IWhen asked what they think about natural light in their homes, interior designers seem to blush with passion for the subject, which oozes a lyrical poetry worth writing about. The benefits of natural light extend beyond its physical and psychological effects to the aesthetic value we give to the areas of our homes that receive the light.
This week, I talk to six interior designers about the privilege of natural light, the efforts their clients go to bring it into their homes, and how to increase the amount of light in your home without cutting holes in the ceiling. I hope their comments give you a glimpse of their passionate discussions about the ephemerality, power, and beauty of natural light.
Charles Gandy, founder and director of London-based design studio Elysion, says he loves the changes in brightness that sunrises and sunsets bring to a space, adding, “It’s not good to block natural light sources.” “That’s true,” he warns. idea. Eileen Gunter, co-founder and creative director of interior design studio Gunter & Co, agrees, explaining that “an attraction to natural light is part of human nature.”
Ben Johnson, director of Fitzrovia-based design studio Albion Nord, cites Le Corbusier’s architectural maxim as he begins to explain to me that natural light is absolutely necessary to create a beautiful home. I’ll put it out there. “The history of architecture is the history of the struggle for light,” he said, adding, “This is a big theme.”
There’s something fundamental about the way Johnson talks about the importance of natural light in the home: understanding the sun’s path allows us to make decisions not only about its attribution to the layout of the room, but also about how to arrange the furniture. This suggests that. He said: “Before we start every new project, we create a ‘light study’ of the sun’s path and its impact on the building.
“If you know such simple rules, you can guide light into the right room at the right time.” Connect it to something. Just as we have sailed along the stars, now we live in the path of the sun, absorbing its rays in our homes.
“Only by understanding the effects of light and how light travels through space can we develop design ideas to control and enhance light,” he added.
Martin Waller, founder of home goods brand Andrew Martin, says this concept of controlling natural light as a human exploitation is not new. Waller says: “You don’t shine for the sake of the light. You shine for the sake of the shadows. This is what the ancient Egyptians, the Druids at Stonehenge, and the Mayans who built temples in Central America did centuries ago. And it’s still true today. Just like electric light, natural light can create drama, illusion, and art. Think of the way the morning sun hits a piece of art or decorative furniture. It’s interesting to understand how to naturally light your home before adding floors, ceilings and sidelights.”
To naturally illuminate your home, Laura Marino, founder and development manager of interior design practice Studio L and co-founder of Alchemi Group, recommends using mirrors to reflect light around the room. “but not in an obvious way,” she explains. “A little trick with mirrors, if they’re deep enough, is to line the inside of the architrave around the perimeter of the window. Even better, if you have shutters, line the recessed rectangles of the shutters with the shutters. It’s about fitting in.”
Gandhi also believes that reflective materials are the best option if you want to increase the amount of natural light perceived in your home. She suggests using “artfully placed mirrors to reflect light into the room and a high-gloss paint finish, especially on the ceiling.” Texture and reflectance affect how light is perceived in a room, so combining shine and texture can add depth and brightness to a dull space. ”
While functional reflective materials can help increase the amount of natural light in your home, they don’t always offer the best way to increase the perceived light within a space. Johnson believes reflective materials “don’t always produce the quality of light you want.” Warm natural light brings a sense of calm and comfort to a space, so he prefers to use materials in his design schemes that “diffuse and soften the light to enhance this feeling.” Warm woods and soft, light linens are perfect for rooms with limited natural light but where you want to make a statement. ”
Clara Ewart, senior interior designer at London interior design and architecture firm Kitesgrove, agrees that natural materials work best in rooms that can benefit from more natural light, saying: states. Natural light highlights the complexity of the space. Marble veins and pale wood grain. ”
Natural light is one of the most popular things in real estate. Gunter acknowledges that his clients are “paying a really high premium for natural light, from the initial purchase of a property with lots of natural light to investing in maximizing the amount of light coming into the property.” I am. It’s a big decision-maker for all our clients. ” She told me about a recent project in Mayfair. There, the design team reoriented the wooden floor and used geometric patterns to direct light into previously dark spaces to give the illusion of more light. Although it is certainly an expensive project and not dissimilar to Studio L’s brief for the Westminster Fire Station development, a Grade II listed housing development due to break ground this year, the architects have added original decorative brick bands to the building’s façade. was instructed to be recreated and additional decorations were added. It has an iridescent sheen and reflects natural light into the apartment.
Another interesting example of an interior design client’s efforts to utilize natural light in difficult locations is Albion Nord’s upcoming project in Beijing. Johnson said his two-thirds of the site is underground, which could be described as an “iceberg,” creating the unique challenge of bringing natural light into the very roots of the building, which is four stories underground. It is clear,” he suggests. For this particular project, for privacy reasons, a large 10m x 10m skylight will be installed at ground floor level, with a water depth above it, to gently hide the rooms below.
So if you’re lucky enough to have natural light in your home, make the most of it with natural textures, cleverly placed mirrors, and high-gloss paint finishes. No natural light? Why not consider a 10m square skylight? I’m sure the neighbors upstairs will understand.