20 August 2015

Tips for maximising the sun in new house designs

When you’re building a new house, it’s important to consider natural lighting from the outset. Having natural sunlight streaming in gives a home a wonderful feeling of spaciousness and warmth. The placement of your rooms and windows is one of the most crucial factors in creating a light-filled home.

You can start designing the floorplan by considering how the sun moves throughout the day. As each room has different requirements for sun or shade, think about where you want the sun to be streaming in, or not, at various times.

Tips for getting the aspect right

Where would you most like the sun to be, while you’re going about your normal daily routine? As morning sun streams directly into east-facing rooms, placing the dining room or kitchen in this direction makes the most of the warmth and refreshing feeling of early morning sunlight.

On the flip side, locating bedrooms on the east wall can interrupt sleep (unless you love to rise really early!) and create too much heat when you don’t want it. Rooms with north-facing windows will benefit from the strongest sunlight, therefore this location is a good choice for living rooms, when you want to make the most of the light all day.

In the afternoon, when the sun is low in the west, windows facing in this direction get direct sunlight that is often too harsh to be comfortable, and can cause your furniture to fade. This means the west-facing part of the house might be good for bedrooms that aren’t generally used in the afternoons.

South-facing rooms get the least natural light, therefore this is a good location for bathrooms, entrance ways or storage rooms, as they don’t require natural light as much as the other rooms in your house.

A few more tips and tricks

If it’s not possible to face every room the way you’d like to, or if you’re having trouble finding ways to let more light in, you can look at other possibilities, including:

  • Skylights to introduce light to dark rooms from the roof level.
  • Light shelves, which are located directly below skylights to bounce light back to the ceiling for more illumination.
  • Interior paint can heavily affect the quality of the light entering your home. Paler colours reflect light more easily than dark colours.

Consider custom made blinds

Custom made blinds are well worth thinking about for your new home. They can be used to avoid damage from harsh sun on summer afternoons and let sun in on cool winter mornings. They can be designed to fit each window and each room in terms of how much privacy and insulation you need. For example, sheer fabric vertical blinds are ideal for a room where you want a lot of light and don’t need a lot of privacy. Cellular fabric blinds provide an extra layer of insulation, and are great in areas where you want to block out heat and light.

Designing a home to use the sun to its best advantage creates a pleasant environment in every season. It also ensures you make the most of natural energy efficiency, which means less money spent on bills and more to spend on home decorating!

Tags: Tips, Home Design