Guest Contributor Lee K. Crowder, Design Gallery and Model Home Branding Manager for Taylor Morrison and Darling Homes
From the mild Mediterranean weather of our Upland, California homes for sale to the subtropical climate of our new homes in Wesley Chapel, Florida, Taylor Morrison builds in some of America’s sunniest places. But no matter where you live, sooner or later the sun goes down (or the clouds come out) and Mother Nature needs an assist. That’s where smart lighting choices come in. Lee Crowder, our Design Gallery and Home Branding Manager, offers illuminating insights about home lighting in our Details Matter series.
Let the Sunshine In!
Lee Crowder says home lighting begins with the floorplan’s design and how the home is situated on the homesite.
Whether you get sun exposure throughout the day or only during certain times of day depends on whether you home has an East/West or North/South orientation. Pay attention to the site plan when you’re shopping for a new home. If you love waking up to morning sunshine, you’ll want your owner’s suite facing east. If you savor watching sunsets, pick a home with a balcony or picture window facing west.Lee K. Crowder
She adds that part of the Taylor Morrison Difference is the thought that goes into details like site orientation.
Obviously, the more windows in your home, the more natural light you’ll enjoy throughout the day. If that’s your vision of perfection, then look for homes with volume ceilings and windows that soar the full two stories, typically offered in great rooms and family rooms. By contrast, rooms with lower ceilings (9 feet of height vs 11 feet or more) reduce the amount of natural light and make the space feel darker at times.
Dealing with Shade
Family rooms that open onto covered patios tend to be darker. In that case, Lee suggests adding extra LED flush-mounted lighting. This may also be a solution for brightening up a secondary bedroom where there’s only one window.
The virtual tour of the Abaco floorplan at WaterGrass in Wesley Chapel Florida provides a great example of how natural light can brighten an entryway. The front door features inset windows and is flanked on each side by glass panels. If you have a small or narrow foyer, you might want to borrow this trick.
Landscaping is another consideration that can impact natural light. “Trees and tall shrubbery can cut down significantly on the amount of sunshine your home receives,” says Lee.
Finally, don’t overlook window coverings that provide privacy (and protect upholstery) without blocking natural light. “Your Design Consultant at the Taylor Morrison Design Studio can show you a variety of suitable window treatments for this purpose that will complement your overall design scheme.”
Brighten Up and Lighten Up
Okay, you’ve made the most of the available sunshine. Let’s see what design tips and tricks Lee advises for creating the illusion of light. Paint, especially white paint, can be your best friend, according to Lee.
“A neutral base color for your rooms will make your home look brighter, while also giving you greater flexibility with the rest of your color palette. Off-set the neutral walls with crisp, white trim for a bright, sophisticated look. And don’t overlook the power white ceilings have to create the illusion of height and spaciousness, even in small rooms.”
24/7 Daylight at Your Fingertips
Lucky us. We can flip a switch (or punch a smartphone app) and light up the darkest space, creating everything from the brilliance of sunlight to the soft ambient glow of moonlight. Best of all, we can do it without generating the harsh shadows or excessive heat of the old-fashioned incandescent bulbs.
At Taylor Morrison and Darling Homes we use LED ceiling flush-mounted lights instead of traditional can lights. These are thin disks that affix easily to the ceiling and let you add LED lighting to any room in the house. They have the added advantages of lasting longer than incandescent can lights and, because they collect no dust, you won’t need to open the fixture to clean them. That’s a big plus!
Lee recommends reviewing your various spaces and ceiling heights to determine where to add more LED disks.
If you spend a lot of time in the room doing things like reading, crafts, office or homework and other tasks that require good light, you’ll want additional disks. If the ceilings are low, adding more disks is a clever way to make the room appear larger. They make it a snap to find clothing, especially in a deep walk-in closet. And they are ideal over vanities where you want good light for applying makeup and grooming.
In bedrooms or family rooms, especially in warmer climates, you should consider adding a light kit to your ceiling fans to get the benefit of cooling and illumination in one package.
Designing with Light and Light Fixtures
Take the virtual tour of our Linden Plan 2 at Westridge at Sycamore Hills in Upland, CA and you’ll notice dramatic pendant lights over the kitchen island as well as flush-mounted disk lights in the ceiling.
Your kitchen is certainly someplace where you don’t want to skimp on lighting, and this model demonstrates how you can have the design element of pendants combined with highly functional but inconspicuous ceiling lights.
Sparkle and Shine Your Way
A major perk of buying a new Taylor Morrison home is your visit to the Design Studio. “You’ll see a dazzling selection of lighting fixtures for task lighting and mood-setting, along with hardware, flooring, wall and window treatment options, appliances and much more,” says Lee. “It’s your opportunity to add your signature touches and make your home reflect your taste with the expert help of a professional design consultant.”
Here’s a Bright Idea
It’s a great time to visit a Taylor Morrison community near you. Touring a few model homes is an excellent way to understand how much details matter when they’re thoughtfully combined. It’s a fun way to spark your imagination and turn on a few creative lightbulbs, too! Explore all our Taylor Morrison communities online, find the one that’s absolutely YOU and plan a visit today.