Did you know there’s no specific legal definition of a room in the UK? Instead, emphasis is placed on the usage of the room to identify its purpose. By that example, a living room (aka sitting room) serves as an area of the house where occupants can relax or entertain guests. While there’s no legal requirement for a living room to contain windows – the lack of a natural light source will likely make things difficult in aspects like decor, air quality, and electricity bills.
More often than not, people think about buying or renting premises that contain a room without windows because of its cheaper price range. But, is the price discount worth it at the end of the day? Read on to find out.
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Why are windows essential in a room?
Before we discuss the pros and cons of a windowless room (be it a dining room or a sitting area), let’s focus on why windows and natural light sources have been given such importance throughout the history of architecture.
Building regulations can vary from location to location, but generally, a living space is required to have two points of egress (exits) in the form of a door and a window. In case of an emergency, such as a fire. These exits help ward off the chances of injuries by offering a smooth exit.
Windows can be a natural source of ventilation and allow the humidity building up in the house to escape – leaving behind a more manageable indoor temperature. Even the most stellar of air conditioning methods will leave a room feeling uncomfortable without an exit for excess moisture in the air.
Windows also serve as an entry point for fresh air that can improve your indoor air quality, and by extension, your health. Living room windows on the first floor also serve as surveillance points – allowing you to see what’s happening in your vicinity.
3. Energy efficiency
Glazing your windows can make your home more energy-efficient by creating a tight seal between the glass window and the wood. This helps discourage cool air from creeping inside and discourages draughts. Where there’s a concern for overheating, ventilation brackets can be added to ensure indoor temperatures don’t go soaring.
Apart from everything else, bedroom windows, skylights, casement windows, bay windows, etc., add to the room’s appeal and allow for a source of natural light.
Lighting makes up for half of good home decor because it helps transform the way a room feels. An exceedingly dark room can feel cloistered despite having the proper dimensions and ceiling height.
Finally, the ultraviolet rays of sunlight have disinfectant properties. That means the higher the amount of light (natural) in a room, the fewer chances of biological contaminants causing health concerns.
We’ve already mentioned how a house that includes a room or rooms without windows can have a lower price range. Similarly, a house with plenty of ventilation and light, thanks to well-placed windows, can help drive up the value of real estate – which is always a plus in terms of long-term assets.
Pros and cons of a windowless room
A room with no window can have several advantages and disadvantages. Whether a windowless living room will work for you or not primarily depends on your needs.
Nonetheless, we’ve compiled a compact list of the benefits and detriments of a room without windows – for homeowners to get some idea of what the situation may include.
- A windowless room may face less heat leakage and be easier to warm during cold months due to only one egress.
- Rooms without windows will likely not need light control (like heavy draperies) and save buyers money in terms of furniture protection, etc.
- A room with french doors (made from panes of glass) or glass doors might not require an alternate light source and work very well in any setting.
- A room without windows may bring down the price range of property – thus offering buyers a discount.
- Rooms without windows may offer more efficient use of space.
- From a safety perspective, a room without windows shouldn’t serve as an area that sees much traffic – because a door’s the only point of egress in case of emergencies.
- Without any source of light via living room windows, buyers may end up spending more to brighten a dark room, such as painting white walls, throwing in a large mirror or two, decorating with metallic accents, etc.
- No natural means of ventilation might require homeowners to add exhaust fans and perhaps settle for a more expensive and powerful air conditioner.
- A slashed price is good enough when one is buying a property. However, there’s a probability that selling such a property at a higher price might require improvements (like a skylight or other types of windows).
How many windows should a living room have
Generally, building codes require bedrooms to have at least one window, but there’s no maximum limit. When it comes to living rooms, there’s no standard regulation as to window quantity.
If you have the brilliant opportunity to build the house of your dreams from scratch, how many windows a space has should depend on its size, placement, and usage. Too few windows and the room will feel hot and stuffy. Too many, and you’ll have to spend money on keeping your furniture and area rugs safe from excessive sunlight exposure.
It’s a good idea to listen to your architect’s advice on such matters. If you feel like you want more light in a space without compromising your privacy, ask about adding a transom window.
If you’re not building a home and buying one, you probably won’t have a choice about changing the physical layout. But, you can rely on DIY decor methods to improve the brightness of a room without windows. That’s what the next heading is all about.
Ways to brighten a living room with no windows
We’ve got quite a few when it comes to room ideas for brightening a sitting room without windows. Scroll through the suggestions below and pick the one you like best.
- If you’re working with a no-window space, that means you don’t have to worry about things like draperies or window treatments. Instead, you can divert your spending to lighting fixtures that light up every corner of the room. Avoid big fixtures like chandeliers; not only do they tend to become an unwanted focal point, but they also leave the edges of a room dark.
- Try keeping your furniture in a centralised setting instead of being lined up against the wall. Big pieces propped against the walls, like bookcases or shelves, tend to add to the oppressive feel of a dark space.
- Opt for adding decor pieces with metallic accents – they tend to shimmer in low-light conditions, and their reflective properties add to the brightness of a room.
- Paint your walls in light, soothing colours, like beige, cream and white to ensure the walls reflect the brightness. You can always add rugs, pillows, etc., in bright colours.
- Choose a light colour scheme for your furniture instead of deep colours. This will help keep the room feeling light and make it appear bigger than it is.
We’re done with our comprehensive windows guide and hope you now have a better idea about the benefits and detriments you can face with a room with no windows. Also, note that the room ideas mentioned here are meant to serve as guidelines. But, the best judge of what’s good for you is – you.
When you’re out scouting for a house, keep your likes, dislikes, budget, and needs in mind. You might have to refer back to a good balancing exercise between competing wants, now and then, but eventually, you’ll find real estate that suits your perfectly! Till next time, stay safe!