Winter has its charms, but the shorter days and longer nights are on few people’s lists of favorites. While you can’t make the sun stay up longer, you can take simple steps to bring more light into your living space. Here are six ways you can brighten up your home this winter.

Curtail the curtains

Heavy curtains are great at insulating, but they can also leave rooms feeling dark and cramped. Instead, consider roman shades or a simple valance with blinds to maintain privacy while maximizing natural light.

Style the Scandinavian way

Scandinavians are no strangers to short winter days. Is it any surprise that their interior design is dominated by shades of white and other light colors? You can borrow this bright idea by utilizing pale tones for the walls, floors and furnishings in your home. With some slip covers and rugs, you don’t even need to change your paint, carpet or furniture.

Master the mirrors

Bright colors are great at boosting light around your home, but nothing shines like a mirror. Not only do mirrors help rooms feel more open, they also brighten up spaces. Large mirrors or gallery walls of smaller ones are both effective options.

Swap out the solid door

Solid doors are extra sturdy and secure, but if you don’t need a doorway that can survive a battering ram, consider a glass-paneled door. A variety of half- and full-height glass doors are available for brighter options. Glass sidelights and transoms will let more sun in as well.

Bolster your bulbs

Perhaps the most direct way to get more light in your home when you want it is to add more or brighter lights. Extra table or floor lamps are a simple and affordable way to increase illumination without the need to install additional fixtures. You can also add brighter bulbs to the fixtures that accept them. Look at the lumens number when shopping for bulbs for an apples-to-apples comparison of brightness.

Stow the screens

You might be surprised to learn that window screens block as much as 30-40% of the light that enters your home. Leaving them up during winter not only makes your home colder and dimmer, you can also risk damaging your screens in regions with harsh winters. Unless you still need your screens through the winter, consider taking them down in late fall and securely storing them until spring.


Those longer summer days may still be a ways off, but with these enlightened tips, you can help maintain a bright environment and a sunny disposition through the winter.