Play with Natural Light

Natural lighting is one of the Holy Grails of home design.

Everybody wants it, it makes people feel happier and healthier; improves their focus during the day and their sleep at night. 

Most modern schools of architecture maximize this commodity to increase comfort and energy efficiency, though the power of the Arizona sun must be dealt with responsibly to tamp down those air-conditioning bills. 

It’s difficult to keep natural light uniform throughout a house, so most of us are stuck with at least one room that doesn’t have enough. But there are cosmetic and structural fixes to make the most of what it has or invite more in. 


Going gray

Light grays on walls, furniture and floors is an effective and elegant way to maximize whatever sunlight is seeping into your cave without the glaring effect of an all-white motif. Any other lighter shade also will reflect sunlight or at least not absorb it the way darker shades do. 

Turn to the light

Angling all the furniture to face the natural light source, especially if it’s in neutrals or pastels, will magnify the reflective effect for anybody who’s using the room. Putting white curtains or translucent shades on windows helps, too. 

Chandeliers to the rescue

Any room that a crystal chandelier can work in, i.e. dining room, living room, great room, foyer or even the kitchen, will benefit from the sunlight reflected by and through its shimmering surfaces. 


Sun tunnels and skylights

Both of these let sun in through the roof and are a good option when adding a window isn’t possible. The tunnels are smaller and easier to install for small rooms. For larger spaces, a skylight adds drama and appeal. 

New windows

These can be added to almost any wall. The expense varies, but it’s generally a worthwhile investment if it’s hard for the room to be functional without it.

Glass walls

Clearly one of the most invasive alternatives, but worth considering if there’s a stunning Arizona view waiting on the other side!

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