Adding Windows To Brighten Your Home and Your Mood
In his 1942 novel, “The Moon Is Down,” John Steinbeck perfectly captured the feeling created by a gloomy room. In chapter 3, he writes, “Mayor Orden switched on a lamp that made only a little circle of light. He switched it off again and said, ‘A light in the daytime is a lonely thing.’” Artificial lighting is a useful modern convenience, but it’s a poor substitute for natural sunlight when it comes to brightening our living spaces. Banish the winter blues and open up your home by adding windows or skylights.
Adding windows to a home can elevate the moods of its occupants. According to the Cleveland Clinic, between four and six percent of the U.S. population suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder, a cyclical depression that begins at the same time each year, typically in autumn as days grow shorter. Ten to 20 percent of the population may suffer from a milder form of the disorder known as the winter blues. Light therapy is often prescribed for these patients, including increased exposure to sunlight. Adding extra windows to your home can help you and your family keep the winter blues at bay.
People naturally crave the opportunity to gaze beyond their four walls. Rachel Kaplan, a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan, writes in Environment and Behavior that gazing out a window, whatever the view, has a restorative effect on the human mind because it draws people’s attention away from the immediate demands of daily life, providing what she calls “a micro-restorative experience."
One way to reap the mood-brightening effects of additional windows is to add floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook your property’s best view. Consider opening up a wall of your living room with large panes of glass that give your family something to look at besides the television screen. Create a wall of glass in your kitchen for a breakfast nook that makes you feel like you’re dining al fresco. Replace the solid door that leads to your deck with a set of French doors. Expand existing windows that already get good light to open things up even more.
Afraid of living in a fishbowl, but still want to let the sun shine in? Add a row of smaller windows up high, along the ceiling, where they’ll net the most sunlight. Add small, inexpensive windows where you spend the most time. Install one over the kitchen sink where you cook and clean or next to the bathtub where you soak away your cares. Find yourself walled in? Add a skylight for sunshine by day and the added bonus of star gazing at night.
Nothing says a window has to be in an outside wall. Add windows or cut-outs to a wall that separates a well-lit exterior room from a darker interior one, drawing sunlight even further into your home and opening up the feel of your floor plan. Add portholes to a nautical-themed room or a decorative stained glass window over a stairwell. Be creative; every room in your home can become a room with a view.
Man was meant to live in nature, so don’t shut it out. Invite it into your home with the addition of some strategically placed windows, and let there be light.
Photo credit: homedesignpict.blogspot.com