Brighten Up Your Winter: 4 Tips to Creating Light in Your Home
"Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is time for home," said British poet Edith Sitwell. The cold brings out the desire to snuggle in the familiarity of well-loved things. But while you move indoors during this harsher weather, it is possible to instill a sunny lightness in your space. Here are four things you can do to brighten up your home:
Tip 1: Embrace Patterns
"No matter what time of year it is, bold patterns in the home never go out of style," offered Lisa Slack, head of product and home expert at Thomas Sanderson. So experiment and add a little pattern somewhere — maybe an accent wall in your bathroom, for example. Vinyl patterned wallpaper is the perfect choice for your bathroom, Slack advised. “Not only is vinyl the most durable wallpaper option to withstand water splashes and splatters, it comes in a range of designs and patterns to uplift the space."
Tip 2: Bring in Some Greenery
"Whether it be hanging plants in the conservatory, a vase of fresh flowers in your living room or even a few succulents dotted around the home, try adding a few natural elements to brighten the space," said Slack.
Not only do plants absorb airborne pollutants, but they also reduce anxiety and stress, making them useful accessories for your home “Succulents are ideal for adding green to your indoor space, especially in winter as they don't mind the cold and don't need a lot of sunlight," advised Slack.
Crocus, Snowdrop, and Camellia are also all great options. These colorful flowers will definitely brighten your space. “Plus, they’re great for the winter season. So, you don’t even have to worry about things like frostbite," said Jamie Penney, home improvement and outdoor design expert and CEO of The Backyard Pros.
Tip 3: Let There Be Light
Light sets a mood. You want to keep your rooms bright, but resist adding lamps haphazardly. The items used should echo the feel of the room and provide a focal point, according to said David Clark, a contractor, home improvement expert and CEO at Basement Guides.
A chandelier, for example, would work well in a dining room, especially when you are hosting dinner parties during the winter. Floor lamps add luminescence to those dark corners. Table lamps work well in the bedroom — since they only illuminate portions of the room you’ll find a more calming atmosphere for sleep, according to Slack. “They make great decorative elements and suit most styles from contemporary to more traditional bedrooms," she added. "Table lamps also tend to create a softer light than standing floor lamps, giving the whole bedroom a boost."
You can also layer lamps, offered Penney. To do this properly, you want to consider the three main types of lighting — ambient, task and accent — with your needs. “Ambient lighting should be glare-free,” explained Penney. “It should also build upon the natural light that enters your home. Chandeliers and wall sconces are a great way to incorporate this.”
Task lighting allows you to do different activities effectively in your home. For example, table lamps, downward-facing pendant lights and under-cabinet lighting all provide practical illumination. Lastly, accent lighting helps decorate your home while adding brightness — for instance, adding floor lamps and picture lights to a room can make it feel warmer and more inviting.
A lighting control application can help adjust the brightness of your room as per the season. Many applications have settings where you can even change the color of your lights depending on your mood.
Painting the room’s walls can help, too. Light colors will brighten up your space quickly. “You can choose colors such as lavender, grey or light blue to ensure that your room is adequately lit even when the curtains are drawn,” Clark offered. You can even swap out dark fabric on curtains and slipcovers for lighter hues.
Tip 4: Declutter, Move Your Furniture and Update Those Accessories
"Depending on the layout of your room, the amount of light flooding in can be compromised by large furniture and bad placement," said Slack. "Try rearranging your furniture to optimize how much light can access the room. For instance, move any furniture that’s blocking windows or glass doors, as this will be altering the natural brightness of your space."
Updating accessories such as art, pillows and rugs can have a dramatic effect on improving the appearance of your space. These items are easily obtainable and can be arranged in a variety of ways, according to Joan Kaufman, principal of Interior Planning and Design in Naperville, Illinois. Changing through the winter holidays to Valentine's Day and St. Patty's Day increases enjoyment throughout the winter months.
Even small changes like simply opening the curtains in your home can help. Allowing the maximum daylight to infiltrate your home will help brighten your days until summer arrives again.
Photo Credit: Thomas Sanderson
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