Doubling height spaces can create an
ethereal atmosphere By, Ada Teicu
I’ve seen a great deal of spaces – living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, hallways or even bathrooms – become the focal point of the house because of their splendidly designed double-height. A luxury coastal home has the ocean’s proximity as an ally – large high spaces overlooking the water act as funnels for extraordinary views and mirror the immensity of azure stretches of water.
Double height space capture large amounts of natural light through the use of extensive glazing – natural sunlight bounces off light colored walls, creating an ethereal atmosphere, pierced by the choice of furniture, furnishings, decorations and wall décor. Dark walls offer a sense of comfort and help define the interior space.
Color can be used to capture your lifestyle’s playful side and give more depth to this high space. The atrium-like space can become an ode to the fascinating ocean views if you can create a bold transparency that seamlessly connects the interiors to the exterior.
In a large double-height space, furniture items do not have to be placed against the wall. Adorning the space with carefully selected functional furniture can become part of a smaller scale space arrangement, creating different zones in this wide open space.
At night, the space becomes part of a dramatic scene, so make sure the light chosen to compose the space at night is powerful enough to flood the whole space with artificial light or use dimmers to give the exact amount of light needed for each occasion.
Also allow the glazed space to resemble a lighthouse when seen from outside, with soft or bright light breaking the monotony of pure darkness. Ambient light should help soften the vertical qualities of the space and expose a high level of comfort and style. A play of solid and transparent can be created – if you want to include a vertical element, windows and long-standing wall decor can help you expose space possibilities, but be careful to keep the room elegant and help it surprise the beauty of an open space without creating the effect of a hollow, empty space.
Clerestory windows can reduce the amount of direct light and still help organize a natural light flow to reach the interiors. Depending on the house’s orientation, these architectural details are an important passive solar element helping your living spaces open towards natural light while maintaining a powerful sense of privacy. By shading these clerestory windows with roof overhangs or awnings, architects can balance the amount of sunlight and heat reaching the interiors. A double-height living space overlooking the ocean can become flooded with even more light by using skylights where needed.
This aired space can be transformed into a cozy one by allowing beams to transverse the room or using warm wood to define the walls of your double-height living space. Artwork or decorative wall hangings can help disguise the bareness of really tall walls, but if you need to minimize the height, use horizontal details (mirrors, paintings, even beautifully designed vertical wall lights).
You can choose to expose the beauty of wooden walls reaching up to the high ceiling or focus the attention on a splendid fireplace that can decorate a whole wall. In order to keep a luxurious overall feeling, choose carefully how you decorate the high walls – balance every detail to compose a space you can be comfortable in and also be proud of.