The amount of light in a room makes or breaks the feeling and function of the space. The best rooms are lit using both the natural light available and the manmade lighting added.
This particular space had low ceilings with no can lighting and the room was broken up into three different rooms. The kitchen had a small sliding door and no other windows. The dining room that we took out had one small window and the living room you see with the fireplace had no windows. When we opened up the floor plan, I vaulted the ceilings and created two skylights and a porthole window high on the wall. Then I enlarged the patio doors from the kitchen as large as possible and added two windows on either side of the kitchen hood, which balanced out the lighting in the room. I simply enlarged the old window in the dining room so it looked similar in size to the sliding glass door panels. Lastly, can lighting was added for the evening and cloudy days. Due to the skylights and immense amount of natural light, the can lighting is rarely used except after dark.
If someone is thinking of changing the space and adding more light, the first thing they should do is think about vaulting the ceilings and then enlarging existing windows and doors or adding windows, doors and skylights. Doing all of these things including adding the proper general lighting and task lighting, will give you the best solution for both natural and manmade lighting.
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