We live in a new build house so aren’t lucky enough to have a basement. One of my close friends does though. We were talking last week about how you can add natural light to your basement. This got me thinking.
Adding Natural Light To Your Basement
Most UK homes with basements date back to Victorian times. They tend to have small egress windows, which let in very little natural light. My friend’s new house is a Victorian Mid Terrace with a basement. There is electricity down there, and she wants to use the space as an office / guest bedroom. She hoped to create something like this, but with a sofa bed and a desk, rather than a double bed.
Unfortunately, the egress window was blocked up years ago when the front garden was paved. (I guess the previous owners wanted a driveway more than a fire escape from their basement)…! This now means that for her, adding natural light to the basement isn’t going to be a quick fix. She can either dig up her driveway and get the Egress window replaced, or consider other options.
Walk On Glass Floors
I mentioned structural glass floors to my friend, and she didn’t understand what it was. Once I explained it’s essentially a window in the ceiling, she began to consider the logistics of this. The front of her house is her lounge, and definitely not somewhere she would want to add a glass floor. Her kitchen, however is bright and modern, with huge bi – fold doors along the exterior wall. She decided a walk on glass floor wouldn’t look out of place there.
Personally, I would want frosted glass, rather than the transparent pictured above. I can imagine transparent glass would show every mark. Also, I think I’d feel exposed if people in the kitchen could look down, into my bedroom or office.
UK Planning Law
It is worth noting that for a room to be recognised as a bedroom, it has to have TWO exits. In most UK basements, one would be the basement stairs, and the other would be the Egress window. If the Egress Window is reinstalled, my friend would be adding quite a lot of value to her home. If she opts for the walk on glass floor, it’ll be less outlay now, but probably won’t add much value to her property.
There are several ways to add the illusion of natural light to your basement. These include opting for a bright colour scheme, placing lots of mirrors in the room and opting for metallic finishes rather than dark wood. Add some upwards pointing wall lights. These will add a pop of light without being too bright. It’s worth keeping your space as clutter free as possible, too. The more clutter you have, the less light will reflect.
So, whether you’ve got an egress window or not, there are plenty of ways to add brightness to your dark space. Finally, if you’ve enjoyed this post, why not check out my lifestyle category.