The time of year has come where the days are shorter and the nights are longer. Instead of letting the darkness affect your mood or the atmosphere in your home, choose to make the most of the season by enhancing the brightness around you in your interiors; especially if you spend a lot of time indoors or have limited freedom to get outside to experience the natural daylight. Here’s how to counter winter’s shortened days with some simple brightening tips:
1. Window Screens
You might be distressed over the dark windows and lack of light surrounding your home in the winter. Removing the screens from your windows is a simple way to enhance the brightness to the interior of your home. Since your windows remain mostly closed throughout the winter season, the protective mesh screens aren’t necessary. By removing this barrier, you’ll be surprised how much brighter your home will seem from the street as well. As an added bonus, by removing the screens and properly storing them, they won’t be exposed to the harsh winter weather, thus extending the life of your screens.
2. Open the Shades
Sounds simple, right? Most people don't notice that their shades are closed and just walk by them daily, complaining of interior darkness. Some may not be able to operate the shades or raise and open them, due to arthritis or other accessibility issues. Whatever the reason may be, open the blinds, lift the shades, or if privacy and security is not an issue, just leave them open to let the light in.
While winter is a great time to cozy up indoors, think of how you can create reflection in your home’s physical space. If you have hardwood floors, keep them exposed. As light comes through your windows, wood floors serve as great reflectors for bouncing natural light onto furniture and walls around your home. Mirrors are also a great source of reflection. They not only create more light in a space, but they enhance how big a space can feel. Being stuck inside can easily facilitate the feeling of being claustrophobic, so these simple changes, like installing more mirrors or keeping natural flooring exposed, are inexpensive and easy ways of feeling less confined.
4. Light Colors
The more space you fill with soft white colors, the brighter your home will be against winter’s gloomy backdrop. Soft whites and creams should guide your color palate to maximize the brightness (and the reflection of this brightness) of your home during the winter. Switch up the fabric colors found in your living room by investing in ivory, white, or any other light-colored slipcovers for your sofa, draperies, pillows, and throw blankets as well. Bring light into your dining room by throwing a cream-colored cloth or runner over your dinner table. You can even add a touch of nature as a centerpiece like pine cones, cranberries, or other seasonal ornaments that embrace the time of year, and add a sense of joy to your interior.
5. Light Bulbs
While this may be a subtle change, swapping out your light bulbs can make a huge difference in your home. The effect of a warm white bulb differs greatly from the feel illuminated by a cool white or a daylight bulb. Each home is different, so it’s important to choose a few bulbs (we recommend trying LED energy efficient bulbs) and compare how the light coming from each bulb illuminates the fixtures, furniture, and textiles around you.
These easy and affordable interior changes, will transform what’s a cold and dark season, into a time that’s warm and comfortable. We advise you to try one of these tips, or try them all to add light to your home in a different way. Let's keep all of your days merry and bright this winter!