Harnessing Light in Interior Design: Lessons from Tromsø, Norway

Written by: Nauradika Of London



Time to read 2 min

Let There Be Light: Interior Design Insights from the Arctic Circle

Photographers often say that light is everything, and the same holds true in the realms of interior design and architecture. Light shapes our perception of space, colors, and even our mood. In places like Tromsø, Norway, where darkness prevails for nearly half the year, the locals have turned the scarcity of light into an art form of its own. Let's explore how Asbjørg, a resident of this Arctic city, utilizes light to create warm and welcoming spaces despite the long, dark winters.

Embracing Light: A Norwegian Perspective

In Tromsø, the sun takes a leave of absence during the polar night, plunging the city into darkness for months. Yet, walk into any home, like Asbjørg's, and you'll find a haven of warmth and light. Here are some strategies employed by those living in light-challenged regions to brighten their homes.

Maximizing Natural Light

  • Reflective Surfaces: Incorporating materials that reflect light, such as glossy floors, metallic finishes, and mirrors, can significantly enhance the natural light available. Asbjørg uses large, strategically placed mirrors to bounce light around the room, creating the illusion of a brighter, larger space.
  • Light Colors: Walls and ceilings painted in light colors do wonders in reflecting the scarce sunlight. Asbjørg prefers soft whites and pastels to keep her home feeling airy and light.
  • Window Treatments: Opt for light, translucent curtains or blinds that allow maximum sunlight to penetrate the space while still offering privacy. Asbjørg often chooses sheer fabrics that filter light softly, avoiding dark, heavy materials that can absorb light.

Artificial Lighting: Layering for Warmth

  • Layered Lighting: A combination of ambient, task, and accent lighting can mimic natural light's complexity and warmth. Asbjørg employs a variety of light sources, including floor lamps, pendant lights, and candles, to create a cozy and inviting atmosphere.
  • Warm Light Bulbs: Choosing bulbs with a warm color temperature can make a world of difference in creating a snug, welcoming environment. Asbjørg uses LED bulbs that emit a warm, golden glow reminiscent of the sun.
  • Smart Placement: Positioning light sources at different heights and locations can eliminate shadows and evenly distribute light throughout the room. Asbjørg places lamps at various levels to ensure that light reaches every corner.

Embracing the Outdoors

  • Bringing Nature In: Incorporating elements of nature, such as plants, wood, and stone, can enhance the sense of brightness and openness in a space. Asbjørg decorates her home with indoor plants and natural materials, which connect the indoors with the outdoor landscape, adding to the overall sense of light and space.
  • Outdoor Lighting: To extend the perception of light beyond the interior, strategic outdoor lighting can illuminate the view from the inside out. Asbjørg uses outdoor lights to highlight the beautiful snowy landscape around her home, creating a magical view that draws the eye outward.

Visualizing Brightness in the Arctic Dark

Learning from Asbjørg and the residents of Tromsø, we see that the key to combating darkness is not just in the quantity of light but in its quality and distribution. By maximizing natural light, layering artificial lighting, and incorporating elements of nature, we can create spaces that are bright, warm, and inviting, no matter how long the night.