I learned very early on in my career as a prop stylist that for photography, natural light truly is the #1 element that you need for a room (or shot) to look alive. Before the wonders that is of Photoshop, photographers used to get booked and paid based on their ability to replicate natural light with strobes, etc. It simply makes a room. Before we get into today’s FREE “Brighten Up Any Room” MAKEOVER GIVEAWAY with
Here’s a weird secret: a lot of the most “successful” bloggers and Instagrammers live in SoCal…did you know that? It’s not because “Hollywood.” It’s because of the light. We have beautiful light all year for more hours of the day. The winter light is even more beautiful here than the summer light. We don’t have to chase it or find it, it’s normally outside and full of blue (sky) and green (tree) accents. I’ve literally met people who moved here because “there is so much more daylight here” which of course makes sense but even three years ago, I was shocked by the fact that people relocate from New York or Portland for the use of natural light in their work.
But we aren’t talking about taking selfies. Who cares. What I care about is how natural light affects the interior of your home. Now obviously, windows are a big factor, but what happens when you have windows that face close buildings or with big overhangs outside (or mature trees) or can’t have windows because it’s an interior room? Is your room fated to forever be selfie-less? How will your room grow its Instagram following?
Last year, I discovered
TRUE STORY. But let’s get into some specifics about the whens and whys to choose skylights.
One of the most “duh” places to use a skylight is in the bathroom, but let me tell you why.
One of the BIGGEST pluses for me and my new found love of skylights is the fact that you can put them in places where windows can’t (or shouldn’t) go, like in showers (in Portland, we used Velux’s
I opted for one in the
Hallways & Stairwells
Interior rooms (like bathrooms, laundry rooms, even bedrooms with no windows…yes these exist) or hallways are a GREAT place to add natural light as they can really be the dead zone of homes. Maybe that’s why staircases can feel dark and creepy? Because there is rarely any natural light source? For the Portland project, we worked with Velux to integrate skylights in many rooms, but they made SUCH a difference in the staircase landing and stairwell. Had we accepted the fact that there were no accessible windows upstairs beyond what trickled in from the surrounding bedrooms, it would have definitely felt more cave-like and not as grand.
Oh how I wish I had known all of this before I renovated our LA house. We could have bumped up our master bedroom ceilings to vault them and add skylights and man, that would have been my happy place. The
Now, for anyone who needs total darkness to sleep and concerned about early morning light creeping in at 5 a.m., there’s always the option of remote-controlled room darkening shades to make sure your precious ZZzz are not forfeited unnecessarily.
A kitchen awash in light is the stuff of Nancy Meyers movie home dreams, but sacrificing wall space (i.e. cabinetry) to put in more windows can feel like Sophie’s Choice. Sunlight vs. storage…truly a conundrum, except as I discovered, it really doesn’t have to be if it works for the architecture of your home. Skylights are a no brainer for spaces where you desperately need wall space for functionality but don’t want to give up nature’s gift to design.
And just like in a bathroom, “smells” and moisture need to go somewhere, so a quick open of the skylight is ideal for releasing cooking odors, steam and, for the budding chef that hasn’t quite figured it out yet, accidental smoke.
SO ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT SKYLIGHTS YET? Can you tell that I am? Honestly, I’ll probably never design another home without them if I can help it, which is why I’m so happy to have Velux as a partner (for both the Portland house and now the mountain house). Which brings me to the part of this post where I announce a very exciting giveaway.
Brighten Up Any Room Giveaway
This girl here LOVES her natural light and fresh air, and I’m so pumped to be partnering with Velux to give away the chance to transform one room in one of your homes with a custom design refresh from me, including the installation of up to two
So, what do you have to do to win this super fun giveaway? Head on over to