While winter brings early sunsets and dark mornings, you can choose to make the most of the season by enhancing the brightness of your home. Use these six simple tips to offset winter’s limited daylight and create a warm and delightful retreat.
Windows are the natural light source for your home so it is important to ensure they’re letting in as much light as possible. Clean them regularly on both the inside and outside as winter grime builds up far more than you might imagine, dimming the sunlight that gets through. Removing screens from the windows you are less likely to open during winter months will help too. Last but not least, move away from windows anything that could create an obstruction so the item isn’t blocking the beautiful sunlight from warming your winter home.
No. 2 | Choose Seasonal Options
With less light during winter months, woods and darker furniture can make a room feel gloomy. If you’re not ready to buy new furniture, try a light-colored slipcover for your couch or loveseat to help brighten up the space. Adding bright cozy throws and pillows will do the same. Create a routine of opening your blinds or drapes first thing in the morning and make sure to decorate with light colored or shear drapes.
One of the easiest ways to magnify the benefits of natural light is to strategically place mirrors around your home where natural light can bounce off of them. The best place to put mirrors is on east and west facing walls within range of sunlight from your windows because the sunlight will be lighting up the mirror for a good portion of the day, bouncing light into the room. Another option is to hang them directly opposite a window so the natural light is indirectly reflected throughout the room. It’s like adding another window.
No. 4 | Increase the Level of Ambient Light
Once you’ve maximized the amount of natural light in your home, the next step is to add chandeliers, pendants, and lamps wherever your room needs it to create a high level of cheerful ambient light. Floor lamps, table lamps and task lighting are great options because they’re easy to place and move around a room. Chandeliers and pendants are stationery but important too as they add light near the ceiling, which reflects down into the room. Another excellent way to add light is to replace standard light bulbs with full spectrum CFL light bulbs which mimic sunlight and can help fight off winter blues.
If you’re looking for a longterm way to increase the level of perceived light during winter months, you may want to consider lightening the paint color of your walls. To select wall colors, flip over a paint chip to find the light reflectance value (LRV), which ranges from 0 (white) to 100 (black), with the sweet spot tending to fall at around 62 LRV. The reason why most houses have white interior walls, rather than other light colors, is that it adds more light into your house and it is the only way to reflect natural light back into your room on a big scale. Opt for bright or neutral colors like white, off-white, mellow yellow, light pink and shades of white. Whatever shade you choose, as long as the walls feel bright, the room will feel bright.
No. 6 | Furnishings & Decor
A surprising way to brighten your home is to clean and declutter rooms. Taking out unnecessary furniture will create open space that feels brighter, homier, as well as cleaner. Rearrange furniture to give your space a new fresh feeling. Then update your decor with light colored, metallic, glass, or otherwise shiny and bright accessories. Reflective and light colored surfaces will add more light and brighten your winter home! Another surprising way to brighten your decor is to add plants and greenery. They may not be a light color but they do lighten your spirit, creating warmth and comfort.
Whether you live near the Tetons or just dreaming of a home with a view of the mountains, elevate your living with a consultation from our team of experienced designers. The heartbeat of our design firm and online shoppe is to work with your personal style to curate your unique dream home.