Here Comes The Sun: Letting Light Fill Timber Interiors

Here Comes The Sun: Letting Light Fill Timber Interiors

Embracing the Power of Light in Timber-Framed Spaces

I’ve always had a deep fascination with timber architecture and the way it interacts with natural light. There’s just something so captivating about the way the sun’s rays dance across the rich, textured wood, illuminating each nook and cranny in a way that feels almost magical. So when I was tasked with writing an article for the Timber Building website on this very topic, I couldn’t wait to dive in.

You see, I firmly believe that one of the greatest joys of working with timber is the opportunity to create warm, inviting spaces that are flooded with natural light. It’s a delicate balance, of course – you want to maximize the sunshine, but not at the expense of the timber’s starring role. And that’s where the real art comes into play.

Hacking the IKEA Pax: A Timber Transformation

As I started researching this topic, I kept coming across this incredible IKEA Pax hack that completely blew me away. The homeowner, Erin Kestenbaum, had managed to take a standard, off-the-shelf closet system and transform it into a truly stunning, custom-built timber marvel. And the secret? Embracing the power of natural light.

Erin’s blog post details the incredible journey she and her husband Cory embarked on, starting with a vision of a timeless, blue-hued custom closet and ending up with a space that felt like it had been plucked straight from the pages of a high-end design magazine.

The key to their success? A meticulous attention to detail and a willingness to think outside the box. Rather than simply slapping a coat of paint on the Pax units and calling it a day, Erin and Cory embarked on a true labor of love, painstakingly customizing every aspect of the space to create a cohesive, high-end aesthetic.

Illuminating the Timber Interior

One of the standout features of their custom closet? The way they leveraged natural light to highlight the warm, rich tones of the timber elements. By incorporating recessed puck lights throughout the units, they were able to bathe the entire space in a soft, ambient glow that perfectly complemented the wood.

But it wasn’t just about the lighting – they also strategically placed the Pax units to maximize the natural light flowing in from nearby windows. The result? A closet that feels like a serene, sun-dappled oasis, with the timber taking center stage in a way that’s simply breathtaking.

Masking the Modular Look

Of course, one of the challenges of working with a pre-fabricated system like the Pax is that it can often have a rather uninspired, modular look. But Erin and Cory tackled this head-on, using a combination of custom woodworking and clever styling tricks to create a truly bespoke feel.

For starters, they added a series of wood strips and panels to the front of the units, effectively disguising the telltale Pax silhouette. They also incorporated crown molding and baseboards, which helped to seamlessly integrate the closet into the overall aesthetic of the room. And the pièce de résistance? Those stunning, custom-made drawer fronts, which give the space an ultra-luxurious, built-in vibe.

Finding the Perfect Balance

But it’s not just about the visual impact – Erin and Cory also put a lot of thought into the practical side of things. By carefully planning out their storage needs and configuring the Pax units accordingly, they were able to create a space that’s both beautiful and highly functional.

And let’s not forget the importance of that walkway – by opting for a deeper unit on one side and a shallower one on the other, they were able to maintain a generous, well-lit passage between the two, ensuring that the space never feels cramped or cluttered.

The Power of Collaboration

One of the things that really struck me about this project was the way Erin and Cory worked together as a team. It’s clear that they brought complementary skills and perspectives to the table, each contributing something unique to the final result.

Cory’s practical, problem-solving mindset, for example, helped to keep the project grounded and focused, while Erin’s keen eye for design and attention to detail elevated the entire space. And by bouncing ideas off each other and constantly challenging one another, they were able to push the boundaries of what’s possible with a standard Pax system.

A Timeless, Transformative Timber Oasis

At the end of the day, what Erin and Cory have created is nothing short of a timber-framed oasis – a space that’s not just beautiful, but truly transformative. By leveraging the power of natural light and infusing every inch with their unique style, they’ve managed to elevate a humble IKEA Pax into something truly extraordinary.

And for me, that’s the real magic of working with timber. When you approach it with intention and creativity, the possibilities are truly endless. Whether it’s a custom-built closet or a grand, timber-framed home, the interplay of light and wood has a way of evoking a sense of warmth, comfort, and genuine connection that’s simply unparalleled.

So if you’re looking to infuse your own spaces with that same sense of timber-fueled wonder, take a page out of Erin and Cory’s playbook. Embrace the power of natural light, get creative with your woodworking, and don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Because when you do, the results can be nothing short of transformative.


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