Designing with Light: Windows and Natural Light
No Substitute for Natural Light
“There is no match for natural light when trying to bring a space to life” says premiere custom homebuilder Mark Molthan of Platinum Series Homes. “We can fly in massive chandeliers or have intricate light fixtures custom made, but there is simply no substitute for a room with perfectly selected and placed windows.”
While at first thought window selection may seem a rather vanilla task, the more research is done, the clearer it becomes that no two windows are created equal. Each type has its unique strengths and weaknesses that are amplified or diminished by the room in which they are installed as well as their placement.
While there are hundreds of different types and styles of windows, here is a list of some of the most common types used in homes:
Most Popular Window Types
Double hung windows – The most common type of window found in homes. The top remains anchored and does not move while the bottom segment slides up and down.
Bay windows – Very common windows in master bedrooms and kitchens. The windows are built out from the structure of the home, giving more space inside.
Picture windows – These windows are stationary and do not move. They are commonly found in front of kitchen sinks.
Awning windows – These rotate or turn inward instead of the traditional up and down movement of other windows.
Casement windows – These windows rotate and open by turning a crank. They are becoming more popular in kitchens and studies.
Platinum Series Window Choices and Placements
This combination of glass doors with casement windows in the kitchen creates a strong sense of depth, which can draw more attention to the kitchen. The use of natural light was paired with the classical arches to create a sense of security and homey-ness while maintaining an open, luxurious feel. The natural light streams softly into the hallway, gently highlighting the detail in the intricate wood floor. The mix of dark and light materials, all illuminated largely by natural light, contributes to the feeling of motion in the space.
This room uses 12-foot picture windows with arched tops, glass doors and accent colors in adjoining rooms to create a soft, friendly atmosphere. The high arched ceilings and walls are white with touches of color used throughout. Outside of one small lantern suspended in the center of the room, the space is illuminated entirely by natural light reflecting off the floor and walls. The sparing use of color draws the attention outside, broadening the perceived size of the room and blurring the lines between indoor and outdoor spaces.
In this ultimate example of combined natural and artificial lighting, floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors provide the majority of light for this gargantuan living room. The windows/doors can slide open to let in the breeze, allowing you to enjoy the pleasure of a sunny day within the comfort of the living room. Natural light is one of the key design features in this room. The practical choice of these windows elevates what would be a simple living room into an impressive combined transitional activity space.
Transform Your Home
Light is the life blood in any space. Well-lit rooms can transform the entire nature of a home. The right window in the perfect space can not only illuminate the living area, but help the space make an elegant transition from outdoor to indoor living.