As children, all of us have played with the light streaming in through the windows, traced the dancing reflections of a crystal glass and made art with our own shadows. Lights have continued to mesmerize us through the ages and we believe that this simple element of beauty can never go out of style. And to get a perfectly designed home, natural light and its endless possibilities play an important role!
Letting in sunlight has always been given high priority. Not only is it known for increasing productivity, but also for keeping the home free from many germs and bacteria. The trick is to know when and how to control it – it’s great to have a cheery bright room, but what about the heat and glare that come hand in hand?
Orientation is key – if you’re renovating your home, then you should be aware of the fact that north and south facing windows let in soft light – ideal for a bedroom or lounge, while stark daytime light and subsequent afternoon shadows enter through east and west facing openings.
It is also important to know how much light a room really requires and to then control it depending on time of day, season or need. Curtains are always the go-to when it comes to filtering or shielding off light, but the subtler, more unique interjections function not only as filters but as additions of form and colour as well.
Take the image above. Green and brown tinted glass bottles fitted into the wall above the window, letting in a little light and colour through the wall. The beauty is in its simplicity – a classic design concept which will enthrall every person that walks into your home.
Another lovely way to screen light is to use fabric – not as curtains, but as sheer panels, which will bring in a soft yet kaleidoscopic hue of colours to the room. A printed fine cotton or silk cloth on the panes of a fixed glass window or the surface of a sliding French door can act as a stunning substitute for stained glass. You can even eliminate the glass completely – the cloth will act as a filter of dust, while allowing the room to breathe.
Everyone loves skylights, and they never go out of style. From the traditional four-pillared houses with a central courtyard that Tamil Nadu is famous for, to contemporary glass panels on the roof of modern homes, the shifting harsh and soft, yet far-reaching light of a skylight cannot be paralleled by mere windows. Skylights allow for a lot of design interjections as well – from stained glass panels to prismatic crystals, painting the walls and floor of the room with multi-hued lights.
The inclusion of gaps into the structural design with fixed glass also allows controlled natural light to flow into the interiors. But remember, large expanses opening into the exterior of the home can cause too much harsh light and heat flow in.
So, whether it’s fabric or skylights, make sure your home is always full of natural light. It is the happiness-spreader! :)