The house I grew up in was flooded with natural light. It sat on the side of a mountain overlooking a valley of redwoods. On a clear day you could see all the way to the ocean.
I loved the view, but It was an hour walk to the general store and a steep climb back home. Nothing was convenient. I couldn't wait to get off that mountain.
Years later, settled in San Francisco, I love being able to walk out my front door and immediately be surrounded by shops and restaurants. This feels like home to me, but there's a catch. It's hard to find well-lit living spaces in a city since we're all packed in so tightly. And I miss the natural light of my childhood home.
This house was very dark when we bought it. (Which almost scared me off.) So we added a lot of windows and gained light. And I’ve strategically placed mirrors, like this recent purchase from Restoration Hardware, to provide reflective light and give us another opportunity to look out into the garden.
But our upstairs is still very dark, so we’ve decided that 2011 is the year to change that.
We’ve started sketching up ideas involving skylights and internal windows. And are asking each other if we’re fully recovered from the remodeling of 2008? Are we ready to be inundated with dust and construction workers?
And we think we are. We’re ready to let in a lot more light.
Amy John Headley is a landscape designer based in San Francisco.