Many scientific studies have proven that the amount of exposure we have to natural lighting directly affects our moods and overall wellbeing. If a room is too bright with artificial lighting or too dark with few windows, our moods may decline and we start to feel tired. Our body’s circadian rhythm is directly impacted by how much natural light (sunshine) we receive daily. Our bodies regulate based on the differences between day and night. If we don’t get enough light, natural body rhythms get out of balance. Sunlight is also linked to blood pressure, weight loss, and healthy bones.
Living in Illinois’ harsh winters, we tend to spend a lot of time indoors. “The most interesting support for our dependence on daylight emerged with a condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD describe the so-called winter blues: the lethargy and feelings of sadness and hopelessness that come when the weather forces people to spend more time indoors and the season provides little opportunity for exposure to natural light.” You may find yourself feeling unhappy, having trouble sleeping, or even experiencing lack of energy.
Tom Len understands how increasing the exposure to daylight in your home will dramatically impact you and your family’s emotional and physical well being! Our design team prioritizes function, style, high energy performance, and UV resistance in order to maximize the amount of light which would best fit the health and wellness of your family.
Install Larger Windows and Doors
Whether we’re working on a custom build for a client, or someone is in the market for new windows as part of their remodeling project, advances in window manufacturing now allow for minimal framing and more exposed glass. If you’re looking for the greatest impact, choose bay, bow or picture windows to bring extra illumination into your home! Concerned about privacy? Stack transom or radius windows above the old windows to provide extra illumination. Manufacturers have also added functions that allow more ventilation into the rooms so there is an airy, open living feeling. Combined with installing new large doors such as bifolding doors, you will be transforming an entire wall into glass which creates aesthetically pleasing views and maximizes the daylight. This will also make your home feel more spacious. When designing, we know that at some point in your life resale value will also be important. New windows will definitely enhance curb appeal as well as modernize the property with increased energy efficiency! Even drapery may be causing excess darkness. “If you want to increase the natural light into your home, remove heavy drapes and block out curtains all-together from your windows and replace them with a slim line blackout blind instead.”
Create a Glass Block Wall
In our December 2019 blog, we mentioned Top Design Trends for 2020. While this idea adds a retro flare, more people are choosing to replace an exterior wall section with glass blocks. In the era of the 1920s and the 1980s, this was a popular contemporary look. Today, new designs offer unique textures and color shading to match any architectural style. Envision light permeating throughout the room without compromising privacy, security or energy efficiency. We also see glass blocks replacing traditional basement windows and lighting up what is typically the darkest corners of your home! There are a variety of glass types to choose from. “Clear glass will allow for the maximum amount of light to enter your space, while frosted or textured glass can help to bring in light while still offering a degree of privacy.”
Install Solar Tubes
Excited to bring in natural light, but don’t want to incur the cost of skylights? Solar tubes (otherwise known as a sun tube, light tube or tubular skylight) are a 10- or 14- inch diameter sheet metal tube with a polished interior. “This tube captures daylight at the roof and shines it into your home because the tube’s interior acts like a continuous mirror. Not only does it channel light along its entire length, it is able to maintain the light’s intensity. Curious how this is possible? The solar tube is capped by a weather-resistant plastic globe on the roof. At the end of the tube there is a porthole-like diffuser. Once the light is gathered from the outside, the diffuser spreads the light in a pure white glow. The effect is so beautiful and dramatic that people often find themselves reaching for the light switch as they leave the room! “Solar tubes are a very effective way to introduce lighting into a wardrobe, pantry or smaller room within your house that does not have external windows and skylights are not an option.”
Lightening Your Color Palette
Are dark greys and navy blue walls making you feel closed in or hopeless? Our interior designers will work with you to choose lighter colors to refresh your current home or help you find the right shades to balance mood and energy while designing your custom home! Better Homes and Gardens just released the leading paint companies and leading industry expert predictions. Across the board, the themes are calm, relaxing, back to nature, neutral, and romance. Take a look at Behr’s warm, earthly colors in their worldhood palette or soothing stream palette. Sherwin-Williams adds playful romance to walls with a very soft shade of pink. It’s just one of 10 colors that HGTV Home created for their Simply Blissful Color Collection. They said this collect is “inspired by our desire to live a life full of happiness and fulfillment.” According to Ashley Banbury, a senior HGTV color designer, “2020 is the year to create a glamorous home space, one that welcomes you in with open arms every time you walk through the door and continues to wow you.” When our homes reflect the peace, calm and joy that we feel when outside, our moods naturally elevate!
Adding Interior Design Style That Sparkles
- Light reflects and bounces off of lighter colors. Larger pieces such as your sofa or love seat will enhance this idea when selecting upholstery to refresh existing furniture or when buying new pieces. Rooms are being accented with more mirrors, rich color pieces such as pillows & throws, and artwork to compliment a bright space.
- Kitchens are being designed with highly reflective back splash tiles, as well as glass tiles instead of ceramic tiles. Enthusiasts are also choosing recycled glass tiles. Recycled glass tiles are better for the environment than ceramic tiles, resist stains and mold, and their slightly transparent properties reflect as much light as mirrors.
- Designing your custom home with an open floor plan continues to be a popular layout concept. Constructing an open area eliminates interior walls. This amplifies the sunlight which reinforces the new direction of connecting outdoor space and welcoming natural light into indoor living.
The glow of natural light is an instant energy boost and mood enhancer. During the long Midwest winters, we know that daylight is vital for keeping our sanity! In order to maintain an optimal circadian rhythm and increase overall wellbeing, including more natural light is a simple approach which will benefit the entire family! Tom Len and his team of design experts understands that every aspect of your home – from paint colors to flooring to windows – makes a huge difference in the quality of your life. Whether the Tom Len Custom Homes team is designing your new luxury dream home or remodeling your current living space, it’s important to use the right shapes, materials, colors, and of course exceptional interior design concepts catered to your unique preferences. Let’s architect 2020 to let the light shine in with luxury!
Tom Len Custom Homes proudly serves the following areas in Chicago’s North Shore: Northfield, Glenview, Glencoe, Deerfield, Wilmette, Winnetka, Highland Park, and Riverwoods.