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Category:  Decorating

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Light Orientation and Interior Design


By Nikki Willhite

Use the sunlight and your climate to your advantage

One of the most important considerations in decorating your home is each room's orientation to the sun,  your climate, and the placement and windows in your space. It is also the most overlooked consideration.

When an architect designs a home, this is a priority! How will the home be set on the lot? Which rooms have a southern exposure? Where should the windows be placed?

Most of us live in cookie cutter homes, that have been placed on lots with no consideration given to light orientation. To cut costs, most of our homes are designed with the fewest windows possible.

Adding extra windows to your home is expensive. It makes an incredible difference to your home, but few of us can afford it. If you can afford it, or have the skills to do it yourself, and want to improve your home, think about it. For the rest of us, here is some help.

Here are some of the things you can do to make your home more comfortable:

In Hot Climates

Windows should be kept to a minimum on the west and south side of the house. Decorate rooms on the west and south side in cool tones. A wall painted mint green will visually cool you off several degrees.

If you want more light in your house, put your windows and skylights on the northern or eastern side of the house or roof.

Install outside awnings on windows on the west side. These rooms can become unusable for several hours each day in the afternoon and when the sun is going down. If you don't like shutting your drapes, an awning will help.

In Cold or Dark Climates

Windows should be kept to a minimum on the northern side of the house. Install your thermopane windows here first, to keep your home warmer.

Use warm colors in these rooms for a cozy feeling on a cold or drab day. Again, you will be visually warmed.

Windows on the south side will warm your house and fill it with sunshine in the winter. In warmer, dark climates, windows on the south side of your house will provide heat, and your furnace will run less and you will save money.


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