Space Planning and Light
Before digging deeper into space planning and light, it’s important to understand two of the Elements of Interior Design, Light & Space.
Space is one of the seven imperative elements and building blocks of interior design. Space encompasses all into one entity. Whatever your project, consider any living space as a whole, the entire volume. Design, re-design or decorate your space with a holistic approach. And, take into account your own and your fellow occupants’ wellbeing.
Moreover, joining Space, are all the other design elements. These are line, shape, colour, pattern, texture and light and they all combine. They take hands as a team, as a close band of brothers. All within any space or area, to form an entity.
Light is Vital for any Interior Space
Mr Light is an element that involves two distinct aspects. That is natural and artificial light which we have to study and work with, in an interior. Certainly, light is the means through which we can observe our surroundings. Light is a very powerful tool. To clarify, we can totally transform the feeling of a space by changing the colour, intensity and placement of light. We tend to think of lighting in terms of artificial light. However, it is important to optimally utilise natural light. Above all, we need to exploit it in terms of practical use and to acknowledge the beauty of a space.
Importantly, consider both artificial and natural light when creating an interior design from scratch. Also, when working with an existing scheme, one can do a lot to make improvements. Light is obviously essential for safety, security and to easily perform specific tasks. Further, light can give the impression of pattern, texture, movement and colour.
Like Space is a designer’s canvas, Light is the designer’s aid in creating shadow, highlights, contrast, movement and interest. That is to say, light can be a strong, theatrical decorative element in any interior setting.
How to Exploit Light in Interior Design
Light can be a purely decorative element. For instance, it can cast shadows on even surfaces, or brighten a feature wall. It can create illusions and interest. Also, light can illuminate a ceiling to create a sense of spaciousness. How we use reflective materials and windows holds a lot of potential for natural light. Light unlocks the awareness and perception of space. A lighter space just seems more open and expansive. Usually. Do you agree?
Firstly, one must evaluate how much natural light is visible within an area. Consider the orientation of the walls with windows. Notice if the interior space has north, east, south, or western light. Or, does the room have little natural light available?
As the angle of the sun changes throughout the day, the traits of natural light fluctuate in an interior space. The intensity and angle of sunlight also differ between winter and summer. Importantly, this assessment is one of our starting points. The availability of natural light in an interior leads and limits many essential design choices.
Space Planning with Natural & Artificial Light
The direction of light affects space planning and the placement of art, furniture and other objects. For example, direct, late afternoon sunlight glaring on the television or computer screen is not ideal. However, this type of light can also be beneficial in creating dramatic shadow effects. Artificial light can neutralise this sort of light if the shadows impose on your tasks.
It doesn’t matter what climate you live in. Consider the quality of available light for an interior space along with its reflecting colours. This is vital when deciding on what finishes and colours you want to use. Above all, consider this when doing your space planning. Moreover, study how shadows fall when planning furniture placement and colour application.
Also, consider light and shadows during daytime and night-time. In other words, study natural light and artificial light and the need thereof. Importantly, this is part of the information guiding your project path.
How Light Falls Where
The curve of light directly from and facing the equator, tend to not reach so deeply into an interior space. In a north-south exposure, the sun tends to rise and set in a higher curve overhead. Therefore, in a north-south orientation, it is likely that there are fewer sharp slants of light. As a result, the natural light in a room with this position is more consistent throughout the day. Although there may be fewer fading and dark corners, there may also be fewer theatrical moments.
A room facing away from the equator will naturally be darker and cooler. In other words, a south-facing room in the southern hemisphere, and a north-facing room in the northern hemisphere.
Planning and Designing a Space with Little Natural Light Available
It may be necessary to treat a room as such with aiding daytime artificial lighting effects. Also, there may be a need for more stress on a dramatic arrangement of items in this type of room. The same may apply to rooms facing east or west when the sun is shining in the opposite direction of the window orientation. Not to fret, for this may be an advantage depending on the climate and use of the room.
There are infinite inspired strategies to deal with equalising and deploying natural light. One can turn what seems like a drawback into a striking positive thru lateral thinking that expresses creativity. That is to say, the angle of a room and lighting are both matters where one can explore inventive solutions. Don’t be afraid to approach a problem in another way and see how you can turn it into something delightful.
Draw on Natural Light during Daytime
Each orientation has its own rewards and shortcomings. It is part of creative practice to spot the snags and abolish them. After that, exploit the dramatic likelihood that the value of light in a space offer. There are tactics you can use to array natural light and diversify effects in a space. For example, use mirrors and other reflective material, clerestory windows, light wells or skylights. These aids are especially effective in small spaces.
When, for instance, you want to utilise a tiny attic room, consider fitting a glass skylight. As a result, it will eliminate the “camping” and cramped feeling of a sloping roof. This will make even the tiniest attic room seem spacious. Also, professional installation may be well worth the cost.
Lovely light effects can change a space and influence your furniture layout and other planning.
Importantly, once again, assess the quality and constraints of natural light in a raw space. Then, you will be able to know what you can and must do to achieve the design goals you desire.
On the other hand, artificial light has no limits. The value of artificial light sources can be controlled. To clarify, it can be as bright and clear as the morning light, or as warm and soft as the light at sundown. One can also decrease or increase the intensity of light by using a dimmer switch. A spotlight can highlight an object, or dispersed light can subtly glow around architectural detail.
There are many ways to produce excitement and drama. Especially in rooms that may have less of a light benefit at daytime.
Some spaces have remarkable views day and night. However, even a high-rise balcony or plain suburban lawn can become a lovely sight or focal point. For instance, exploit wall washer lights and spotlights. Also, carefully and cleverly plan the placement of objects.
What does one perceive in a properly lit room? Ceilings or walls washed with a glow of light and radiant lamps behind softening shades. Moreover, one sees light splashes which emphasizes detail and interesting items. Also, one may notice fascinating patterns of light cast across objects, walls and floors. Meanwhile, these patterns can provide humour, dimension and mystery. It can let the viewer see something exciting not visible with natural light only.
How one exploits light in a small and shady space, is quite important.
As mentioned before, keep in mind that one can utilise artificial lighting during the day in shady rooms. The choice of paint colour and other items in the room is also important. In addition, it is important to consider including reflective surfaces in your scheme.
Perhaps you want to paint the far-off wall in a small, shady room a flat or matt charcoal teal or midnight blue. But this may not be the best use of a feature wall. Certainly, don’t do this if it is only because it matches a chair fabric. Or, just because you like the colour. This will only close in the room and make it look shadier and darker.
However, try painting the same wall, with a warm, off-white reflective paint. This will ensure all-out light reflection with a warm and sunny result. You can still add your favourite darker or cooler colours in different ways, like accents. For example, add pops of these colours throughout pieces of wall art on that same off-white accent wall. Then, emphasise the arrangement with spotlights.
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