Before + After: Adding Natural Light with VELUX Skylights + Sun Tunnels

Materials provided by VELUX, no compensation was provided.

Skylights in the kitchen with VELUX - see before and after photos in this huge blog post

This going to be the biggest before and after blog post you’ve ever seen. We may have added one room – the expansion – but five rooms received a natural light makeover with VELUX skylights and Sun Tunnels! You know how I feel about skylights and natural light after installing a VELUX skylight in my north facing office years ago.

Our home was dark, not a photographer or blogger’s dream location which is why you often saw me shooting at other locations. It’s not what I preferred and often disrupted my flow of work, but it’s what I had to do in order to work in the best lit environments, until now.

It has been a dream of mine to add skylights, and since the expansion created the removal of 4 windows and a door that had a window – which gave us the little light we had in the space, this was the perfect opportunity to add natural light to those areas with VELUX skylights and Sun Tunnels (c/o).


The Kitchen


Let’s start with the biggest transformation of the entire home, the kitchen.

Skylights in the kitchen with VELUX - see before and after photos in this huge blog post

The VELUX No Leak Solar Powered Fresh Air Skylight has all the perfect features we wanted.

We chose the 2×3 size because of the spacing of the trusses – we have the same size in the expansion. It also saved on installation cost if you can work with what you have – the cost of skylights is dependent upon product, labor and ceiling pitch, and if there needs to be any structural modifications. To get a quote and find a VELUX installer, click here.

The VELUX No Leak Solar Powered Fresh Air Skylight have black out blinds and also open for great air ventilation – there are screens to keep bugs out, but we removed them just for photo purposes.

Skylights in the kitchen with VELUX - see before and after photos in this huge blog postSkylights in the kitchen with VELUX - see before and after photos in this huge blog post// open up skylight

Every morning I wake up and open the windows, the air circulation is heavenly and really lets fresh air in. The VELUX No Leak Solar Powered Fresh Air Skylight has a rain sensor so it will close when it senses some raindrops and it closed a few times recently when we had some abnormal weather. The skylight can also be opened with a smartphone app to bring fresh air into the room, or with the included remote control.

Our skylights are so amazing – they not only allow more light in your home, they open for ventilation, and also have the room darkening blinds that block out light as if it was never there! They come with a remote for opening, closing, you can close up these skylights when it’s hot, too sunny or you want to really nap. It was one of the first questions Benjamin asked since he likes rooms darker for movies, napping and during the summer when it’s very hot outside. So in order for Benjamin to get on board of adding four skylights it had to have this feature – and these VELUX skylights are a total winner for both our wants and needs.

Skylights in the kitchen with VELUX - see before and after photos in this huge blog post// open up skylightSkylights in the kitchen with VELUX - see before and after photos in this huge blog post
Skylights in the kitchen with VELUX - see before and after photos in this huge blog postSkylights in the kitchen with VELUX - see before and after photos in this huge blog postSkylights in the kitchen with VELUX - see before and after photos in this huge blog post

Look at the before and the after! It’s like night and day. The before images are all to exactly what my eyes saw and same with the after, I wanted to show you what it really looked like in our home with the ambient light we had. Any images I shot before of our space was on tripod and incredibly show shutter speed just to bring more light in.

Now the natural light is abundant and I don’t have to use artificial light like a flash when I take photos in the kitchen for my blog. I can actually be in the photos in my kitchen and it won’t be a grainy image or blurry. I can now shoot in my own kitchen for the blog! It really is so incredibly bright, and around 2 pm the kitchen is just glowing with the sun being further west.

Skylights in the kitchen with VELUX - see before and after photos in this huge blog postSkylights in the kitchen with VELUX - see before and after photos in this huge blog post// open up skylight


The Expansion (The Garden Room)


The room that started the transformation – the expansion. We also added skylights in this room. We have 10 foot high ceilings in this room, and the rest of our home has an 8 foot high ceiling. I wanted transoms above the French doors for more light and we had planned on four skylights in this room originally until we realized the pitch of the roof wouldn’t allow it – no worries.

Skylights in the living room with VELUX - see before and after photos in this huge blog post

We decided two were enough and decided on placement. This room faces South and while we could have sun come in from the windows and doors, having it come from above where the sun is pretty high up, it just allows more light to fill the room. It really makes a difference – instead of one direction of light from the side, you have more light making the entire room feel brighter and lighter.

Skylights in the living room with VELUX - see before and after photos in this huge blog post

This room has been a dream to shoot in – it really is my second studio is what should call it. We use it for primarily work, the bathroom is used for shooting any beauty and skincare campaigns because of lighting and this room we’ve created video work and shoots.

We painted the room white (Origami Owl by Sherwin-Williams) because I realized it would look better in photos – and Benjamin said it would be the last time we painted haha. The lighting in this room is ethereal.

So if you see this room without the skylights, you can see it had light, but not quite enough. The guys who worked on our house thought it was funny with how many windows, doors and skylights and Sun Tunnels I was adding, they knew I loved light. I could live in a glass house – but it must have AC of course.


Sun Tunnels – 2 bathrooms and the laundry room


We also added four VELUX Sun Tunnels. What is a sun tunnel? Sun Tunnels bring an amazing amount of light to any space, but are especially good for lighting small spaces like our bathrooms and laundry room. Sun Tunnels are quick to install – a typical installation takes about 2 hours. Sun Tunnels are a cost-effective way to add natural light to your home and sometimes work better in hard to reach places where a skylight might not work. Look for an installer here.

I saw some decorators I admired add them to their projects and also realized how much more affordable and flexible they can be with installation. Sun Tunnels look like a light that is always on, but is is actually natural light through a tunnel that bounces the light! You can also get a solar night light that goes inside the Sun Tunnel for when you need to see your way to the bathroom at night.

Sun tunnels with VELUX - before and after bathroom look at the light! More on the blog

Benjamin’s bathroom

Below is my bathroom in the hallway which also used to be shared with guests (but not anymore!) – I have both vanities and Benjamin thinks it’s hilarious I have the need for that much beauty storage. We won’t even talk about the linen closet off the hallway that’s also mine.

We lost a window since the expansion was on the other side. I really wanted natural light and I thought about a skylight but our roof pitch was quite strange right up there and so a Sun Tunnel it was!

When I first put it in I felt like it was too cool of a cast, the pure daylight color didn’t go well with my warm lights. VELUX has a fix for that! They have filters with different colors and also patterns you can put in the sun tunnel, costs around $15 or under depending on the size. This really warmed up my bathroom but not overly warm, you wouldn’t be able if you didn’t see the before, but to me it made such a huge difference.

Sun tunnels with VELUX - before and after bathroom look at the light! More on the blog

The hallway bathroom before and after with a VELUX Sun Tunnel

Now Benjamin’s bathroom which is the small bathroom off our master (we live in a 1952 home, everything is quite small) – this bathroom got quite a beautiful makeover with the VELUX Sun Tunnel. Benjamin also lost a window with the expansion as well. The new bathroom is on the other side of this wall.

The light in there is so beautiful now!

Sun tunnels with VELUX - before and after bathroom look at the light! More on the blog

Before and After of Benjamin’s bathroom with a VELUX Sun Tunnel

Now onto the laundry room! Here’s a before and after – I love how cute our laundry room is but I always thought I’d be so much happier with more light. This is also a room that our guests come in and kick off their shoes, it’s like a VIP back entrance.

I just wanted this area to be a little brighter for guest – we removed the ceiling fan. Ceiling fans in 8 foot high ceilings aren’t a great idea by the way, it makes the place feel smaller. It felt so much better after we removed those ceiling obstructions and made the roof feel lighter.

laundry room before after with sun tunnels by VELUX see all the before and after images on the bloglaundry room before after with sun tunnels by VELUX see all the before and after images on the bloglaundry room before after with sun tunnels by VELUX see all the before and after images on the blog

Who’s ready to do laundry with me now? Tee hee! We are so thrilled with how our home looks and feels now – just looking at the before and after photos Benjamin also agrees adding the skylights and Sun Tunnels was the best decision we made.

Materials provided by VELUX, no compensation was provided. Find a VELUX Skylight and Sun Tunnel installer nearest you.

Trying to decide what to write to make myself sound interesting.

5 Comments

  • Kari

    Hi Diana!!
    LOVE the natural light you are getting in your spaces. It’s dreamy!! I’m curious if you have suggestions on lightbulbs. We have several rooms (bathrooms or closets) where there isn’t enough natural light, and we can’t add any because it’s a two story home. I want great lighting in front of mirrors for getting ready! I thought maybe changing up the bulbs would help, but the lumens and watts options get me all panicked and I don’t know what to do. Warm lights, cool lights, I don’t know what’s best! You are a lighting queen so I’d love your indoor bulb choosing suggestions! A post on it would be great too, for reference! ;) (Or do you have one I’ve missed?!) Thanks!!

    • Diana Elizabeth

      Hi Kari, thank you so much!! So I prefer warm lights – just the normal soft bulbs. I don’t like cool lights one bit it feels clinical, but that is my preference. Some people like it – it’s called day light. I like a little more yellow. Lumens and watts are hard because if it’s an energy saver it’s going to be less and tell you it’s the same wattage as a 60 watt but it’s really 20 watt. I did a review on bulbs which are very neutral (neither warm or cold) – https://dianaelizabethblog.com/finally-light-bulb-better-than-led-lights-with-tesla-technology/ You can decide. They are pricey. I don’t use them, but I reviewed them. We use so many different lights around our home, mainly the Phillips which is on Google home (voice command) and some you can change the color – they are expensive bulbs I have to say. You can adjust the color and even the cool or warmth of the white light. I think it’s all trial and error. We get some of our bulbs from Walmart (the clear bulbs) and candelabra ones from Amazon, all warm. I hope that helps and didn’t confuse you more!

    • Kari

      Thank you for this! It’s a great start… there’s so much to consider! I appreciate your time! :)

    • Diana Elizabeth

      Of course, so glad you are here! It’s a little trial and error, and once you find the right bulbs then you are set ;) On a different note, I don’t think I’ll be making it back for the HS reunion since I’m already going back earlier. Are you going?

    • Kari

      I’m planning on it! I wasn’t able to make it to the 10 year, so I thought why not for this one?! I haven’t been back in YEARS, so it will be fun to check in with everyone, and then some friends and I will head to SF for a couple of days for a girls trip. Makes me all excited and nervous at the same time. I wasn’t a huge fan of high school, but I’m so nostalgic I can’t help myself! ;) I don’t blame you for not taking a second trip back, but it would be fun to see you!

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