Increase the Natural Light in Your Home - Spinryde Home Renovations

Increase the Natural Light in Your Home

We all dream of living in a home where light-filled living spaces open onto a sunny backyard, which can generally be interpreted as a north- or north-easterly facing orientation. But sometimes it’s simply not possible to buy a piece of land that faces the right way, or to construct an extension facing north. If that’s the case for you, don’t despair – there are a number of techniques expert designers use to capture that all-important northerly sun and ensure that your home is bathed in light. Let’s explore the main ones.

1. Add a private outdoor space to the front
If the front of your home receives the most northern light, consider designing a secondary, private outdoor space in this spot. Fencing it off from your front lawn not only gives you privacy, it allows you to open up your interior spaces to north-facing light.

2. Look to the side
If your site is wide enough, consider setting up your main outdoor space to the side of your house. Add in large expanses of glass, as the owners have done here, so that both your alfresco area and living spaces are bathed with light. This arrangement also allows light to flow through to all adjoining rooms.

3. Create a central lightwell
Homes that are oriented the wrong way can be dark and devoid of light, but a centralised lightwell can filter northern light not only into a private courtyard, but to the rooms surrounding it. Entire walls of glass can be opened, blurring the lines between inside and outside.

4. Set your sights higher
In a home that faces the wrong way, the open spaces will often suffer from shadowing as walls have a nasty habit of hindering the sun’s rays. One solution is to elevate a secondary outdoor space, such as a balcony, closer to the sky so that it is bathed in northern or north-easterly light.

Read about green roofs

5. Create transparent links
Rather than create a home made up of one solid mass, where some parts of the home are light and others are dark, consider creating separate pavilions where the spaces are connected via transparent links that filter light from one room to the next.

6. Introduce clerestory windows
A great way to allow northern light to enter your home is to incorporate clerestory windows along one or more walls in your living space. These small windows are installed along the top of the wall just before it meets the roofline, oriented towards the north and north-east so they capture the light, which can then be directed to any part of your home. To draw in even more light, you can also have the roof angled to increase the size of the windows.

Learn about high-performance glazing

7. Step your home along the site
By creating a series of pavilions that step down the slope of your site, or by altering the ceiling height of each pavilion on a flat block of land from front to back, you can install clerestory windows along the north-facing ceiling line as well as additional glazing to the side of the building. This allows light to enter deep into the heart of your home so that all rooms receive maximum solar penetration.

8. Increase the size of your south-facing windows
When capturing north-easterly sun is simply not possible, consider increasing the amount of glazing on your south-facing windows and walls.

Introducing raked ceilings will boost the surface area of glazed windows and walls further, allowing in even more light. You could also consider angling glazing so that part of it is exposed to north-east light.

See more gorgeous Aussie outdoor spaces

9. Light colour scheme
Sometimes solar penetration from other sources such as south-facing and clerestory windows still isn’t enough to create that light-filled ambiance you’re after. If this is the case, use a light-enhancing palette of white walls and furniture paired with pale upholstery to bounce the available light around and make the space feel brighter.

10. Limit trees and shade
North-facing indoor and outdoor spaces can sometimes require eaves and external shading devices such as trees to provide reprieve from the hot summer sun. However, if your home faces the other way, these shading devices will only prevent much-wanted sun from entering your garden and interior. A little pruning and strategic placement of trees can open up the spaces so they receive as much sun as possible.

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