Natural light helps small spaces feel grand

Sabrina Soto knows how to make the most of small spaces. That’s why she fell in love with her Studio City home’s living room and kitchen: VELUX skylights flood both spaces with natural light, giving them a feeling of being much larger than their actual square footage.

“Every time someone comes into the house they think that [the living room] is grand, but it’s really kind of tiny,” Soto said. “What makes it feel grand is all of the natural light beaming into the space, so it feels bright, welcome and airy.”

Sunlight from above also brings out the pops of color Soto has layered over a neutral palette that ranges from a black and white geometric patterned area rug, black leather club chairs, a sofa upholstered in pale grey and walls painted an even fainter shade of grey. As your eyes move further up, the ceiling is white tongue-and-groove paneling and the skylights feature light diffusing blinds with a light grey herringbone pattern.

“What people neglect a lot is that fifth wall, which is your ceiling,” Soto added. “Being able to add tongue and groove paneling or skylights; it’s such a great improvement. [T]he reason that Steve and I bought this house [is] because of how nice and airy and bright the living room is. Being able to make the spaces feel larger is a really, really smart decision.”

Soto’s skylights also open via a touch screen remote control, so she can refresh the space with cool air.

Light and airy spaces remain on trend, according to Soto, with neutral colors like whites, light greys, oatmeal and flax forming the base layer onto which you can layer color. That makes it easier to refresh a space with new colors by switching out throw pillows or wall art.