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Maximising light in old properties

Britain is a country older than most, and our long history has left us with a visible legacy. The architecture of this country is a testament to our innovation and building prowess. However, it does mean that many of the homes people live in aren’t necessarily suitable for modern life. Heating, for instance, is a notorious issue for older buildings.

Additionally, getting the right amount of light inside is a challenge, for a number of reasons. In this post, we take a look at how best to maximise the amount of natural light in older properties up and down the UK.


Writing for @CNET, Alina Bradford explains the science behind light and its effects:

“Light receptors in our eyes trigger our brains to make certain hormones that keep us awake and balance our moods. Without the proper amount of light, the brain doesn’t make these important chemicals. In the fall and winter, shorter days with less sunlight can mean less hormone production and in turn, affect your mood. For example, if you’re tired and depressed when fall and winter comes around, it could be a lack of sunlight to blame. You may even have seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression that changes with the seasons.”

With this in mind, it’s imperative we allow more light into our older homes. The least expensive and invasive solution to a lighting problem is to install mirrors to make more of the light that does make it inside. It will also have the added bonus of making small spaces feel larger.

Building an orangery

One of the best ways to introduce more light into your older home is to build an orangery. Built to complement the aesthetic of the existing structure, an orangery won’t suffer from the same issues that a conservatory might. It uses more bricks in its structure and has a tiled roof, both of which will help to insulate it. Not only is it more pleasant to use in winter, but it won’t suffer from the greenhouse effect that makes it impractical to sit in during the summer.

This makes an orangery exceptionally versatile, allowing homeowners to use it as a living area, an extension to a kitchen, or a children’s playroom.

Adding new windows

This next option will require a little more consideration on your part, but depending on your property you may be able to enlarge the windows. The key is to identify where you’ll get the most bang for your buck, so to speak. This is the windows where making them larger would make the most difference.

Areas like stairs, bedrooms and bathrooms are all good spots for larger windows, for a simple reason: they often have smaller windows in old properties.

Adding an extension

If you want to make a real difference to your home, you might choose to extend it with something that takes advantage of both natural light and more modern technology.

Sit down with an architect and discuss your needs; they have experience of turning those fantasies into reality without disturbing a house’s aesthetic or the area it’s in. Get in touch today to find out more about what we can do for you.



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    06 Peel House, 1, Cheveley Road, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 8AD
    T: 01638 662393
    Maximising light in old properties