This post was originally published on sothebysrealty.com
Article By | Iyna Bort Caruso
One of an architect’s best tools is so powerful that it can sculpt a space and enhance your well-being. It is shapeless and weightless. It boosts moods and sharpens focus. The tool? Natural light. “It’s everything. It’s transformative,” says Joshua Zinder, managing partner of architecture and design firm JZA+D in Princeton, N.J. “How people feel in a space is critically important, and sunlight just makes for happier people.” With the potential to reduce energy consumption, too, it’s no surprise that home buyers are making it a priority. “It comes up in every conversation,” he says.
The way in which the home is oriented toward the sun is critical. South-facing rooms receive the most and steadiest winter sunlight in the Northern Hemisphere, enabling homeowners to take advantage of heat gain when temperatures drop. North-facing sunlight, meanwhile, is consistent and diffuses throughout the day. And when it comes to windows, it’s not simply a matter of bigger is better. Placement and style must be balanced with privacy, heat gain/loss, and the need to minimize glare.
A thoughtful lighting plan can animate a home. Skylights, transoms, and clerestory windows set high on a wall above eye level may allow light to penetrate deep into rooms. And tubular daylighting devices, also known as sun tunnels or solar tubes, can direct sunlight from the roof into the interior. Mayi de la Vega, chief executive officer, ONE Sotheby’s International Realty on Florida’s East Coast, sees first-hand how buyers gravitate toward homes with abundant light. “It radiates a certain energy, a positive energy,” she says. “We all feel good in sunlight.”
This light-abundant, spacious home in Ontario balances grand-scale living with intimate tonality. Gracious proportions, with ceilings reaching up to about 21 feet, set the awe-inspiring stage for a rich yet soft palette of museum-quality finishes. The generously sized great room is lined with steel and glass partition walls. On the second level breathtaking skylights can be found. The primary suite offers prime north-east sunlight and a spacious en-suite with heated floors. A sensational entertainment space fills the lower level, with a wet bar, games area, theater room, and gym.
Gatti House, Strand
Gatti House is a Grade II-listed building built in 1886-87 and located high above the Strand. The apartment is in excess of 2,300 square feet, with a large private roof terrace. This immaculate, beautifully designed penthouse features a second-floor landing with floor-to-ceiling windows; a further unofficial terrace is also accessible. Steps rise up past beautiful leaded sash windows to reach the third floor. Light wells brighten the stairwell and part of the floor is glass, allowing for natural light to reach the lower level. The well-appointed kitchen has marble worktops, sleek dark cabinetry, and Gaggenau appliances.
This is a one-of-a-kind, refined architectural marvel by Bronzie Design and Build, located in Cincinnati’s desirable Mount Adams. Oversize windows have been masterfully placed throughout to maximize natural light and the spectacular views. The sweeping panorama—from the Ohio River, to downtown, to Prospect Hill—can be enjoyed from most rooms, but especially from the rooftop deck. High-end features and finishes are beautifully accentuated by steady streams of sunlight. Among the 4,500 square feet of exquisite interior space are four bedrooms. Other features include a two-car garage, 15-year tax abatement, and LEED Platinum energy-efficiency certification.
Upper East Side
The penthouse at One Sutton Place South is an unparalleled sanctuary of space and light. Its soaring ceilings, impressive scale, and plentiful skylights and windows create a singular ambience and a rare setting for entertaining or relaxing in seclusion, high above the city, surrounded by art.
One Sutton Place was designed by Rosario Candela, and its prewar essence blends with the clean contemporary lines of a remarkable recent renovation. The home has hosted many significant soirées, and accordingly, the floor plan consists of two distinct wings with separate entrances. The entertaining wing features a dining room, a chef’s kitchen, a powder room-cum-art installation by Leo Villareal, a library with a wet bar, a skylit living room with gallery walls and oversize windows, and two bedrooms. The wing devoted to quiet, private repose includes a lofty owner’s retreat, a den, an office, and guest and staff quarters. The inspiring views encompass sunrises, sunsets, the East River, the Queensboro Bridge, and Manhattan’s sparkling silhouette. The dazzling terrace sets a remarkable stage for exhilarating outdoor entertaining, with the building’s two unmistakable towers and a panorama of the city serving as an irreplaceable backdrop.
Located in the exclusive Elder Mountain community, this stunning home was designed by renowned architect Hugh Newell Jacobsen, who once said, “I have found that I can hold light in a space almost as you can fill up a glass with liquid.” The home features pitched rooflines, which provide dramatic vaulted ceilings. The attention to detail and exquisite finishes will impress, starting with the vast gallery-style hall with its glass ceiling. Skylight cupolas add to the dazzling effect. The living room has floor-to-ceiling windows, while the primary suite offers panoramic views of the Tennessee River Gorge.
This professionally designed contemporary three-story home has stunning bay views and over 100’ of linear waterfront. Located on Belle Meade Island, it has 24-hour, seven-days-a-week security. New construction (12,200 total A/C square feet) with custom ultraluxury finishes—no expense and attention to detail has been spared. Floor-to-ceiling windows, 35 KM solar system, plus six Tesla power walls. Italian kitchen by Veneta Cucine, seven A/C units, travertine exterior walls, beautiful glass elevator, custom lighting, and sound system throughout. Art gallery and oversize office/library. Large covered patio and summer kitchen with water views. 50-foot infinity-edge pool, solar generator, deep-water large dock and boat lift. Unique 12- car garage on ground floor. Real sellers. Centrally located and minutes to Design District, Miami Beach, and downtown Miami.
Perched on an elevated lot, this elegant coastal home enjoys sweeping 180-degree ocean views. It is newly constructed with clean architectural lines and a soothing, neutral palette. There are custom Fleetwood doors along the great-room walls for truly idyllic indoor/outdoor living. The great room, dining, and kitchen area—with its Caesarstone quartz countertops and Aran Cucine kitchen cabinets—is open and airy with multiple skylights bathing it in light. Exterior patios are laid with Italian porcelain and feature an inviting fire pit and pizza oven, while the rear yard and rooftop deck are pleasingly spacious.
A sophisticated, sun-splashed, modern residence perched high above Boulder, Colo., offers dazzling mountain and city views. This five-bedroom, eight-bathroom estate has the ultimate location, within one of America’s favorite mountain towns, and boasts 360-degree views. Striking contemporary design balances the warmth of exquisite natural materials, such as rich Honduran mahogany floors, with the sunlight that pours through the Pilkington triple-glazed, cantilevered glass walls. Topped by a rooftop deck, the elevator-equipped 9,689-square-foot residence features exceptional entertaining spaces, a gourmet chef’s kitchen, two offices, a library, home theater, game room, spa, and three-car garage.