Let the Light In
I’ve been designing homes in Colorado for nearly 20 years. I’ve seen trends come and go, and some that are even coming back for a second time. One trend that I love – opening up those windows to let the light in!
Actually, I don’t really label this so much a trend as a shift in thinking. When I started as professional interior designer, interior shutters, aka Plantation Shutters were all the rage in window coverings. At the time they were considered a luxurious upgrade from the preceding trend of horizontal wood blinds. Often, the clients would have invested in these prior to starting work with me. Then my design solutions were to necessarily soften the edges of the shutters by adding decorative treatments such as stationary drapery panels or valances as below.
It used to look like this…
Via Beautiful Habitat
When it comes to blinds and shutters, the slats can be louvered to different phases of open to closed. However, the overall feeling is more closed than open. And I find that many people never bother to open them completely.
Let the Light In
Over the past several years, I’ve seen (and promoted) a real shift away from blinds and shutters to treatments that allow the window to be fully exposed to really let the light in. These include shades that roll or fold up or down, as well as functional drapery panels that open and close.
The benefit is a fully open window treatment that really lets the beautiful Colorado sunshine into your home, brightens your space, and allows views outside. Both the exposure to sunshine and the views to the outside have numerous positive health benefits. Exposure to sunlight regulates circadian rhythms, as well as serotonin and melatonin production.
“ Morning sunlight exposure plays a crucial role in regulating our sleep-wake cycle and maintaining a balanced circadian rhythm. This exposure helps us fall asleep faster at night and wake up feeling refreshed. In addition to improving sleep patterns, morning sunlight provides essential vitamin D, strengthens the immune system, reduces stress, and supports mental health.” Via Amerisleep
Biophilic design is a concept used within the building industry to increase occupant connectivity to the natural environment through the use of direct nature, indirect nature, and space and place conditions.
Biophilic design is something the interior design and architecture communities have been discussing for many years. However, this came into mainstream focus during the pandemic, when people were more home bound and not traveling.
Having open windows, with views including, trees, birds and the sky, directly contributes to improved moods and reduced stress.
I can already hear some of you asking about privacy or light control. Well of course these windows all still have a covering option. And both the shades and the drapery can be light filtering or room darkening, aka black out.
This home in Boulder includes shades to control light and provide privacy at night, while allowing the amazing Colorado mountain views during the day.
And there is still the option to only partially open any of these treatments. The difference is that overall they feel more open, and allow for more light and better views.
This home in Denver’s Wash Park does not have a great view. So the shades can be opened partially to let in the light and black the view.
And, to just really emphasize my point, here is a recent Before and After remodel where we replaced old horizontal wood blinds with honeycomb shades that open completely to let in the beautiful light as well as gorgeous views of the Boulder Flatirons
Let the light in! Enjoy the view!