ARTICLE Philip Saich
There’s nothing like natural light to add a sense of space in your home, so in this article we examine the top ten ways Cambridge homeowners are creating the feelgood factor. The choice of interior décor, furniture and soft furnishings can clearly have a huge impact on the brightness of a home, but bathing a room in light is best achieved through the creative use of glass.
1. Structural glazing
If you’re planning an extension, structural glazing can be an effective way of opening up the room. Whether it’s a glazed ceiling, a wrap-around solution or floor-to-ceiling windows, the light will simply flood in.
2. Roof lanterns
Possibly most suitable for an older house or a more traditional design, roof lanterns can create a dramatic effect and heighten your interiors. They have the ability to transform a kitchen or garden room and can even be sourced for listed buildings and conservation areas.
A popular addition to many extensions and first-floor rooms, rooflights can be strategically placed above a staircase, in an open-plan living space or in a bathroom, and are proven to deliver double the level of light of an average window. Incorporating rooflights from the start can also increase the amount of wall space available for striking artwork, and advanced models can include built-in blinds, remote-controlled opening and closing, and even the facility to slide them back to create an alfresco feeling.
4. Glazed gables
Glazed gables are a brilliant way to add light from above by filling the space in the gable end with a custom-built window. This solution works equally well in traditional form or as a contemporary frameless window, and can create a striking focal point for any room.
5. Clerestory windows
Clerestory windows are a common technique for introducing natural light as they are installed at high level. Extensions can often be overlooked by neighbouring properties, so clerestory windows are an effective way of creating light without compromising security or privacy, making them also popular with local planners.
6. Bi-fold doors
Available with timber frames for a natural effect or aluminium surrounds offering narrower sightlines and a practical powder-coated finish which reduces maintenance, bi-folds can add a sense of beauty to a period property or new-build by bringing the outside in.
7. Internal glazing
Internal glazing can provide a stunning point of interest as well as a source of light channelled from a room above. Adding a strategically placed glass floor or ceiling can lighten the floor below and generate a talking point for guests, while a double-height kitchen or living room can be spectacular.
If you’re looking down rather than up and working on a basement conversion, introducing light can be something of a challenge. One solution is a lightwell, which can serve a dual purpose in that it lightens the basement room but also generates an outside space with the added option of an external staircase to return to garden level.
Usually the domain of Victorian and Edwardian properties, fanlights are a great way to lighten a hallway without reducing privacy or making the property less secure. If your hallway appears dark and boxlike, a fanlight will without doubt make it look more airy and inviting, and if you’re planning a new build there are lots of creative over-door solutions available.
10. Open tread and floating staircases
If a glass floor is unachievable, an open tread staircase can help to increase the level of light between each floor. Various design options such as rising, helical or zig-zag can create a wow factor, and a glass balustrade can take the staircase to a new level. When an open tread staircase is combined with a rooflight and a glass floor, the maximum light can be achieved.
As Simon Kelliher of Cambridge builders Refresh Renovations observes, the use of glass can often be overlooked, especially in new extensions. ‘At Refresh we pride ourselves on being highly innovative in both the design and the build aspect,’ comments Simon. ‘As a result, we take care to explore every opportunity to create light and open spaces for our clients. We’re always keen to introduce natural light wherever we can, but it does require skill and experience to identify the best way to achieve this in the specific property we’re working on.’
Refresh Renovations UK are Cambridge builders offering design and build services. To discuss how we can help bring additional design flair and natural light to your home or extension, please get in touch today using the enquiry form listed alongside, or if you would like to submit a more comprehensive enquiry, you can do so on the Get In Touch page.
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Want to know more? Get in touch with the renovation experts at Refresh now to find out what they can do for you and your home. Refresh Renovations Specialists offer a free initial one-hour consultation that will help you make the decision whether their team is the one for you. This consultation is no obligation and is a chance to understand what they can do for you.