Design Dilemma: Letting Light In Where the Sun Don’t Shine | Home Design Find

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Design Dilemma: Letting Light In Where the Sun Don’t Shine

modern how to tips advice

There is one simple, life-affirming need that can completely dictate the look and feel of your home: Light. With tons of sunshine flooding in, any space will feel larger, cheerful, welcoming, and functional. But should a space offer only darkness and gloom, well, suffice it to say that it becomes a space where we just don’t want to be.

When considering buying a home, potential homebuyers look for good light. When building a home, homeowners also seek to bring in light. But what happens if you already own a home that is dark and somewhat depressing? Is there anything you can do to let the sunshine in? This post is dedicated to finding solutions to lighten up the darkest home.

1. Bringing Light to a Dark Stairwell

modern staircase how to tips advice

One of the most common places for darkness in older homes is a stairwell. In existing homes built during a certain time period, stairwells were often enclosed with little natural light. Today, these claustrophobic passageways feel rather depressing. One solution to that problem is to help bounce light around, either by removing a wall completely, or, if you need a support for a handrail, installing a glass wall. The wall of glass allows light from the upper floor to filter downward into the first floor environs. At the same time, any natural light from downstairs gets to filter upstairs. Below is another stairway working on the same principle. Good ways to bring light into a stairwell include adding a solar tube or skylight in the stairwell, or windows, if possible.

contemporary staircase how to tips advice

Here’s another attempt to bounce light around a stairwell. This homeowner has not only added windows above the stairs, but went for a glass railing on the second level which allows light from  upstairs windows to penetrate through all the dark spaces.

contemporary hall how to tips advice

2. Solar tubes and skylights in any dark space.

contemporary bathroom how to tips advice

Got a dark bathroom, hallway, closet or attic space? One alternative to traditional skylights is the solar tube, which can bring in tremendous amounts of light with more ease and at less cost than a skylight. The tube involves a relatively small round hole which is ensconced in a reflective material. That material allows the small opening to cast a tremendous amount of light.

Here’s another example:

modern kids how to tips advice

And here, a skylight in what otherwise would have been a dark shower adds lots and lots of bright light. Installing a glass shower door rather than an opaque shower curtain also allows light to filter freely.

modern bathroom how to tips advice

3. Open or glass walls whenever possible.

industrial home office how to tips advice

There’s a reason that open floor plans have become so popular in recent decades. Openness allows light to flow easily around a home. In many cases, though, walls are still useful. Sometimes, it’s for quiet, sometimes it’s for privacy. When this is the case, glass walls provide an alternative. They allow light to flow from room to room but can allow for privacy. Privacy is possible when glass is sandblasted or acid-etched so they are not completely transparent, as you see below.

contemporary bathroom how to tips advice

And here’s another example:

industrial living room how to tips advice

So you see, darkness does not have to be an option.Think creatively, and you can get the sun to shine in even the darkest corner.

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