The Terrace Designer // 5 Ways to Brighten your Dark Terrace House
I’m in the midst of construction at my Paddington Terrace design project and wow it is a beauty! ((See my IG stories to follow along!)) My site visit today was to review the bathroom renovation as well as check the internal painting progress.
My clients and I could both not contain our excitement over how light and bright the terrace felt with a fresh coat of cool-toned white paint! A common misconception is that white is white, but really there are a hundred different shades of white!
It was only once my clients saw the new white shade against the old that it was obvious the old colour was much more of a yellowy cream that is so common in older terrace homes. The joy in seeing the terrace home in a fresh new light (pun intended!) inspired me to share my top tips for brightening terrace homes.
For any terrace dweller, natural light is often the biggest issue with their home. The traditional Victorian long and skinny footprint combined with being attached at both sides means that saving for the front and rear of the home there is very little to no natural light for the rest of the interior.
Don’t blame your terrace house for being sad and dark, there are so many ways interior design can help bring you into the light! Here are my top five tips on introducing more natural light into your terrace home.
Skylights are a cost effective way to introduce light from above on your terrace’s first floor. By playing with shape and scale, skylights can offer up a very design focused look beyond the standard skylights that you may have seen in past. Skylights also offer more consistent bright natural light throughout the day, as they are not as reliant upon your home’s aspect as standard windows are. Dependant upon your heritage zoning and council catchment, you may need only minimal approval to move forward with construction.
Made by Cohen
Internal Wall Play
Skylights are great for the first floor, but what about the ground floor? Once again, you’ve probably got great light in your courtyard or from your front door, but the light is lost in the middle rooms. Why not consider replacing internal walls sections with steel frame and glass doors? It’s a really interesting play on contemporary open plan living and the segmented nature of Victorian terraces. It ensures you still have separation in sound and space between rooms but the visual openness lends itself to a feeling of a larger space and flow of natural light.
Arent & Pyke
Steel frame doors not an option for you? (ask a designer to take a look at your floor plan before you write them off!) High level windows are a great idea that works with the natural characteristics of the terrace house. This is where your high ceilings pay off!
Why not incorporate high level windows from room to room- when placed at the ceiling and wall junction, it allows light to move from room to room without sacrificing privacy in bedrooms and bathrooms. Though a couple of these inspiration images depict high level windows to exteriors, the idea is the same for internal walls.
An old trick that proves effective! Bouncing light around the room with mirrors is always a good idea. Doubly good for terrace homes, mirrors will make your space feel bigger at the same time. Clever locations for your mirrors are over the fireplace as they are always too high for televisioin placement. In the inspiration below, proof mirrored wardrobes don’t have to be hideous! I think for the right terrace, mirrored panels inset into the walls of long dark hallways to reflect the opposite room and it’s light is a very interesting idea.
Tom Ferguson TFAD
This one is a no brainer- paint is hands down the easiest and quickest way to make your home feel lighter and brighter! Choosing the right shade makes all the difference. Visit us for a Colour Consultation to find the right colour for your home.
White is not the only way to play with your home’s light. Sometimes there isn’t a straight forward way to introduce natural light into a space. In that case, I always favour leaning into and working with what you’ve got.
Why not celebrate the cosiness of that space by painting the walls dark? I love these inspiration rooms, they make me want to curl right up and be enveloped by the drama of these spaces. I find wallpaper offers a similar effect!
One King’s Lane
Pipkorn & Kilpatrick
If you are after modern Victorian Terrace furniture tips, I really enjoyed THIS post by Style by Emily Henderson. Though referencing American furniture and accessory resources, I think it’s a really good starting point for pinpointing the overall look you’re after for your space. Also try my Modern Terrace House pinterest boards HERE.