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Leverage Energy-Efficient Natural Light in Your Home Design


Many factors go into a successful home renovation, but have you considered sunlight’s role in your project? The predictable nature of seasonal daylight means it should be one of your first considerations. Here’s how to maximize natural light while maintaining energy efficiency as you plan your whole-house renovation.

Consider Home Orientation

If you have the option to change the floor plan during your whole-home renovation, remember this:

  • East-facing rooms get morning light.
  • South-facing areas get sun all day.
  • West-facing rooms get afternoon sun.
  • North-facing areas never get direct sunlight, though they may get plenty of filtered, indirect light.

The trick is to strategically position your rooms and windows to deliver light in the right places at the right time. By considering where you want natural light throughout the day, you can design a layout that illuminates your home naturally while maintaining energy efficiency. For instance:

  • If you’re a morning person, you may love waking up to the sun. In that case, an east-facing master suite is best.
  • Do you work on the computer all afternoon? A north-facing home office is perfect for reducing heat gain and minimizing glare.
  • If you love growing herbs in your kitchen’s garden window, it’s optimal to have a south-facing kitchen.
  • Do you want floor-to-ceiling windows to emphasize the cathedral ceilings in your living room? To avoid excessive energy bills, it’s best if this room faces north or east.

Install Large Windows & Skylights

When it comes to allowing natural light into your home, bigger windows are always better. Here are the types of windows that bring in the most sunlight:

  • Picture windows don’t open, so they are available in massive dimensions for maximum natural light and exterior views.
  • Bay and bow windows fan out from the foundation, providing panoramic views and sunlight from a wide angle.
  • Transom windows are installed above an operable or picture window. They are ideal for extending natural light all the way to the ceiling.
  • Glass block walls are ideal for bathrooms and closets where you want natural light without affecting privacy.
  • Skylights let sunlight stream in from above for more natural light all day long. Then at night, they allow you to stargaze.
  • Solar tubes are ingenious reflective pipes that brighten up interior rooms and hallways without raising your electricity bill.

Decorate Strategically

You may have heard that mirrors make a room feel larger, but they also make it appear brighter. After all, mirrors reflect light rather than absorbing it, which doubles the amount of sunlight in the space. Other shiny objects also have this effect, including metallic vases, silver picture frames, and chrome furniture accents.

A light color palette also has a way of brightening up a room. White walls bounce light around the room, making the space feel light and airy. If you prefer a little color, keep it on the lighter side, and use a satin or semi-gloss paint for a naturally reflective sheen.

Finally, hang sheer window treatments instead of thick drapes. These allow soft, diffused light to enter and keep prying eyes from peering inside. A retractable blackout curtain comes in handy if you want to darken the room for watching TV or sleeping.

Remodel Your Home with Meridian Construction

If you’re ready to shine some light on your Pennsylvania home, team up with Meridian Construction for your upcoming renovation project. We have exceeded our customers’ expectations for over 30 years, and we’re confident we can meet your needs without compromise.

Give us a call at 215-720-1863, or contact us online to request a design consultation today!

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