You know that magic feeling: you open the window, look out as far as the eye can see and breath in deep... I feel better just thinking of it. Now, some are lucky enough to have one of those views from their home, others enjoy it on holidays, choosing stunning hotels to treat themselves. So, WHY is that outlook so important? Well, natural light and views positively affect the way you live indoors, and not last, the real estate value of a property skyrockets when a good view can be listed among its assets. So, let's consider the outlook from your rooms, as I have a few tricks up my sleeve to help you improve, add or fake the issue.
Image by James Treble - Sorrento, Italy.
When there is no outlook at all - most likely there is not much light coming in either. As light is so important to how a room feels, to start with, I would carefully consider what kind of lightbulbs are used in the space, as 'yellow' or 'Warm Light' can make a room feel more subdued, as well as making the room feel more closed in. Adding 'white' light bulbs will add a vibrancy very similar to that of natural light and lift the mood and energy. NOTE: I'm not saying warm light is bad, but I personally recommend it for mood lighting in lamps, rather than the main light source in a home.
Choose a neutral but light colour to paint the walls, allowing you to contrast with mid tones in the furniture and accessories. Brighten the space further by adding decorative items in metal and reflecting surfaces such as brass, chrome, stainless steel, glass or mirror. Finally, balance the lack of that amazing outdoor view whilst lifting the general mood by bringing the outdoor in with plants and landscape artworks.
When you can't open the curtains due to people looking in - you still want to allow as much light in as possible, but also protect the privacy. Layering your curtains is the perfect solution for this situation as the sheer layer will allow light through whilst protecting you from others looking in. Of course the opposite effect will happen when it's dark outside, so that second layer is needed to be drawn when the indoor lights are turned on. To make your windows appear larger a great trick is to extend the curtain rod wider on either side, allowing the full width of that natural light to be enjoyed and you can contrast the 'enclosed' feeling with lighting, plants and décor as mentioned above.
image from ikea.com
When the view is open but ugly - The ability to look-out-and-far-away is itself valuable in many ways, and it should be put in perspective. I remember when holidaying in beautiful Nimes, in the south of France: walking in the hotel room I took in the furniture, the décor and the general feel of it. Then I went to the bright window, and clearly remember pulling the white curtains open to look out... the room overlooked the narrow alley and all I could see was the roofs of the neighbouring buildings; nothing else. Well, for some this may have been ugly, but for me it was charming, telling the story of time, and reminding me where in the world I was. And as our state of mind can be directed, should you have a view of roof tops, why not look to those colours and use them as an accent inside the room; on-trend terracotta tones, in a cushion or accent piece, may be just the trick to set your home in its envornment.
Image by James Treble - Nimes, France
When the view is great - then your job is as easy as not placing competing elements in the room. Direct the attention to the window and outwards and ensure that large furniture pieces do not intrude and steal the attention. Style and decorate in tones that reflect the mood and colours of the view. Finally, make time to sit and absorb the positive energy that comes through.
Image from Pinterest
James Treble is an ambassador for Planet Ark and firmly believes in sensible purchasing, recycling and creative re-purposing. James Treble has more than 25 years of experience in the Building Industry, Real Estate and Interior Design. His knowledge and experience in adding value to homes, through clever design & styling, is now published for all to learn and benefit from. Interior Design For Profit is now available online.