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Five ways to maximise compact spaces with natural light

Text: Mr Nitin Mehta, Executive Director, Head – Marketing & Sales, ALCOI INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED, Panchkula

Natural light transforms the look of any space, especially compact ones in interior design. With the rising population and mass migration to urban areas, residences are now more compact to overcome the housing crisis. These smaller dwellings are comparatively more economical, which makes them more suitable for young families and individuals. But the challenge remains to create a sense of expanse and airiness in such compact spaces – and natural light can help solve that.

Studies have shown that natural light considerably benefits one’s health and well-being. Researchers have also found that people who spend more time in natural light may experience better sleep and be happier and healthier.

  • A neutral colour scheme

One can invite natural light in the quickest way possible by choosing lighter colour schemes such as white, cream and beige. White walls, in particular, reflect light beautifully and dispel darkness. Using lighter neutral or pastel tones also increases the brightness factor while meeting colour needs.

  • Reflective surfaces

Mirrors reflect light in living and work spaces, especially when there is a lack of windows. They supplement twice as much the natural light from the outside, and adding a mirror opposite or adjacent to a window also visually expands the room.

  • Skylights

Installing a skylight is one of the most creative ways to supplement natural light in your home and workspaces. With roof lights, natural light spills in, making even the dark corners feel light and airy, bringing the outdoors indoors and lending extra space. Suitable fenestration designs combine the varying roof systems allowing even more light to brighten your living space.

Adding extra windows with innovative glazing technology ensures the space is energy-efficient, which is now improved with enhanced thermal technology to provide better insulation. For additional privacy or to reduce natural light during the summer, one can add blinds.

  • Expansive windows

Full-sized, wall-to-wall or floor-to-ceiling windows are a suitable replacement for walls and break the monotony of closed spaces. An open floor plan is often paired with expansive windows, allowing more light inside. Freeing up a cluttered space, locating the furniture up to the sill level or keeping an open floor plan amplifies the letting natural light in.

Borrowing light with the help of translucent surfaces, such as sliding panels or glazed doors, maximises space in a compact area while allowing in plenty of light. Sliding panels are also great room separators; whether open or closed, the natural light and privacy go together.