Drawing inspiration from the past can yield unexpected results and lend a timeless quality to any space. When balanced with modern elements, ancient elements in the home can create a look that is fresh, unique and classic, but still very of the moment.

Thinking about doing a major makeover or a few strategic upgrades? Then take a page from history and incorporate some ancient elements into your modern renovation project.

REIMAGINED MATERIALS. Futuristic stainless steel is on the way out, with today’s materials getting their cue from the past. Warmer metals are a popular choice, with brass and gold leading the charge. Try the trend at home with some budget-friendly updates, like gold plumbing fixtures in the bathroom or brass hardware on kitchen cabinets. Another ancient material making a comeback is marble, which can look gorgeous as tile. More adventurous renovators can try marble wallpaper, a chic and inexpensive twist that’s trending on Pinterest boards and designer plans alike.

STATEMENT PIECES. Think of the great architectural buildings in Europe, like the Roman Pantheon, which was the first to have an opening in the roof to bring daylight and illumination to the centre. While the design concept was revolutionary, the opening lacked glass panes to keep the elements out. But this idea of getting more daylight through the roof is a great trend to try in your own home in 2018. Today’s skylights, like the ones from Velux, feature flat glass for energy efficiency and are factory-engineered to keep the elements out. They add drama and style to the home while reducing the need for artificial light, lowering electricity costs and improving mood. Programmable skylights even allow you to open and close the window, helping to achieve optimal indoor air quality that’s important for a good night’s sleep and children’s learning abilities.

NATURAL CONNECTIONS. Take a cue from yesteryear’s more relaxed lifestyles, when we spent more time outdoors and our indoor spaces were more intertwined with the outside world. Start by adding more greenery to your home. Houseplants like the Cereus peruvianus, the perfect cactus that blooms at night, complement both more delicate and rustic looks; while blooming florals balance out colder, more contemporary spaces nicely. Woven textiles are very trendy in 2018 and look great in practical pieces like pretty storage baskets that can disguise unsightly clutter.

5 rooms you can brighten with a skylight

Adding a skylight can enhance any space, making it lighter, brighter, fresher and more cheerful. A skylight can also improve our experience indoors, where we spend 90 per cent of our time but the air quality is three to five times worse than outdoors.

In addition to the health benefits of more natural light, skylights reduce the need for artificial light and can lower electricity costs delivering twice the amount of light as vertical windows allowing for daylight to penetrate the center of the home. Here are five rooms that would be even better with one of these light solutions.

Bathroom. By adding a venting skylight, you can allow in an abundance of natural daylight while also letting the steam out after a hot bath or shower. Plus, did you know that the best lighting for make-up application is natural light? A skylight can let you enjoy privacy, an unobstructed view and a sophisticated design touch in your bathroom.

Kitchen. Programmable skylights from Velux will let in natural light and they give you the control to properly air out your home and keep your kitchen fresh during and after cooking. By opening your skylight, gases like hot air, cooking odours and toxins escape through the roof.

Living room. Make this popular space feel bigger with a skylight — you can even combine multiple units to create an architectural statement. Add a solar-powered blind to reduce the glare on your television and other screens.

Home office. Incorporate more natural light into your home office or studio to increase productivity, minimize mistakes and improve your mood. Working in natural light will also lessen eyestrain, which can help reduce headaches.

Attic/loft conversion. By converting your attic into a functional loft, you can add more usable square footage, increasing the value of your home. Keep the space bright, airy and open by including a skylight in your new design, leaving you with views of the sky and not your neighbour’s roof, exterior side wall or bathroom. This will allow you to transform your dark attic space into a practical bright space flooded with natural light.