The Importance
of Visual Comfort

The number one challenge for most of my clients is storage and how to get more of it in their homes. The second challenge that most of my clients request help with is light and how to make their homes lighter and brighter. In all things regarding the home the top priority is comfort. Most people understand physical comfort in the home such as a comfortable chair, blankets for snuggling on the couch, or a charging station built into a side table. The physical comfort of a space is easy because we know what we like to make our space comfortable, but do we know about visual comfort. The eyes take in everything in their surroundings and light is a big part of that. Dealing with the natural light in a space is the first part of visual comfort and the second part is balancing the light. Let’s peek into the living room of a St. Charles Model to see how balanced light creates visual comfort somewhere in the heart of The Villages.

  •  Remove dark fabric cornicesAfter Image, with molding looks bright, living room of a St. Charles Model.
The windows were previously treated with dark fabric cornices that were installed below the transom windows. When light is shining toward the human eye, everything that is in front of the light becomes darker. The dark cornices drew the eye right to that spot on the window cutting the window down visually and darkening the space. If you are considering buying fabric cornice boards keep the fabric light. When I am choosing fabric for windows, I always hold the fabric book in front of the window to see if the fabric stays bright or looks dark. This is one of the most important things when thinking about how to treat your windows.

  •  Window Molding
We added large casement molding around the sliders and windows to frame them. To finish the windows, we added white headers with crown molding. I like adding molding to windows for two reasons. The first being that white will always stay bright like the light that is coming in through the windows. The second reason that I like is that molding has investment quality. No one will ever buy a home with beautiful molding and decide they simply must rip it out! Good molding done right is always viewed as an asset. However, most of the time fabric cornices which are expensive and personal to the homeowner, will be ripped out and thrown away. The price that was charged for the previous cornices probably would have paid to have the windows finished in molding.

  •  Molding adds height
When the entire window is treated with molding the window looks larger! The window is not cut by the dark cornice, so the optical illusion is that the window is higher and wider. Altogether, this equals more light in the space.

  •  Move China hutch
The China hutch looks better in the living room space because it provides visual weight in the room. The visual heft of the China hutch balances against the large entertainment unit on the opposite side of the room. The China hutch needed some color to make everything inside pop, so I suggested that the homeowner buy large teal platters to stand up along the back of the shelving. This addition of color in the back of the China hutch made everything stand out and added color to the piece.

  •  Large art
We added a large colorful picture to the wall beside the slider. In the before picture the art was too small for the wall, so we re-located it. Now the room feels visually balanced, and the weight of the furniture is evenly distributed.

  •  New sofas
The homeowners purchased two new sofas in a soft teal and crème color. These sofas were semi-custom because they could choose each part of the sofa, from the style of the arm to the cut of the cushions, the sofa was designed to fit their bodies and provide maximum comfort.

  •  Two new recliners
The homeowners also purchased two new recliners. The chairs are a medium grey color that doesn’t darken as much as the former burgundy recliners in front of the window. Remember, anything dark in front of a window only appears darker to the human eye. Always try to order wall hugging recliners even if they are not hugging a wall. The wall huggers keep you from laying out into the walkway when reclining.

  •  New Rug
The homeowners purchased a new rug. The rug is a whopping 10’x13’ and that is hard to find! The rug is a mix of woven colors in the room and free of pattern, but the woven colors pull the space together.

  •  New side tables
The homeowner purchased new side tables that were more to their liking than the ones in the before photo. The new tables have a shelf which is much more functional.

  •  Lamps
The homeowners purchased new lamps in teal-green glass. The light pouring in from the sliding glass doors makes the glass lamps look amazing even when the lamp is off.

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Before and After Pics Below