If there is one thing that can drastically change how a home looks, feels, and even functions its lighting. When building your custom home, lighting is one of the major aspects we look at. As architects, we make sure we look at what direction the sun hits your home and aim to capitalize on that light. Even so, some lots and homes are just darker than others and there are always little nooks. Luckily, there are tons of ways to include more light in your custom home to make it dazzle!
1. Use Glass Doors
One of the most effective ways to let light flood into your home is to utilize glass doors. Just replacing exterior doors with glass ones, either full glass or even paneled can make a huge difference. If privacy is a concern, opt for frosted glass that way the light can still make it in.
Don’t limit glass doors to the exterior though. Glass doors, such as French doors, are perfect for rooms where you want some privacy and noise protection but still want light and sight lines. Rooms like dens, offices, studies, and playrooms can all benefit from glass doors!
2. Use Transom and Sidelight Windows
Transoms are windows that go above a door (usually on top of a French door) and sidelight windows flank an opening on the sides. Using transoms and sidelights are great ways to let more light through an opening. Dining rooms look particularly stunning with them.
3. Use Glass Backsplash
When building your custom home kitchen you’ll eventually have to settle on a backsplash. If your kitchen is a little darker, consider using glass. Glass tiles and glass panels don’t let light through them, but they do reflect light off of them. This solves the issue of darkness under the cabinets, which is a problem for many homes.
If your kitchen is on an exterior wall, you can even use windows as a backsplash. This allows natural light to come in, illuminating countertops and proving task lighting for cooking. Just a word of warning though- backsplash windows can get dirty, especially if they’re near the stove so have some Windex at the ready!
4. Use Clerestory Windows
Not every home, or every room, allows for standard windows at eye level. That’s where clerestory windows come in handy. They’re located high on the wall, positioned above sightlines. They let in a ton of light, and their high location means they rarely compromise privacy. They’re great for letting natural light into dim, excavated rooms such as basements.
5. Use Gloss
Paints come in different sheens, which changes how shiny or glossy they appear. Walls are typically done in a flat or eggshell sheen, but if you’re trying to get more light, consider using a paint in a higher gloss. The glossier the paint is the better it will diffuse light throughout the room. Just know that the higher the sheen, the more likely it is to show imperfections and flaws in your walls.
It’s not just walls that can be glossy. Flooring can also help brighten up a room. Although not always an option, high-gloss floors are brilliant at bouncing light around. Consider using a glossy finish on your hardwood flooring, or embrace a glossy epoxy. Glossy flooring is great in basements, where it can reflect the limited light all over.
6. Use Solar Tubes and Skylights
Don’t forget about to look up! Solar tubes, also known as tubular daylighting, sun tunnels, and tubular skylights, capture sunlight through a small dome on your roof and funnel it into your home through a reflective tube. Solar tubes are great for areas that don’t have exterior walls for windows like hallways!
Skylights are a more commonly used feature. These large, roof-like windows, are perfect for letting in a huge amount of sunlight. Some can even be opened just like regular windows, allowing fresh air to get in as well as sunlight. Skylights can be located anywhere, as long as your roof allows. They work great in areas like bathrooms, where you might not want a regular window due to privacy.
7. Use Glass Walls
If your lot allows, consider designing a floor-to-ceiling window wall on your custom home. Be sure to use double pane windows for insulation, and possibly UV films to control heat. Exterior glass walls not only let in light, but they also help create an indoor-outdoor flow that is extremely popular these days. You’ll feel connected to nature, even with a wall separating you!
8. Use Mirrors
Mirrors do more than reflect your image they also reflect light. Mirrors are a quick and easy way to transform any space that might be a little gloomy. The key is to use mirrors in the right way though. The larger the mirror the more light it will bounce around. Mirrors also need to be positioned so that they are opposite or adjacent to a light source, such as a window or even a lamp. Try to position them so that they reflect something nice, like artwork, as well as light.
You aren’t limited to only hanging mirrors either. Custom homes often utilize full mirrored walls or integrate mirrored doors, like on closets, to help diffuse light. Mirrored furniture, which is big right now, also does the trick so if your bedroom is dark, consider integrating some mirrored pieces into the room.
Natural light is by far one of the most valuable elements any custom home can have. With a few smart architectural and design choice, you can flood your home with light. If you have any questions or want to work together on building your dream custom home feel free to contact us!