What is the most important design feature in your home?
The brickwork? The drapes? The name of your interior decorator?
There is one major factor you can’t get away from:
Most homeowners will agree that natural light is desirable. If you are selling your home, this is key for you as well!
After all, any potential home buyers will be looking for a space that makes good use of the available natural light, whether they realise it or not!
So then, is it the right move to go wild with as many giant bay windows and skylights as your renovation budget allows?
Natural light has a different effect on different rooms based on their orientation.
Have a look at this basic guide below, and start a strategy for making the best use of the available natural light in your home:
Room Orientation — North
Rooms facing north catch the most natural light – a great place to situate your living room or areas used throughout the day.
Plenty of natural light has a proven benefit to our health and our mental state!
Well-lit areas also create an illusion of spaciousness. Dark areas can feel cramped.
Don’t decorate with too much vibrant colour here at the north side. It can appear intense and oversaturated.
If your living room is on this side of the house, you may need a strategy for keeping cool in our beautiful summers. Consider materials which can block the glare such as Venetian blinds.
Room Orientation — South
Rooms facing south receive the least light. Bathrooms and utility entrances are often placed here. The lighting conditions are also more consistent and are favoured for workshops, art studios or studies.
If you are a fan of vibrant colours, this is a great place to make use of them to lift the profile.
Consider using some cost-effective and environmentally-friendly LED technology to bring in some artificial light to beautify these areas.
Room Orientation — East
Rooms facing east receive the most morning light. You might want to place a pleasant breakfast nook or dining room here.
If you like to sleep in, avoid installing picture windows in east-facing bedrooms. Invest in some block-out curtains instead.
If you would like to have some pleasant afternoon and evening light, consider using incandescent light. You could also make use of warmer colours.
Room Orientation — South
Rooms facing west receive sunlight in the late afternoon and early evening – not great for your TV room. Your flat screen will be competing with the natural light.
Afternoon light tends to be warmer than morning light: golds, oranges, reds. You could balance this with some sophisticated greys and muted colours.
Whatever your choices, remember the effect of your room orientation on the natural light!
This will help you create a space that you can enjoy spending time in, at any time of the day!
Note: This is from the perspective of sunny South Africa in the Southern Hemisphere. If you are north of the Equator, swap the advice on the north- and south-facing rooms, otherwise you might end up with a real lighting problem!
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