Whether you’re connecting buildings or adding a luxurious element of design, an atrium can be the perfect way to create outdoor-like spaces that can be used year-round.
Not to be confused with a Florida room, which features slanted glass panes, atriums are typically large open spaces within a building, adding light with either a glazed roof or many large windows.
In a country estate an atrium can be a magnificent way to bridge the main dwelling to any outbuildings, adding square footage, a sense of space and light. In large homes, an atrium can simply be a focal point, a respite of light in a space that may otherwise feel dark and cavernous.
The trick to designing an effective atrium is to make it to bring the “outside in” by including a garden. It wouldn’t be space where you would plant veggies, but a tree, some low-maintenance shrubbery or even some grass and a pond can be a fabulous way to connect one space to another or add a transparent extension to a home. Adding some seating can create an ideal reading spot in the sun.
Though considered by architects to be a relatively simple design technique when constructing new buildings, adding an atrium to an existing building or buildings, can be an intricate task involving issues such as space constraints, energy conservation and building supplies.
As such, adding an atrium to a home is a luxury that often comes with a luxury price. This is not a task to be completed by a general handyman, or a do-it-yourselfer, but rather a job best left to the professionals.
I recommend contacting a number of architects before undergoing any such renovation on your home. They’ll be able to evaluate the space and scope of the project, providing you with appropriate plans and a realistic quote on what it may cost.
I’ve found a wonderful selection of atrium images on Pinterest and I’m sure they could ignite your passion for incorporating such a design in your home.
An indoor garden, complete with bistro set and mood lighting via That Kind of Woman on tumblr: http://thatkindofwoman.tumblr.com/post/5100062078/indoor-garden
A modern take on atrium design via Zillow.com: http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/5-Settlers-Trl-Darien-CT-06820/58780353_zpid/
The outdoors are beautifully brought indoors in these atriums via Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/03/indoor-gardens_n_3379258.html