Let there be light!
I have discovered that the difference between a beautiful interior of a home and an ugly interior can be simply in the lighting. Homes that are filled with natural light feel bigger, cleaner, and more expensive. Homes that are dark inside, no matter how well they are decorated or what colors they are painted, can feel dirty, cramped, cheap. Natural light is something I am addicted to in my line of work as a professional photographer so naturally I like a lot of natural light in my home as well.
As you could probably see from my last post about the striped curtains, we have a big beautiful light-filled, high-ceiling-ed family room aka the “Man Cave”. I think we will have to rename this room the “Man Palace” though because it is nothing like a cave at all. The room was an addition to the home 20 years ago and it includes a third bathroom and a large storage closet. Because of all the light and the space this is where our family spends most of it’s time. Sadly, when this room was added onto the house all those years ago it was at the expense of the lighting in the living room. Before the addition the living room likely had some kind of doors that led out to the backyard. These doors were most likely glass and added natural light to the room. When the addition was put on there was still some amount of natural light that reached the living room from the Man Palace, but very little. Since this room has no windows and is in the almost center of the home, it is by far the darkest room in the house.
After we moved in we noticed that the lack of light made us gravitate away from this room. No one wanted to play or read in the dark and this room doesn’t even have overhead lighting we could turn on- only the two lamps on the console table. It’s a beautiful space and I loved the way the room was coming together but no amount of decorating or furniture arranging could make up for the lack of natural light during the day.
So the plan to put in solar tubes quickly moved to the top of our to-do list. We decided we could really use a large one in this room and perhaps a smaller one in the dining room since that room is fairly dark as well. Solar tubes are essentially a more energy efficient, safe, less expensive form of skylights. They add natural light to a room through a tube in the ceiling that reaches up to the roof. They are less likely to leak, break, or lose insulation like skylights and they are much cheaper and easier to install. It only took two hours for the guy to install both our solar tubes!
So here is the amazing after photos of the living room now full of light:
I still would like to add a sliding glass door or a large window to the one wall in the living room that could open up to our side yard but for now we are enjoying much more light in this room than before and we are already spending much more time in this room.