Imagine living in a home where the northerly sun fills your living spaces. Think of that warm, sunny backyard where you can relax every single day. It's lovely, right? Unfortunately, not everyone has a home that faces the right way. Some have a problem with their home's orientation — and it keeps them from enjoying a space that's flooded with a healthy dose of natural light.
If this is you, don't feel discouraged. We have solutions, and we're going to share them with you.
In this blog, we're going to discuss ten different ways to fix your home's orientation. Assess your situation and see which of these design solutions might work for you:
1. Create an outdoor living space in the front yard.
If you want to bring more light in the front of your home, consider opening it. Create an indoor-outdoor area to allow natural light to travel inside your home. Consider building a low ceiling above your deck or patio to protect the outdoor living space from the elements. It keeps the harsh noontime sun from entering the house too.
2. Build an outdoor hideout on the side of the house.
If you have extra space on the sides of your home, use it. Replace a part of your wall with long and extensive glass panels, as the owners have done here. In this house, their designer built a small courtyard where the homeowner can dine with their friends. This open space allows enough daylight to enter the house through the glass walls, brightening the adjacent interior rooms.
3. Build a private courtyard
One of the most efficient ways to bring natural light in a poorly-oriented house is through the roof. Apart from using skylights, creating an open space in between dark rooms is a wise decision too. In this house, a private courtyard created a lightwell which brightened the rooms surrounding it. The designer used a combination of sliding glass doors and louvre windows for natural lighting and ventilation purposes.
4. Widen your balcony
Indoor-outdoor areas of homes that face the wrong way are either too dark or too exposed to the sun. One way to prevent this from happening is through building an elevated outdoor space that faces the northern and north-eastern direction. It could be a spacious balcony or a high deck. This spot will catch the warm sunlight every morning. Use umbrellas or retractable awnings in times that you need extra shade. You will adore the views from up there too!
5. Take down opaque walls
The goal is to gain more natural light in the areas where you need it. So, consider using glazed panels instead of solid, opaque walls. Stick with high-quality and energy-efficient variants (e.g. double-glazed or low-emissivity glass).
6. Incorporate clerestory windows in your design.
Clerestory windows are small windows located on the highest part of the wall near the ceiling. Install them above the regular windows to allow more daylight to come in your space. You can also place these windows alone in the northern and northeastern part of the house to capture the light.
For natural ventilation, use operable glass louvres as your clerestory windows.
Both angled and flat-roofed homes can have clerestory windows too.
7. Alter ceiling heights
Homes built in a sloping piece of land can have multiple ceiling heights, allowing more space for clerestory windows.
8. Supersize your south-facing windows.
When having openings in the northern and eastern part of the house is impossible, consider having large and energy-efficient glazed windows and walls in the southern part of the house. Consider giving your home a raked or slanted ceiling to increase the surface area made of glass.
9. Strategically plant your trees
It's nice to have natural shade providers like trees, but in some cases, these block the much-wanted sun from entering your home. Strategically place them in your landscape and prune them if necessary.
10. Follow a light colour palette
One way to maximise the amount of light coming into your home is through embracing light and bright interiors. Consider pairing white walls with pale coloured furniture so the light will bounce around the room. A few accent colours and textures won’t hurt tho.