Natural light is fundamental to our wellbeing but so often our homes are severely lacking in it, creating dark gloomy spaces that do nothing for our state of mind…or our electricity bill!
When building our forever home a few years ago we wanted it to feel spacious and bright. Specifically, we thought about how to leverage as much natural light as possible because in Northern Ireland we aren’t known for our sunny weather and so we really wanted to maximize this as best we could.
There are several simple things you can do to maximise the way that light gets into your home. These include making sure you have plenty of windows (if you have the option) especially for rooms that may be North facing. Choosing light colours for your walls and floors will reflect light and brighten up any size of room. Finally, think about using reflective surfaces such as glossy tiles, mirrors or mirrored furniture placed strategically in dark rooms as these too will reflect light.
Our home is an East facing, storey and a half chalet bungalow and so the sun doesn’t always shine into some of the front rooms therefore I opted for antique white walls and glossy tiles for most of the rooms as this reflects loads of daylight even when the sun is around the back of the house as the day progresses. We also ensured each room has plenty of large windows to capture as much daylight as possible. The upstairs of our home however has vaulted ceilings and so we chose Velux windows to bring as much light as possible into those rooms.
As this was going to be our forever home, I really didn’t want to waste any space even if I couldn’t see an immediate use for it. Our gallery landing area is a great example of this, I made sure that we included Velux roof windows here too as it’s such a great spacious area but I didn’t really know what how the space would be utilised at the time.
Fast forward, 4 years and I have been blogging for over 2 years. As my blog started to take up more and more time I felt like I needed a workspace to call my own as the kitchen table just wasn’t cutting it anymore. Mr S. wasn’t too willing to share his office as it’s the only space in the house that is well and truly his own and let’s face it I wanted my own space where I could apply my own personal style :)
I thought about where I could create my workspace but there are only a finite number of rooms my house and there weren’t any going spare. So I had a think about where I could create a workspace in an unused part of an existing room which is how I arrived at the idea of using the gallery landing. It’s a completely unused space, other than to walk between the upstairs bedrooms so it had such potential to become an open plan workspace.
Not only is it open and spacious but it’s bright too, the Velux roof windows bring in so much daylight and the light-coloured walls and the glossy tiles in my hallway also help to reflect even more light into the space all day long. There is also a great view from the landing, a quick look out of the windows rewards you with a joyous view of the rolling Northern Irish countryside.
Once I chose the location for my new workspace, it didn’t take me long to furnish and style it as I already had a good idea of what I wanted… I’ve had my eye on a little Ikea Desk and Pink Velvet chair from Sostrene Greene for a while now. One marathon trip to Belfast and with a little help from Mr S. and French Grey Lifestyle HQ was complete.
At my 9-5 job, I find myself working in a small crowded office with fluorescent lighting and there are many days that I barely see out a window so it’s such a luxury coming home to my own little workspace specifically designed by me, for me.
I’m so chuffed with it, that I’ve found a renewed love for blogging as it’s so comfortable, spacious and bright that I can sit for hours at time and it never feels like work. Plus, the open plan space means I don’t feel locked away and I can check up on and chat to Mr. S and Hugo the Cat even though they are downstairs.
I love spending time in my new space so much that I now use it to relax in too. I have a large armchair positioned below of the Velux windows so I can sit and read my favourite magazine or a new book at the weekend.
Living in Northern Ireland my weekend sound track is usually the pitter-patter of rain on the Velux windows which when your snug and cosy inside, is utter bliss.
If you are undertaking your own project, big or small I'd love to hear how are you going to explore the VELUX potential of your home?
*Many thanks to VELUX for sponsoring this post to help us all realise the #veluxpotential of our homes. All words, opinion and images (and pretty pink velvet chair) are my own!