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Light-up Your Life đź’ˇ

As the cold and dark winter months are approaching, we yearn for colorful, sunny summer days, especially when we might be shut in again for long periods of time. Here are some tips to enliven your interiors, so that happy feeling of sunshine and brightness offset what could be gloomy days ahead.



Layer your Lighting

First, assess what sort of natural light you have already in your space. Note where the darkest parts of your room might be---is it at the floor? A wall opposite your windows? A particular corner of the room? Experiment with light fixtures to layer lighting according to the sun’s movement throughout the day. Then add lighting in areas of your room that appear drab with a combination of floor and table lamps, and ceiling fixtures.


It’s important to have lighting from several sources, so you can adjust your room to nature’s ever changing outdoor lighting conditions. Oftentimes a dark ceiling is a major culprit. The early 2000’s craze for torchere lamps was not unfounded. Light that reflects off of your ceiling mimics nature, and so it has a nurturing affect. Try one and see how you like it!



Use Mirrors Strategically

Mirrors can brighten a room, when sized and placed appropriately. If your room is particularly dark and deep, a whole wall of mirror opposite your windows can spread light throughout your room. You can nearly double the natural light in your room if you place a mirror directly across from or adjacent to a window.


Interior Design by Shelley Johnstone Design


Study the sunlight patterns on your walls, so you can avoid sunlight beams directed back at you at certain times of the day. Otherwise, they could be distracting or disturb your daily activities, like TV watching.



Consider window films

If your window view is questionable (perhaps looking at the wall of the building next door), consider ditching the dark shades or blinds and installing window films that allow light to enter but also provides privacy. Solex (www.decorativefilm.com) offers-up scads of decorative window films that can replace heavy window treatments.


Image source: https://www.decorativefilm.com/decorative-privacy-films-for-bathroom-windows-and-shower-doors



No Windows?

If your room has very little or no natural light, skylights and light tubes are great options. Skylights provide skylight “windows”, whereas light tubes are used in tight areas where you might not be able to modify your roof framing. VELUX is our trusted “go-to” manufacturer (www.veluxusa) and they make both architectural features.


Interior Architecture by Melichar Architects


Wall Sheens

Paints and wall coverings come in all sorts of textures and “sheens”. Sheen is the amount of glossy-ness of a finish, and the glossier your walls, the more light that is reflected and bounced around in a room. A word of caution if you choose a really glossy finish—your walls and ceiling should be smooth, or imperfections will be perceptible.


Interior Design by Shelley Johnstone Design


Embrace Color

You don’t have to select a white color palette to make your room feel bright and welcoming. In fact, light colors can seem lackluster if your lighting doesn’t follow some of the principles we outlined above. Consider the “mood” that you’d like to exude in your room. Warm, spicy colors may provide a more romantic feel, while crisp white and cool colors may evoke cleanliness. We like Farrow & Ball paints (www.Farrow-Ball.com) because they have a “living” aspect to them --- they appear to change their depth and richness as the light changes in the room.


Interior Architecture by Melichar Architects


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© 2020 Melichar Architects

The Practice of Fine Architecture

207 EAST WESTMINSTER, LAKE FOREST, IL 60045

Tel 847.295.2440

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