Although there are several ways to technologically recreate the feeling of natural daylight.
Our first priority as sustainable interior design consultants is to maximize and borrow from the natural resources around us thus we start by using the natural daylight. Below you will find 10 easy tips from some of our projects:
1) Space Planning – Be sure to have the largest open area facing south and/or leave the best views without obstruction.
If you have the opportunity to start with a clean slate on your floor plan; first thing to do when you go to a site is take out your compass and see if south facing views are accessible and unobstructed. If that’s not possible then find the best view and place the largest area in your space such as an open plan office area, living room or lounge facing this window.
Making sure the largest room in your interior has enough daylight will not only make the entire floor area feel larger but it will also be easier to borrow light from this room into the other rooms.
In one of our recent residencies we planned an open kitchen, living area and study room around the best outdoor views with natural daylight. And placed the bedroom (which is used mostly for sleeping in anyways) in the area where the natural daylight was blocked by other buildings.
2) Remove Walls – Look at spaces between rooms as shared storage blocks and allow light to pass around or above them. For acoustic privacy fill these spaces with glass if necessary or get creative!
In the same residence as above we removed the entrance corridor wall and instead placed it with a storage unit that contained an eco-fire between the two spaces giving visual transparency. On the side of the living room, there is a TV and on the entrance corridor side there is shoe and wardrobe storage.
3) Use Frosted Glass Doors In The Corridor
Corridors are usually dark and depressing. By using frosted glass on your doors can transform a corridor to a sunny light filled space that will never need artificial light during the day.
In this corridor we used full height double sandblasted satin tempered glass doors. Solid wood handles and thin metal frames to give the space a natural and minimal look. The frosted glass while giving enough privacy for each of the rooms it adds a soft to touch. Be sure to select a glass thickness that will be suitable for your acoustic needs.
4) Use Sliding Wall Partitions In Transparent Or Translucent Material
Many times interiors require spaces to be enclosed temporarily. Such as, a kitchen that needs to be closed off during heavy frying, a meeting area that needs temporary privacy or a room that needs to be temporarily divided in two. Sliding partition walls often can make the space feel immediately smaller than what you are used to. To help reduce the enclosed feeling using a clear or translucent material that allows light transmission will make the space feel larger.
In this loft style apartment, the bedroom door rarely ever needed to be closed thus we used a frosted glass bi-folding door to separate the bedroom and the kitchen. It made the kitchen feel brighter and bigger as the frosted glass door diffuses light day and night.
5) Place Reflective Surfaces Opposite To Windows or Sun Lit Rooms In Order To Diffuse Light And Reflect Space.
In this luxury residence we used laminated back painted glass to enclose the fish tank behind the dining area. The effect is that it reflects light from the opposite patio doors and doubles the length of the space.
6) Add Interior Windows
The private lift corridor of the client’s apartment had access to only one unit and received little traffic. Hence to create a pleasant entry we used a pressed sheer curtain laminated glass with one side frosted for the full height of the interior windows. This gave a soft and delicate diffused light effect adding texture while also allowing for privacy.
7) Use Sheer Window Covering – this can diffuse heat during the day yet still allow light to enter the room
Windows although are wonderful for light often bring in too much heat from the sun. It is a shame that many windows with great views end up closed off during the day with heavy window coverings to reduce heat, leaving the interior looking small and without a view. To solve this we suggest using sheer curtains or a sheer heat-reducing roller, which does not block the view and allow sunlight to illuminate the room during the day.
8) Use Glass Walls With Roller Blinds For Privacy
The study room/ extra bedroom is a great example as it is enclosed with a soundproof glass partition that offers acoustic properties while giving the illusion of more space. When needed to be used as a bedroom, full wall internal roller blinds lower from the ceiling.
9) Use Light Colours For Walls And Ceiling
Use light colored walls and ceiling to disperse and reflect light, often using matte paint on the ceiling will give a softer feel.
10) Use Light Reflective Floors; they double the vertical space
Often one thinks of reflective materials as mirrors, this does not always have to be true; using a light colored polished stone can reflect and lengthen space.