Free Interior Design Element…You Already Own It!


scandinavian fireplace with white tiles on black wall and with crystal chandelier

Monday we showed you four homes that all have something in common.  Something free that makes every interior the best it can be.  Did you figure out what we are talking about?   It’s in traditional design and in modern design.  Farmhouse to Jetson decor.  Your home and ours.


GettyImages-513443516 Sunrise


You, no doubt, have already figured out that natural light is what we are talking about.  Yet how often is it the first thing you think about when dreaming of the decor and design of your home?  When you surf the internet, deciding between one area rug or the other, do you think about how the light falls in the room?  How adding that rug will absorb or reflect the natural light in the room?  Not often, right?


After listening to you, our client, as we discussed in Monday’s Post Here, the next thing we are doing as we chat is looking at how the light is in your home.  Why is this so important?  It’s something we can’t change.  The sun is going to come up every day, and will come into your home the way it wants to no matter how charming we are.  Since not many of us want to live under a rock, natural light is an asset in our home’s decor.  We want it and want a lot of it.  The more the better.  Last we looked, we still can’t “buy” sunlight.  It’s free to everyone.   Let’s look at some amazing examples of spaces that have taken full advantage of the sun and learn more about this fabulous friend.


One of our favorite parts of a project, new construction in particular, is watching an architect walking around a piece of property saying little but thinking far into the future.  Following them while they plan the very best plotting of the structure has taught us how to look at the interior design to grab every last ray of this free amenity as well.

"Architecture appears for the first timewhen thesunlighthits the wall." Louis Kahn

Sunny Kitchens Are Warm and Inviting All Year Round


The golden hour, sometimes called the “magic hour”, is roughly the first hour of light after sunrise, and the last hour of light before sunset, although the exact duration varies between seasons.  During these times the sun is low in the sky, producing a soft, diffused light that is much more flattering than the harsh midday sun that so many of us are used to shooting in.  Photographers love these times of day planning most of the outdoor shooting at these times.  You can see, from the interior shots we have scattered throughout this post, that interiors bathed in sunlight draw us immediately into a room and keep us lingering.

teen girl sitting on a windowsill reading a book in last sunlight of the day - via bustle

“The sun was just beginning to set and the beautiful bright color seemed to be contributing to the natural light. She read word by word until the sun was fully covered with darkness. She placed the book back in its designated spot which she will take tomorrow for another round of reading with the sunlight shining through the window.” – summi02

Photographer Greta Rybus captures the streaming sunlight in this kitchen beautifully.


The direction the sun comes from gives us different types of light.  Planning how rooms are used, with this in mind, can prevent a gloomy breakfast or a blinding dinner time.  Knowing your home’s light patterns, when planning a renovation, will ensure a successful project.


  • North facing windows.  These windows tend to have the weakest light intensity and are often in relatively lower light throughout the day.
  • South facing windows.  Because the sun follows a slightly southern east-to-west arc across the sky, southern windows usually have strong light intensity.
  • East-facing windows.  East windows benefit from the morning sun when the rays are not quite as strong.
  • West facing windows.  West windows get the full afternoon and evening sun.

In bedrooms and bathrooms, the days start off right with a soft filtering light.  Studies show we all have a better outlook when we are exposed to sunlight on a regular basis.  Interiors seem to agree.


Start looking around your home at all times of the day.  Snap a photo of rooms and spaces as you notice the sun coming in a window or door.  You will see slivers of light, all sizes of shapes, and even times when the sun is “moving” as it reflects off something in your home.  Study the photos a few times and we bet you will learn a new appreciation for your home’s decor. You may want to adjust some things to take full advantage of the free amenity we get from all directions.

Don’t fret if you get jumbled up as I do about compass readings.  If you have a canine or feline helper your sunlight spots will be easy to pinpoint!  It will be the spot that needs the vac more often and you wouldn’t have it any other way.  How about we enjoy our homes as much as they do?

Black and white photo of a pair of french bulldogs laying in a stream of sunlight.  via remodelista

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