Improving The Natural Light In Our Home

We’ve lived in our 4 bedroom town house for over 10 years now. We love that it’s got so much space, but we hate that it’s so dark. The main problem we have in our home is that the back garden is North facing, so very little natural sunlight reaches the rooms at the back of our home. The front of our house has 2 narrow windows for our lounge, 1 for our ground floor bedroom and 1 each for the bathroom, landing and en suite. These rooms get a fair bit of natural light. 

At the back of the property, where we get virtually no natural light has 1 narrow window each for the lounge, home office and 2 upstairs bedrooms. The kitchen is also at the rear and has 1 window and a set of French doors. These rooms are always dark. The kitchen is very much the hub of our home, and it’s where we all spend the most time together as a family, but it’s a very dreary space – even when the sun is shining. 

I dream of having a really light and airy kitchen, and the long term plan involves putting a walk – in Orangery on the back of the house. This would involve knocking down the exterior wall to create one large space between the kitchen and orangery, to allow more light in. I have been looking at lantern roofs, and think I’d like to have one in there. I would keep the half height exterior wall and kitchen cabinets in the kitchen, but open up the space where the French doors and kitchen window are at present. This would allow me to socialise while I cook too. The new orangery type space would make a fantastic family room. I’m thinking comfy, cosy sofas, book shelves and a small desk for me to work from. 

I’m picturing a space like the one shown above, but with a desk in place of the chair at the bottom of the image, and the doorway into the kitchen where the TV is above. The half height wall I mentioned earlier would be just out of shot to the left of this photo, and the desk would be flush with that. 

I think adding all this extra glazing will definitely help to brighten the downstairs of the house, but we will definitely get rid of the black high gloss kitchen units as soon as possible as well – they don’t help the dark situation at all. If I get my way, the kitchen units and tiles will become much brighter and neutral. Imagine the below photo, but without the wall behind… Instead it would be like an island and look straight over into the new orangery / family space…

After having black gloss and black mosaic style tiles in the kitchen for the past 9 years, I am definitely on team “matte” when it comes to kitchen unit finishes. The high gloss has been a nightmare to keep clean, and the built in appliances have been a headache and a half, so I’d probably go for the cheaper and easier option and have freestanding white goods, and just keep the oven and hob built in. 

What’s the biggest overhaul you’d like to make happen in your home? 

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