Harmony Barn Renovation
The Difficulty of Light
"Daylight is too easy. What I want is difficult: the atmosphere of lamps or moonlight."
-Painter, Edgar Degas
The last few days have been filled with changing weather that had me pondering light. Intense snow and dark skies one moment and streaks of blue sky the next. Or a day entirely gray and snowy and the next bluebird skies with blinding sunlight. The diffused light on a gray day has its own beauty and mood. Although more somber and monochromatic, the lack of shadows can be disconcerting. Skiing when the light is flat can be difficult because you can’t see the contour of the land under your feet. On a sunny day, the directional light causes distinct shadows that make landforms and drifts in the snow easy to see. The light reflecting from the sun sparkles and it’s hard not to feel a lightening of the heart. It made me realize how much light can have an effect on mood and visual perception.
Not a lot of direct progress on the barn this week, however, Patrick and I met at the barn to discuss some design issues including lighting. And just how the light outside can have an effect on how one feels and sees, the same is true indoors, and is what makes choosing lighting for a multi-use space so challenging. In the case of the Harmony Barn, we would like to have accent lighting to directly illuminate the walls to highlight artwork. We want ambient lighting for large areas, task lighting for utilitarian areas and lights that will create drama and atmosphere for special occasions. To make it even more challenging, the monitor style of the barn creates a space that has low ceilings down the center of the barn, and high vaulted ceilings on the sides. There are also supporting beams that cross the open areas. Should track lighting be installed in those beams, or will that shine light directly into the eyes of people in the main area? I think I will need to do more research on this before the lighting plan is finalized, as it is so important to get it right. What I want is proving to be difficult.
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In January 2020, my husband and I bought a barn on 10 acres adjacent to our home property near Mancos, Colorado, and asked ourselves, "What do we do with it now? Since then we have renovated the top floor into a vacation rental and are in the process of renovating the bottom/main part of the barn into a gathering space. Join us on our journey!