Lighting Your Home Naturally
Less light in the cooler months can mean higher energy costs. Pioneers of environmental architecturel like Chancellor & Patrick in the 1960s, designed homes with cantilevered roofing and thick walls of sliding glass to keep homes well-ventilated yet well-lit. These features that still play out well today in larger, modern homes where the demands are greater of work zones and leisure areas.
If you’re building a new home, landscaping can be the first factor you consider in orienting your home. An established deciduous tree can provide breezy shade in summer, whilst its bare branches can filter through sunshine in the colder months. If you’re starting with a blank canvas, then landscaping to achieve the same effect can reduce your dependence on energy in the winter, keeping your home full on natural sunshine and warmth. Planting deciduous trees on the south of your home will deliver the best results.
Sky High Solutions
Skylights have come a long way since the old plastic bubbles of the 70s. Velux windows operate automatically, opening during warmer months to let in air and closing when it rains. In winter, they keep rooms full of bright light and warmth, reducing the impact on energy bills. Skylights also improve ventilation in a room and circulate healthier air.
Working a Sunroom
With some clever planning, a sunroom can provide year-round and even be used as a green house. Using fit-for-purpose glass in walls of sliding doors such as those in our Garden Retreat or San Marino home designs, the room can open up to a garden or pool during the warmer months and remain closed during the cooler months to capture light and heat.
Cosy by Candlelight
Candles come into their own during the winter months, not only creating a warm glow but scented candles can set the mood for cosy and comfortable nights at home. Use candlelight at the dining table or around the living room during the evening to spark the romance of days of old. Shop around and you’re sure to find candleholder designs that amplify light for night-time relaxing in a variety of modern and antique styles.
Around the Fire
An open wood fire like the one in our Huntingdale display home at Googong generates heat and light and can be used in place of some overhead lights. You can compliment a fire with standing floor lamps or a few strategically placed pendants that have more of a decorative effect in summer and a distinctly practical one in winter.
Get up Close and Personal
Using one room instead of two or three simultaneously means there’s only energy being used in one room. Encourage the household to work and talk together in the kitchen or the lounge by creating an environment of shared spaces. A kitchen bench for cooking and homework, and the table or a comfortable armchair for reading or listening to music. By using only a single room in the house, you’ll not only save on the use of artificial light, but you’ll bring the household together to reflect and engage, building deeper and stronger connections.
Need help on how to create spaces that work all year round? Call us on 1300 555 382. McDonald Jones Homes are the experts in innovative new home design.