Tips to Brighten your Home as the Seasons Change
Updated: Sep 10, 2022
Our transitions to fall and winter bring time for rest and reflection; for putting the garden to bed, and tackling “to-do” lists. But seasonal changes in light - reduced daylight hours, an increase in cloudy days, and the lower angle of the sun – can be mentally and emotionally challenging. I invite you to explore one or more of these “hacks” to lift your spirits and increase your productivity.
Maximize your Lighting
1. Add decorative light fixtures – especially in dark corners. Floor lamps and up-lights are brilliant for this purpose. Hang holiday string lights – both inside and also on a porch visible through your windows, and leave them on so they welcome you every time you arrive home! The whimsical varieties now available will make you smile AND add light to your spaces. If you have a larger budget, add recessed lighting to high-traffic spaces, like the kitchen.
2. Change out a lamp with one that has a higher maximum wattage or three-way capability. Swap warm-temperature lightbulbs for slightly cooler bulbs (but don’t go higher than a 3000 K in temperature – blue/daylight bulbs are fine for daytime but using them at night can affect sleep patterns). Add dimmers to existing switches so you can keep fixtures on in adjacent rooms, dimmed to save energy.
3. Replace a two-light ceiling fixture with a three-light model. Bump up the wattage of your exterior lighting to make your homecomings more cheerful.
Make the Most of your Windows
1. Maximizing natural light is critical as we go into fall and winter. Changing from solid blinds or draperies to sheerer, light filtering treatments will open up the view and bring more light into your spaces.
2. Think about furniture placement. Relocate your desk or favorite chair closer to a window. Reorient an entire furniture layout to maximize natural light.
Liven Up Your Décor
1. Add a whimsical accent pillow or rug. Swap out your neutral sheets for a bright, bold pattern that stimulates your eyes and perhaps connects you with nature. Hang a piece of inspirational art. Buy a new, cheerful mug and bowl to enliven your morning meal.
A brightly colored bathrobe or fun towels are great touches!
2. Think Contrast – layer light and dark accents, add pops of color to stimulate your brain!
3. Bounce and reflect light with glass and mirrored surfaces. Adding a a mirror (wall hung, free-standing, or wall-to-wall), or mirrored closet doors will amplify natural light.
4. Enliven a room by adding live plants that can thrive in low light, to bring life and good smells into your space.
Making just one or a few of these small changes will give you a lift and help you thrive as the seasons change. Just knowing you have a bright, welcoming space in which to work, play, or entertain will lift your spirits and make the months go by more quickly.