When looking for houses or creating housing designs, people rarely prioritise ‘dark and pokey’ in their ‘must-have’ list, and with good reason.
In this country, space comes at a premium, and owing to our notoriously unpredictable weather, light can be a bit of luxury too, certainly between the months of October and March. So it is hardly surprising that almost without exception, home buyers and designers alike continue to seek out ways to maximise light and space within the home.
Use more glazing – the architects’ sacred code
Well-designed extensively glazed extensions afford homeowners the opportunity to add the key features of ceiling height, feature windows and open space, in a way that sits harmoniously with any style of house.
Extensive glazing via roof lanterns, glazed gables, tall windows and double height ceiling space, allows the natural light to flood in, creating a blurred boundary and sense of flow with the outside space. Very often these extensions take the form of wooden orangeries and garden room extensions which, when designed well, embody all the architectural principles to maximise light and space and allow for open plan and multi-functional living spaces – concepts that seem to capture the zeitgeist of aspirational living.
Feeling inspired? Take a look at the full case study for this stunning orangery.
And we know from our experience with clients that highly glazed extensions very often make the rest of the house a little bit redundant, as they quickly become the place that people naturally gravitate to.
Roof lanterns light the way
If you haven’t got the space to extend or are limited on the height that you can add to an extension, a roof lantern is the ideal solution for bringing sunlight into a space. The extra height that a roof lantern can bring to a room, particularly a single storey extension, can be nothing short of miraculous, and instantly adds the wow factor that most home builders aspire to; turning ordinary spaces into architectural masterpieces. A glazed roof lantern’s ability to capture the light during the hours of low angled sun or in built-up areas provides a new sense of vibrancy to the mornings and evenings, maximising what available light there is by opening up the room to the natural world above.
Open plan living
Open plan living is a highly effective and popular way to design your living space; minimal use of internal walls means that light naturally infiltrates those areas of your home that might otherwise be compromised. However, without considered and thoughtful planning, open plan living can quickly become open warfare on all that was tidy, organised and uncluttered. In order to achieve the right sense of space in an open plan environment, we recommend the following:
⦁ Combine your open plan space with an orangery or garden room extension, which will amplify the abundance of light and the relationship between the outside and the inside
⦁ Create carefully considered zones using kitchen islands, rugs and sofas
⦁ Proportion is everything – if the scale of your furniture is wrong, it will have a dramatic impact on how big and airy the room feels
⦁ Provide ample space for walking around dedicated zones
⦁ Use practical furniture that combines open shelving with hidden storage to cleverly disguise everyday items, reduce mess and allow light to flow throughout
⦁ In open plan spaces, always consider the sight lines at eye level from key views and entrances
⦁ Keeping visual clutter to a minimum is essential to maximise light and space, and maintaining a sense of calm
Clever furniture choices that maximise your existing space
Although it would be nice to have a clear, empty house – the reality is that we all need stuff, and all too often this ‘stuff’ interferes with the sense of space in our homes. By making strategic and informed choices in furniture solutions such as stacking storage boxes, banquette or booth seating, benches, and furniture that can be used in a variety of ways, you can significantly amplify what space you do have.
Light and space create a domestic oasis in the chaos of modern living
The pursuit of space and light is something we know a lot about at Westbury, because orangeries, bespoke conservatories and garden room extensions are the ultimate way to maximise light and space in any home, regardless of the size and stature.
All of our clients come to us with the same desire for more space and light, and we are privileged enough to see the positive difference that both of these elements bring to our customers in the years after they install one of our products.
Space and light create a sense of calm and well-being both physically and mentally, and certainly in the case of garden room extensions, help to secure that all important connection with nature and the outside that has become so sought-after by the modern consumer.