A double skylight over this freestanding bath looks divine. Picture: supplied.
SKYLIGHTS have become a bit of a buzzword lately thanks to TV renovation shows like The Block, as people try to find new ways to differentiate their home and create a bit of wow-factor. A correctly placed skylight not only increases the amount of natural light in your home, but it also adds an exciting architectural element to a room if you embrace the shapes and angles of the ceiling and use them to your advantage.
We chatted to interior designer Shaynna Blaze and Velux marketing manager Stephen Parry about what you need to consider before installing a skylight – and where you’ll get the best bang for your buck.
This intricate skylight in the hallway acts as an architectural statement. Picture: Velux.
You may have a room in mind that is just begging for a skylight, but it pays to be open minded about which spaces will most benefit from the additional light. Adding a skylight to a once-forgotten space like a hallway, laundry or butlers pantry can have just as much impact and improve the way you live.
“You’ll most commonly see skylights in the rooms that sell houses like kitchens and bathrooms, however it’s not uncommon to see them anywhere throughout the home,” Stephen says.
“We’ve even started seeing skylights installed in outdoor patios to combat the amount of light lost to adjoining rooms when a patio goes up,” Stephen says.
A series of skylights over the kitchen island bench is a focal point. Picture: Velux.
Shaynna says one of her favourite spots for a skylight is in a bathroom or ensuite for the ultimate feeling of indulgence.
“I’ve done quite a few renovations where I’ve put the skylight above the shower and there is nothing better than having a shower just bathed in light,” she says “You actually feel like you’re on holiday in Bali somewhere.
“Skylights in your bedroom are also fantastic now because they are motorised and you can have blockout blinds on them; so you can actually lay in bed and watch the stars or watch a storm, and then when you’ve had enough you can close the shade.”
Turn it into a ceiling feature. Picture: Velux.
GET THE SIZE RIGHT
Stephen says if you’re going to the effort of installing skylights in your home, make sure you get the scale right so it’s not a wasted exercise.
“We see time and again people installing a small skylight and it doesn’t serve the purpose, so the biggest factor is making sure you get the right size skylight or skylights,” he says. “Then you need to decide if you want an opening model or not.
“Bathrooms, kitchens and stairwells are best serviced by opening skylights to vent steam, heat and odours – but all rooms will benefit from the additional ventilation.
”Our opening models can be manually operated by rod, or remote operated (either electric or solar powered). The remote can be programmed to open and close skylights or blinds on a timer system and will shut if it rains.
“Velux also released opening skylights for flat roofs earlier this year to complete the product range.”
Let the sunshine in. Picture: Velux
While not every home lends itself to the possibility of installing a skylight, Shaynna says if you can make it work and afford it, you should go for it.
“If you have a two storey house and can’t install a skylight, you can still find creative ways to increase the natural light with windows,” she says.
“But if you do have the luxury of being able to put a skylight in, it is an investment that is well worth it.”
And while installing a multiple-skylight feature may be a costly exercise, Stephen says there are options for every budget.
“Velux has a range of skylights to suit just about any budget, starting at just a few hundred dollars and working up to around $2500 for solar powered models that open by remote and close automatically when it rains,” he says.
“Just keep in mind you’ll have to add installation costs on top of the product cost.
“Most skylights are installed as retrofit, though it’s always easiest if done when building the home.
“Trusses will be a major consideration in newer homes as they may restrict the size of skylights you can use.”