Dark may be in when it comes to colour schemes – those palettes of inky blue, emerald green and black (or close to it) aren't going anywhere. But as the days get shorter, it's important to find a balance, and make sure we aren't compromising our fix of natural light.
Daylight makes all the difference to how you use a room. Like moths to a flame, family and friends will gravitate to where it's brightest, particularly when it's gloomy outside.
A light, bright space can also improve your health and wellbeing, with natural light providing vitamin D to help the body fight depression and disease and helping us sleep more soundly. And it is certainly better for your eyes. That's a key consideration if you're using a room for an activity where you need to focus, be it on study or prepping for a dinner party.
Then there's the extra ventilation roof windows can bring, helping to cool a potentially stuffy kitchen or bedroom, and improving air quality along the way.
If you're struggling to find your light, these clever ideas – all utilising VELUX (opens in new tab)roof windows – might serve as inspiration.
Luminous loft spaces
All over the country, once neglected attics are enjoying a new lease of life as bedrooms, studies, playrooms and increasingly, light-filled living spaces. And while installing skylights into a roof is nothing new, grouping them together to form a wall of light is a contemporary take that really opens up the space.
Rather than providing a simple pocket of light, a bank of VELUX roof windows provides an expansive view over the neighbouring treetops or rooftops, at the same time charging us with energy as the sun moves across the room through the day.
When confronted with a dark hallway, landing area or bathroom, it's hard to know where to start. Artificial lighting and paint can only do so much, whereas a VELUX (opens in new tab) Sun Tunnel can immediately make a dramatic difference.
These tunnels can run from 0.2m and 6m between your ceiling and the roof, introducing instant daylight to corridors, stairwells and cupboards, where installation of a VELUX roof window might not be possible.
For those with little-to-no outdoor space, aVELUX CABRIO balcony can open your loft to the elements and allows you to bask in the sunshine, all year around. It cleverly closes flat to the pitch of your roof, too, so if planning permission won't be granted for a dormer, this could be the way to go.
Can you see there at the back? Open-plan living has many benefits, but it you aren't opening up a house through from front to back, you might be concerned that the space furthest from your extension's windows will seem dark and uninviting.
It's a valid concern, but one that's easily resolved with a pitched roof fitted with VELUX (opens in new tab)roof windows that are angled towards the gloomiest parts of the room.
In fact, a study has shown that VELUX'ssloping roof windows can bring in twice as much daylight** as vertical windows of the same size, making both your original space and your extension feel so much brighter by allowing daylight to reach deep into your home.
**Johnsen et al, 2006
As VELUX says, 'It's the outside. Now available inside' – and we can see exactly what they mean.
Amy Cutmore is the Head of Audience at Future and works across all the home brands, including Livingetc, Homes and Gardens, Ideal Home and Real Homes. She is known for her knowledge of tech and how to blend it with lifestyle, writing the popular blog Girl About Tech. She has also been the digital editor of Ideal Homes.
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