When I got asked if I would enjoy a guest blog post on the subject of Natural Light I immediately said YES! I am a firm believer in the power of light and how it impacts how a room looks and feels, and often say to my clients that we need to leverage natural lighting in our design work together. Of course living and working in perpetually sunny Arizona brings great options to work with natural light. So assess your home and see where you can install a Solar Tube or get rid of heavy window coverings and let in some of nature’s bounty—LIGHT.
Guest post below:
The effects of natural lighting on a room can be very subtle, but that doesn’t detract from its importance. Ideally whenever you design a room you need to consider what light it will get from the outside and how best to utilize it. There is a large number of factors you will need to think about when planning the lighting for a room, too many for this article to cover. But hopefully it will give you an overview of how to make the most of natural lighting for your home.
The first and most important factor is the direction from which the light is coming from. Whilst I’m writing in the northern hemisphere, if you live in the southern hemisphere you can swap north and south around.
- North: Because north facing rooms never receive direct sunlight the light often has a cold flattening quality. For this reason artists often prefer north facing studios as they allow you to see the true colour of your paints.
- East: East facing rooms get direct light in the morning as the sun rises but far less light in the evening.
- South: South facing rooms get the benefits of direct sunlight on them for most of the day making them warmer and better lit than others.
- West: West facing rooms will be dark in the morning but brighten up as the sun moves to the west. They will often get the most heat as not only does the early afternoon sun tends to be the warmest but the setting sun will often shine directly into them.
Natural History Museum by Stephen Boisvert (used under CC licence)
This picture gives a nice illustration of how much stronger light from the southern window is. (South on the left)
You should take the factors above into consideration when considering the purpose of a room. For example east and north facing rooms will tend to be colder and darker than south and west facing rooms. This means that you will need use artificial lighting not only to brighten the room and to counter the flat effect the reflected sunlight often gives. For south and west facing rooms then window treatments such as blinds or curtains will help you to control how much light gets in and reduce glare.
South Facing Bedroom by Tom Parnell (used under CC Licence)
Functional rooms like kitchens and studies will benefit from large windows so as to let in as much light as possible. Often you can increase the drop of a window without affecting the structural integrity of a wall. Though if you want to replace the wall with say French doors then you will need to get a builder in. In rooms where you want to relax small and medium sized windows tend to give you a more relaxing atmosphere and privacy.
Natural light can have surprising effects on the colours that you paint your walls. For example you might well find that bright colours used in a south facing room are overwhelming, while pastels in a north facing room can appear washed out. In general though you can use paints to either counter or enhance the effects of the natural light. For example if your north facing room is too cold and dark then bright colours will help to liven it up.
East and west facing rooms need the most thought as the amount of light in these rooms will change dramatically through the day. In general you will to design east facing rooms for morning use and west facing for the afternoon. Therefore I prefer bright colours in eastern rooms to help you wake up and warm or darker colours in the west to help you relax.
Author Bio: Daniel is a UK blogger and copywriter with an interest in interior design. He is writing on behalf of Wooden Blinds Direct a specialist online supplier of wooden venetian blinds.
We spend between 7-10 hours in our bedroom sleeping, or attempting to sleep. We also spend time in our bedrooms, getting dressed, reading, ‘relating’ to our partners and sometimes watching TV. I have found that the master bedroom is often last on the list in terms of interior design attention.
You don’t need to necessarily do a major make over, but you can make it a more inviting space by implementing these
5 Easy Ideas
1. Warm it Up! Add some new texture to your bedding by incorporating a new throw for the end of the bed, or a few accent pillows. West Elm has some great options to choose from.
You can also add an area rug in front of your bed or on each side of the bed to provide a comfy treat for your feet in the morning.
2. Add a Scent- Much research has been done on the ability of aromatherapy and its’ value on allowing the mind and body to relax. We recommend lavender. You can light a candle, or use scented oil with reeds for a set it and forget it solution.
3. Adjust your lighting- You may have a ceiling fan with a light kit and/or bedside table lamps. Regardless, you need to have your lighting on dimmer switches. Harsh task lighting needs to be reserved for reading and soothing, soft lighting should be available for everything else in your bedroom. Pink light bulbs are a good option. This article from ELLE Decor offers additional details to consider for bedroom lighting.
4. Add Soothing Sound-Music has been said to ‘soothe the savage beast’. Do you prefer soft classical music, or prefer the soft trickle of water flowing in a nearby fountain? Create an ambiance in your room with music that relaxes as well as rejuvenates. Meditation is becoming popular in bedrooms, and relaxing nature sounds can help you refocus and get centered. Depending on your style of music bring soothing sounds into your bedroom and transport yourself into another state of well-being. (credit to Fresh Home)
5. Get new sheets and pillowcases-When choosing bedding, the saying is ‘you get what you pay for’. Purchase the highest thread count sheets you can afford! Sheets will make the difference in your sleeping experience. Luxury hotel beds feel heavenly because of their wonderful bedding. Fluffy comforters, pillows your head sink into, and sheets that feel luxurious will make your bedroom feel the same way.
|Some inspirational web sites to check out are HOUZZ, Traditional Home, House Beautiful and of course HGTV.
We try to avoid drama in our day to day lives but love it when it comes to decorating ideas, especially window treatments. Dramatic window treatments are like the perfect accessory… the room works without them, but it is missing something; it feels incomplete. Fabric, pattern, color, trim and design all work in conjunction with one another to create dramatic window treatments that make a statement. The statement may be elegant, modern, playful or sophisticated depending on the design elements selected. No matter the style, there is a way to add drama to a space with the right window treatment.
Floor to ceiling curtains add drama to the living room designs. A matching monogrammed valance adds additional elegance.
Elements of Style (via)
A pelmet creates a canopy like feeling for these colorful yellow and pink paisley curtains and coordinating pink roman shades. The dramatic curtains frame not only the window but the bed too.
Voluminous pink drapes in striped silk add drama to this feminine space. Height, fabric and volume are all key to dramatic drapes.
Heavily draped Roman shades can add drama to a space even if they are in a neutral linen. The gorgeous ballooning of the fabric makes this nook feel special.
A suzani inspired pattern in reds, white and black adds drama to this neutral bedroom. Limiting the pattern to the window treatments intensifies their impact in bedroom designs.
Bold pattern in black and white adds drama to the curtains and this modern bedroom. A great decorating idea would be coordinating pillows help tie the curtains into the rest of the room.
This home office design by Mary McDonald has dramatic black and white striped curtains that stand up to the bold carpet. The two patterns offset one another and create a strong statement.
Green and white awning stripe roman shade add drama to this colorful, playful room. The green and white stripes stand out against the warm brown of the wall and bamboo shades.
This post comes courtesy of Design Shuffle, where you can find top tier interior designs from around the world – from New York interior designers, Los Angeles interior designers, and more, check out the latest at Design Shuffle.
An upholstered headboard can define the style of a bedroom. Styles range from traditional to ultra modern with everything in between to choose from.
What a luxury to lean back on a soft upholstered headboard to read a book or watch television before counting sheep. [Read more…]