Colors, contrast, and lighting are three tools that any interior design is intimately familiar with. Capable of turning even the smallest of spaces into expensive rooms – or, in other cases, the largest of spaces into the coziest of rooms – colour and light can be used to enlarge or constrict almost any interior space.
Interior designers have been using light and colour to increase perceived size in the home for decades. From mirrors to large windows, visual tricks have been a popular choice among architects and decorators in the residential world for a long time.
In the world of business, however, many of the tricks are ignored. By controlling the level of light and contrast in an office or manufacturing plant, you can achieve very similar results – a larger, more comfortable, and more welcoming workspace.
How Daylighting Can Increase a Room’s Perceived Size
Daylight is one of the most powerful tools an interior designer has available. With a small amount of daylight and an intelligent interior layout, light can be used to make even a cramped and tight office space feel large and spacious.
As with many other design principles, it all comes down to contrast. Offices that are dark and built around contrast – for example, buildings with dark carpets and light wallpaper – tend to feel less spacious than their universally light counterparts.
Likewise, buildings with dark ceilings – a rarity in most offices – feel shorter than an office building with a light ceiling would. Skylights, which spread light into a room in places that it often can’t travel to from windows, can be used to enhance this effect.
By increasing the amount of light in a room, particularly deep inside a room, you can make it feel larger than it really is. This is true for offices, retail stores, and factories that use typical high or low-contrast interior design configurations.
How to Make Your Office or Retail Store Feel Bigger Using Daylighting
The more natural light a room has, the larger it will feel. While a certain amount of natural light is too much, particularly if it prevents work from being carried out, an average or greater amount of natural light will make a room look and feel bigger.
You can achieve this in most offices by installing a series of skylights towards the interior of the building. Install skylights far away from exterior windows to create light in areas that would otherwise need to be lit artificially.
In most cases, you’ll want to install a filter on your skylights so that light is spread evenly throughout the room instead of all in one area. Many filters will also block heat transfer from occurring, making your office area feel more comfortable.
Natural Light and White Furniture: The Ultimate Combination
The lighter your furniture – and wallpaper and carpeting – the greater the effect of the natural light will be. Offices with wooden flooring or porcelain tiles can achieve an excellent ‘space boosting’ result from strategic use of natural lighting.
In order to maximize perceived space, try to keep your office environment as light as possible, with little contrast between the color of your ceiling and the shades of wallpaper or flooring that you use.
Speak to your interior designer or daylighting contractor about the best way for your business to enhance the perceived size of its premises using daylight. You might be surprised by the amount of visual space that you can create using little more than a single skylight.
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