Nobody wishes to live in a dark and dingy home. Here, we look at ways our creative Interior Designers have introduced natural light into some of our most recent residential property developments in London.
Those looking to buy a new home speak of wanting bright and airy spaces. However, given much of London is made up of period properties, this isn’t always easy to achieve.
Space is tight, houses are often closely packed and rooms even more so. Nonetheless, there are a number of innovative ways to bring light to even the dimmest of homes. Often, it just takes a little imagination.
Terraced homes without gardens have the unfortunate feature of only having windows at the front of the property. One such example of this conundrum was a rectangular Knightsbridge mews house we developed whose frontage was the only source of light. Enclosed on three sides by neighbouring houses, we sought to extend the property down by excavating a basement and create an atrium.
Across all floors, a 4 by 4 metre corner of the property was removed with a retractable glazed roof installed at the top. A bespoke, copper and limestone water feature blessed the back wall providing a startling atmosphere. With glass balustrades providing a minimalist look, the home suddenly naturally became a haven for sunlight.
Atrium in Grosvenor Crescent Mews, Knightsbridge
Whilst a light well may well reduce the useable space within a home, it can of course significantly increase a property’s value by adding that wow factor. Where external amenity space is non-existent, this answer really encapsulates the best of both worlds by bringing the outdoors indoors.
Dining Area in Grosvenor Crescent Mews, Knightsbridge
The addition of glass flooring will invite light to flow effortlessly into a lower ground or basement space. When confronted with a brief to design a record selling luxury Belgravia mews our Interior Designers team set about making the basement space both practical and functional. As this newly dug subterranean level would be home to the kitchen and dining space, introducing natural light was an absolute necessity. Glass flooring in the ground floor reception allowed light directly into the basement.
Moreover, with a ceiling height of 3.2 metres, mirrors intensified the light diffusing it throughout the space. Additionally, a retractable glazed roof that allowed you to see the sky from a basement was that little bit of intangible luxury that was truly unique to this property.
Mirrors Intensifying Light in Belgravia Basement
In the limestone cladded stairwell, glass balustrades complimented a glass wall through which you could see the kitchen as you walk down. Importantly, creating light through the addition of mass glass panes can sometimes create a cold ambience. On trick is framing glass wall for example in a dark wood such as walnut, a contrast between the warmth and the coldness can increase the effect and become decorative.
Glass Walls Intensifying Light in Belgravia Basement
The eventual sale price that was achieved for this Belgravia mews house was just shy of £3,000 per square foot which in 2014 saw it not just break a record for the highest valued mews in London but short listed for Best Residential Property in the United Kingdom.
A glazed retractable ceiling in any property is an invaluable addition. Often, properties that benefit from small outdoor spaces such as a walled courtyard or patio lend themselves to this arrangement. Whilst losing outdoor space is perhaps a daunting thought, extending the useable internal space is seen often more valuable and practical.
Above part of the reception room this house, the roof retracts hallway allowing light to spread throughout the ground floor. The tinted glazed roof provides privacy when not retracted and does not lessen the amount of light coming through.
Retractable Glazed Roof in Belgravia House
Inevitably, there are limitations when incorporating these novel light inducing features, and not just when it comes to budget. ‘When you’re doing a refurbishment, you’re constrained by the existing structure’ says Alan Waxman, Managing Director. ‘One size does not fit all; you have to look at each property from a fresh perspective.’
Ultimately, ‘you have to compromise; on the one hand you can have a glass box and no privacy, or lots of privacy and little light. You have to decide what your priorities are.’ Alan says.
If you are considering refurbishing a property, in general ‘the higher the ceilings, the fewer the rooms and the more glass you can introduce, the better it is when it comes to creating light’ says Eleri Lloyd, Senior Interior Designer at Landmass.
At Landmass, we invite private commissions from end users and investors wanting to produce the most prised configuration of their property complimented by timeless interiors and beautiful features. Our in-house team of Architectural and Luxury Interior Designers have an unrivalled imagination that has earned Landmass numerous accolades including Best Residential Property in the United Kingdom.
Let’s discuss your project on 020 7439 8095