Open Space With Natural Lighting

Creating More Open Space With Natural Lighting & Intentional Design

While not everyone may think of natural light as a design element, illuminating your house can be a game-changer. Opening your home up to sunlight can create an inviting ambiance, add a sense of spaciousness and save you cash on energy bills. Interested in making sunlight an element of your living space? Keep reading to learn more about on-point custom home designs that can transform your dwelling.

What are the Benefits of Natural Light for Your Custom Home?

Open Space With Natural Lighting

Sunlight has a huge impact on our day-to-day life. As such, it’s not surprising that maximizing natural light in the home has a huge number of benefits. Here are just a few.

Aesthetic Enhancement of Colors and Space

Well-positioned sources of natural light can enhance your home’s design and decorative elements. In particular, natural light does a great job of drawing out the richness of colors and textures. For a natural look, invest in tan-colored furniture and upholstery and light wooden floors and furniture. Avoid dark decor as they tend to absorb natural light. Natural light can also be used to make your home appear more spacious.

Health Benefits

Architecture that increases our connection to the natural environment — also called biophilic design — is said to have a huge number of health benefits. Flooding a dwelling with natural light is a huge part of this custom home design-build and for a good reason.

Sunlight has a huge effect on your internal circadian rhythm or your sleep-wake cycle. Natural light decreases the production of the sleep hormone melatonin, allowing you to wake up naturally without the use of alarms and increasing your energy levels during the day. In addition, when we are exposed to sunlight, our bodies produce Vitamin D, which is essential to our physical and mental well-being.

Even the open spaces in your home without sufficient natural light can be affected by mold and fungi. This can lead to numerous health conditions including allergies and irritations that often manifest themselves in a runny nose, sneezing, red eyes, and rashes.

Energy Savings

Letting sunlight into your home can save you money on electricity bills. This is because the more daylight in a home, the less electricity is required to heat and light it. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 15 percent of electricity in the United States is used on lighting. In addition, owners of dwellings oriented towards the sun spend between 10 and 20 percent less on heating costs.

Lowering your energy consumption is also good for the planet. The energy we use in our homes accounts for 20 percent of the country’s carbon emissions. Since greenhouse gases are the main cause of global warming, letting natural light into your home will not just save you money but help to protect the environment.

Additional Read- How to Build an Energy Efficient Home Using BrightLeaf’s Building Science

How to Increase Light with Intentional Design

Light with Intentional Design

There is no doubt that letting natural light into your home is beneficial for your well-being and finances, as well as the planet. With this in mind, here are some custom home interior tips for maximizing daylight in your home.

Add or Enlarge Windows

The first — and most obvious way — to introduce more daylight into your home is by installing extra windows or enlarging your existing ones. To catch the most sunlight, ensure that your new windows face south.

If you are concerned about privacy, frosted or obscure glass windows allow in lots of natural light without letting others see what you are up to inside your home.

While it does not always require a permit to alter existing windows or add new ones, it’s worthwhile to double-check this with your local authority. It’s also important to be mindful of certain restrictions. For instance, windows that are a certain distance to the floor need to be tempered for safety. When in doubt, contact custom home architects in your area.

Use Glazed or French Doors

Installing French doors that open up to the front or back of your house will not only add an element of elegance to your home design but also brighten it up with natural light. Replacing internal solid doors with glazed doors will also ensure that more light floods your home, giving it the illusion of open space.

To maximize sunlight, select doors with slim frames. If the minimalist look doesn’t fit your current decor, pick doors with white frames. You can also paint your current frames a bright color to achieve the same effect.

Layout Designed for the Sun

There are a number of things that you should be taking into consideration when designing your home. To make the most out of natural light, ensure that your most frequently used rooms, such as the living room, get the most light. On the other hand, spaces that don’t need a lot of light, such as the laundry room or garage, can be placed on the shady side of the house.

While a custom home architect will be able to help you orientate your home, here is a quick guide to get you started.

  • East-facing rooms get the morning sun. This is a great spot for the dining room and bedrooms (if you are an early riser). If you like sleeping in, however, you may want to avoid placing your bedroom on this side.
  • West-facing rooms get their strongest light in the early evening. As such, they may not be the best choice for TV rooms as the glare may affect the television screen.
  • South-facing rooms let in warm-toned light in winter but get little direct sun in the summer.
  • North-facing rooms let in relatively even light, no matter the time of day. As such, service spaces such as bathrooms and laundry rooms are often positioned to the north.

Think About the Seasons

The sun’s location changes with the seasons. In summer, when the sun is high in the sky, you may wish to invest in overhangs to protect your home from the heat. Since the sun is lower in winter, the overhangs won’t block its warming rays during the colder seasons. If you opt for shatters, select a wide-slat design, which offers privacy without completely blocking natural light.

Your custom home architect will be able to advise you about positioning your home to make the most out of daylight, no matter the season.

Create an Open Plan Layout

Removing certain walls in your home can add light and a feeling of open space to your home. If you still want to maintain the feeling of having separate zones in your dwelling, try using a visual barrier that won’t limit natural light such as a half wall, or different coloring and flooring. Textured or patterned glass can also be used to create a broken-plan home layout. Usually found in bathrooms, these types of windows obscure the view from both sides without limiting light.

Additional Read- What Makes Open Floor Plans So Popular?

Strategic Interior Design

1. Add Glass Floors and Staircases

While this might be a slightly pricier option of introducing light into your home, laminated glass floors and staircases are extremely impactful in custom home design. Glass flooring is most commonly used to add light to basements while glazed staircases can add an element of brightness to dark corridors with minimal or no windows. Alternatively, brightly-colored open-tread staircases are a great fit for both modern and traditional dwellings.

2. Make Good Use of Mirrors

Mirrors serve a practical function. However, if cleverly positioned, they can also brighten up a space, not to mention make it appear more spacious. Large mirrors, in particular, are great at reflecting natural light around the room. Hanging mirrors on facing walls will create an endless chain of reflections, adding depth to a space. Don’t be afraid to experiment to see what works best in your home.

3. Opt for Reflective Floor

Just like mirrors, certain types of flooring reflect light, making your home appear brighter. Usually made from stone or wood, polished hard flooring tends to bounce light. While comfortable, carpets have the opposite effect since they are not reflective. In some cases, laying carpet in your rooms can make them appear smaller than they actually are.

Additional Read- Luxury Design Trends You Should Try in 2021

Choose a Custom Home Design to Maximize Natural Light in Your Home

Ready to design and build the home of your dreams? Schedule a call with BirghtLeaf Homes today! We are experts at creating architectural masterpieces that are bright, airy, and energy-efficient. Our unique Design-Build approach combines a better experience for better custom-built homes that are expertly designed and meticulously crafted for your needs and lifestyle.

About BrightLeaf

BrightLeaf is an award-winning, custom home builder specializing in sustainable, modern energy-efficient homes as well as remodeling and renovations. We are also a  full-service real estate brokerage that can help you buy and sell in the Greater Chicagoland Area.

Live or thinking of living in the Greater Chicagoland Area and need one of the following services? Click on the link to book an appointment to talk to a BrightLeaf Home Consultant.

Custom Home Builder Services

Remodeling & Renovation Services

Buying Or Selling A Home

LotFinder Navigation Service™

Find + Refresh Service

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Houzz, YouTube, LinkedIn, Medium, and Twitter @BrightLeafHomes for exclusive content and to join our community!