In winter, we all crave some extra light. We want to feel the warm sun on our skin, see some blue sky, and maybe even take a vacation to a sunny beach. Missing out on precious Vitamin D can affect you physically. But let’s face it, most of us can’t just pack up and leave every time the winter blues set in. Luckily, there are some simple things you can do to bring some summer into your home and chase away the winter gloom. Here are four easy and affordable summer-inspired home designs that will make your home brighter for the winter.
1. Make the most use of your windows.
Windows let light enter your room, and as such, try to keep them unobstructed as much as possible. If you work at home, it’s also a good idea to move your workspace closer to a window so that you can get more light. Use sheer curtains as they allow natural light to filter into a room, making it feel brighter and more cheerful. White or light-colored curtains will brighten up a space more than dark-colored ones, too. If you’re worried about privacy, hang sheer curtains over existing blinds or shades.
2. Bring in some flowers or plants.
Flowers and plants not only add color and life to a room, but they also absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, which can help improve indoor air quality. Popular low-light plants that are easy to care for include the snake plant, ZZ plants, dracaena marginata, monstera, and pothos. These plants can survive through the winter indoors as long as you do not subject them too much to fluctuating temperatures. All of these plants don’t require much sunlight and can thrive in a window with limited direct sunlight. When overwintering them, you have to reduce the amount of fertilizer you give them as their fertilizer slows down. You also have to avoid watering them too much. If you don’t have a green thumb, consider investing in some easy-to-care-for succulents or cacti. These plants are hardier than most others, and they thrive in high-stress conditions. However, try to place them under direct sunlight as much as possible.
As a final resort, you can still get fake plants! They may not be real, but they do look the part from far away. They don’t need to be taken care of, and their bright color will still make a room brighter.
3. Add a mirror to reflect light.
Mirrors are great for small spaces because they make a room look bigger and brighter by reflecting light. Hang a mirror or a large reflective plate on a wall opposite a window to make the most of natural light. You can also use mirrors to brighten up dark corners in a room by placing them so that they reflect light from a nearby window or lamp. You can even put decorative pieces with reflective surfaces like metal globes and other console table ornaments near a window to maximize the amount of light they reflect into your room. However, just make sure to consider how light will hit them, as they might end up blinding you at inopportune moments.
4. Use light colors on your walls and your furniture.
Dark colors absorb light while light colors reflect it, so painting your walls white (or another light color) will make a room feel brighter and more open. Painting your whole house can be intimidating, so you start with one wall in each room or paint an accent wall with a light color. You could also try painting wood furniture white or another light color to brighten up a space.
There are still other things you can do if you are unwilling or unable to paint your furniture or your walls. One thing is to hang decorative tapestries, paintings, and macrame pieces on your walls. You can also look for distinctive pillows and blankets that evoke images of tropical destinations like India, Bali, Santorini, or Morocco. Just keep a theme in mind when choosing pieces so that they will go together aesthetically. Combined with the right furniture and decorative pieces, you can make your room look like a travel destination.
These are just four tips for home design that will make your home brighter for the winter. By making these small changes, you can create a space that feels lighter, airier, and more cheerful — even when it’s cold and gray outside. These will make your home look better, and you’ll feel great staying in it. Bring summer into your home today!