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Natural Light

Skylights give life to open plan kitchen

A small Colonial-style home is transformed with a renovation that uses skylights to bring natural light into the kitchen and living room.

When Jessica Webster and her partner purchased a Colonial-style home on a tree-lined street in Ann Arbor, Michigan, they knew they would need to remodel the kitchen and add living space. 

"It was smaller than what we needed,"Webster said. "There wasn't enough light; there wasn't enough space," 

They connected with Architect Dawn Zuber of Studio Z Architecture to help them expand the kitchen and living room and make both spaces brighter. The old kitchen was not only small, but also dark, making it hard for Webster, a food columnist, to photograph her culuinary creations. 

Zuber reconfigured the floorplan, expanding it from the back of the house to add a living room connected in an open space plan to a larger kitchen. This configuration not only improved the flow from front door to living room, it created a common area where the family could spend time together. Two skylights over the kitchen island bring in soft, natural light throughout the day. 

"Light is a really important design element and in homes it's really important to have natural light and be able to give real life to space," Zuber said. "The quality of light from above tends to be a little more diffuse and reflects off the ceiling a little more, where window light can be a little more directional depending on where the sun is."

Witih skylights in the kitchen Webster has both a nice space to work and spend time with her family.

"As long as there's any light, I have an easy way to light the photography," Webster said of the new kitchen. "We are thrilled with the amount of light we deal with every day."

Next: 10 Reasons to add skylights to your home in 2023

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