A Brighter Home, a Brighter Mind: How Natural Light Keeps Us Happy and Well – Guest Post

Dan here. Today, we have a special treat: a guest post from Eliza Cochrane of Carlen Glass, located in lovely Dublin, Ireland. She has a post on the benefits of natural light. If you’re a regular on With the Barretts, you know that lots of natural light in living spaces is important to us. We appreciate Eliza sharing and hope you enjoy her post.

room with natural light

I recall a few weeks ago, a brief spell of troubled sleeping. I would go to bed early every night and, after about four hours, would “waken” into a light semi-conscious drift. I’m not sure what caused the spell — though it probably had something to do with the increasing temperature of the summer nights — but there was one morning in particular that struck me as peculiar. On what was perhaps the hottest night of the year, I decided to sleep with the windows open and curtains drawn, to let a draught in should it come. I woke naturally — again, after a few hours of what should have been groggy sleep, only this time to the in-pouring of brilliant sunshine.

And not only did I feel fine, I felt great.

Experience Backed by Research

The experience was so strange to me that I decided to do a little research on natural light and the human body for an explanation: I quickly found out more about the natural sleep-wake cycle, and the regulatory hormones of this cycle. Continue reading “A Brighter Home, a Brighter Mind: How Natural Light Keeps Us Happy and Well – Guest Post”

The First Thing – Entryway Renovation – Hildring House

It’s the first thing you see when you come in the house – as a guest, that is. In this post, Debra talks about the entryway renovation at Hildring House. It has been through several iterations and, I have a feeling, isn’t done yet. But it’s miles better than it was. Here we go:

Inspiration

Let’s start with some entries that I admire:

Decorpad.com
centsationalgirl.com
Domino

At Hildring House, we enter from the back- our garage is in back, and we are lucky enough to have a small entry hall at the garage entrance… Someday I’ll show it to you, but, very much like the front entrance, it has gone through a lot of changes and I’ve not hit on the “perfect” arrangement as of yet. Today, I’m going to show you the many versions of the front entry. Continue reading “The First Thing – Entryway Renovation – Hildring House”

Hildring House – Mastering the Master Bedroom

Hildring House Master Bedroom

I’m pretty sure I did a post way back there somewhere about the sad state of our master bedroom…. and because this is real life (as opposed to HGTV) it is still in a ‘not ready for photos’ state. There has been progress, and I’ll show you some snippets and the “plan.” Keeping in mind that all “plans” are a moving target around here! Dan here – in italics, as usual – “plans” around here change right up until the minute you drive the nail. And sometimes after. But the results usually are so good that I really can’t complain.

Inspiration photos (not Hildring House)
homedesignideas.eu

Continue reading “Hildring House – Mastering the Master Bedroom”

Hildring House Hallway (or a short post about a long hall)

Hey, folks, this is Dan. In this post, Debra talks about the Hildring House hallway transformation. A lot of the changes we’ve made at Hildring House have been pretty dramatic (especially the unfitted kitchen, which is the subject of an exciting surprise we’ll reveal soon – cue suspenseful music). None, however, were more fundamental – transforming the entire house – than the one she talks about today. As usual, my comments will be in italics. Here is an intro shot of the hallway, just to set the stage. Enjoy!

Hallway Opening After
Hallway Opening After
Hildring House Hallway

I mentioned in my last post that Hildring House originally had a long, dark, notverypretty hallway.

Before Hallway
Before – Creepy Hallway

Continue reading “Hildring House Hallway (or a short post about a long hall)”

Hildring House Long Overdue Laundry Room Post

First Hildring House Project Completed

Four months and many many dollars later… the laundry room is “finished”…. well, as finished as anything ever gets with me around. [This is Dan – I’ll be chiming in occasionally. Just can’t help myself, you know. I have to agree – “finished” is euphemistic for “reasonably satisfied for the moment but don’t get too used to it.”] So here is a long overdue laundry room post – with some good pictures by Trey Freeze.

Tile Floor Laundry Room
Photo by Trey Freeze

Continue reading “Hildring House Long Overdue Laundry Room Post”

Hildring House – Remodeling & Design Progress Report

Remodeling & Design Progress Continues

It’s the beginning of summer and that brings with it a lot of family activities. You might think that would mean that progress comes to a halt on the remodeling & design efforts at Hildring House. Nope. They’ve slowed, somewhat, but certainly haven’t stopped. A lot of what is going on now involves tweaking, though. You remember the shelves in the library. We’re still rearranging but I think they’re looking quite nice, don’t you?

Shelving detail Continue reading “Hildring House – Remodeling & Design Progress Report”