9 Ways to Make Your Home Lighter This Winter

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Winter is fast approaching and the days are getting shorter. But this doesn’t mean your home has to be dark and dismal this winter. Keep it bright and lively during the festive season with the following tips, and your winter will be full of happy, cosy moments!

dark home winter

Image credit: Barbasia

Lighting

1. SKYLIGHTS
The upcoming shorter days may be out of your control, but you can still make the most of the light you do have. If you have a particularly dark room, think about installing a skylight. In addition to adding more natural light, it will make the room look more interesting and create the illusion of additional space. A skylight can also help you cut down on your energy bills by reducing your dependence on artificial light. Great places for installing skylights include above dining room tables and above beds, providing these rooms are not located below an upper floor of course!

Skylight

Image credit: Laura D’Alessandro

2. AVOID THICK, DARK CURTAINS

If you don’t mind being woken by morning sunlight, consider ditching your thick, dark curtains for light, thin and sheer ones. However, do make sure your windows are properly sealed if you rely on thick curtains to assist with insulation. Alternatively, you can apply film onto your windows for a different look.

sheer curtains

Image credit: Creatocrat

3. LEDs

Of course, there’s only so much natural light we’re going to receive this winter. However, if you’re clever, you can create the illusion of natural light by using LEDs. They are extremely efficient too, so add this to the list of ways you can keep those energy bills down!

Make sure you opt for warm white light as opposed to white light, which can make you feel like you’re in a hospital. Dimmers can be extremely useful too, to ensure that you have control of the lighting, energy and mood.

4. LAMPSHADES

Simple modifications such as switching your thick, dark lampshade, for a thin, brighter one, can make all the difference. Choose a lampshade that lets plenty of light shine through – you’ll be surprised at what a difference this can make!

5. MIRRORS

Place mirrors in your room strategically to allow natural and/or artificial light to be reflected and dispersed around the room, making it brighter. You can go simple or elaborate, big or small, whatever you feel will fit in with the space you have. Some top tips include placing a large mirror between two windows, behind a lamp or across from a window (but make sure it’s on an angle, or it will reflect the light straight back outside!)

Mirror

Image credit: Louisa Hennessy

Colours

Once you have the lighting in your house sorted, you need think about the colours. Winter is a perfect time to give your house a fresh makeover!

6. CONTRAST WHITES WITH WARM COLOURS

Adding whites, pastels and creams to your décor will further help to reflect available light. Refrain from sticking solely to whites and creams though, as it may give your home a slightly institutionalised feel - we don’t want you to feel like you’re in ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’!  Make things more interesting and create depth within your rooms by contrasting whites with autumnal colours, such as terracotta, to still maintain that winter feel.

Alternatively, if you’re not too bothered about the winter theme, then opt for bright colours and patterns to help remind you that summer is on its way!

Tuscany sofa

Tuscany 3 Seater Sofa from SofaSofa

You can even get scientific and experiment with colour psychology within your home. Research shows that different colours elicit different emotions - use this to your advantage. While crimson and red can be great accent colours, avoid using them as dominant colours, as they may illicit intense emotions – and not necessarily good ones! (Although, red can sometimes encourage appetite, so may be good for a dining room!)

Other colour-emotional state pairings are:

  • Green = Tranquility, Health
  • Blue = Productivity
  • Yellow = Energy
  • Pink = Calming, Warm
  • Lavender = Calming, Relaxing

Do some further research on colour pairings online to find a combination you like – be adventurous!

Decor

7. FLOWERS

Brighten up your home with a bunch of flowers. Not enough people buy flowers unless it’s a special occasion like Valentine’s Day or a birthday. Buy a fresh bunch every week, place them near your front door and you’ll be greeted with fresh, floral aromas. What a lovely welcoming into your home! Some great suggestions include onion flowers, hydrangeas and ranunculus.

flowers

Image credit: Liis Klammer

8. WINTER DECORATION

There are lots of inexpensive winter décor ideas that only involve a little creativity. Something as simple as pine cones in a bowl, or elegantly placed twigs in a vase, can be a great touch. Try buying candles in plain candleholders and decorate the outside with ribbon and fabrics. The flickering flames will do wonders for generating feelings of warmth and comfort.

8335885270_251687e75d_z

            Image credit: Sasha MGF

vase

Image credit: S2art

9. FABRICS AND MATERIALS

Experiment with textures and fabrics to add depth to your furniture. We’re talking velvet, wools and knits. Thick, warm fabrics will help add a cosy look to your home and give it a warm feel. You can add throws, cushions, rugs or even wall tapestries to really spruce up that décor. All these little touches will hopefully eradicate any risk of the winter blues.

ascot sofa

Ascot Range from SofaSofa

It’s easy to make your home lighter this winter. Remember to contrast whites with other hues; maximise the amount of natural light; and add better sources of natural-like artificial light - and before you know it, spring will be here!

Posted in Interior Design on 24th Oct 2014

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