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Heavens Above

Previously criminally underused but now recognized for the essential design tool it is, a skylight is a fantastic way of allowing lots of light to flood a space when windows are not an option due to limited or non existent wall space. A good example of the difference one or two can make, is in a modern loft conversion where a dark and dingy space is made to feel airy, spacious and tranquil.

Given that your loft is often the biggest room in your home, reclaiming it as extra living space can have a massive impact on the rest of the house (and therefore your life as a whole) as you now have so much more room to play with, you now have a private study area, an extra bedroom, a games room for the kids, a walk-in wardrobe or even completely separate living quarters if your attic is particularly spacious.

Not only will the quality of your home-life receive a huge boost but when it comes to selling up you will be overjoyed by the sizeable chunk of newly added value.

But skylights don’t have to be consigned to loft conversions, as any space where it is possible to fit them can be massively improved by the brightness they bring. Due to overlooking properties, some windows offer little in terms of light and are therefore fairly pointless while other windows offer very little in terms of a view. Skylights rarely suffer from such problems and in the typically pompous words of Grand Designs Kevin McCloud “offer a view to eternity”- now that can’t be a bad thing can it?!

Kitchens and kitchen diners are great rooms for making use of skylights as kitchens can obviously get quite hot when there are a lot pots and pans on the hob. As heat obviously rises, a skylight offers a fantastic escape route for steam.

However, before you all go hailing skylights as divine design, made in the image of God’s own windows, we should probably talk about the inevitable problems that come with specialist or unusual design features. Due to the fact they do look up, skylights can cause rooms in which they feature to heat up quite dramatically over summer months, making what was once a bright and breezy space now an unbearable heat trap – the greenhouse effect! The huge amount of natural light coming in also means no Sunday lie-in if your skylight is in the bedroom, as the 5am sun respects no man’s hangover!

A quick fix solution for both problems is specialist skylight blinds. Skylight blinds work by clinging to the angle of the window with the use of fixed side brackets. Operating on louver system similar to vertical and horizontal blinds, skylight blinds are reachable with the help of a connector pole which you simply twist to open or close your blinds.

The great thing about this handy solution is that unlike other window coverings, which give you a dark or light option, it allows you to choose the amount of light entering the space. Cheap blinds can now be found all over the net and are well worth the small investment.

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