Winter has many charms, but the shorter daylight is on few people’s list of favorites. While you can’t make the sun stay up longer, you can take simple steps to make your home look and feel brighter. Here are seven ways you can bring more light into your home this winter.
Curtail the curtains
Heavy curtains are great at insulating, but they can also block out the sunlight and leave your home feeling dark and cramped. Open your window treatments during the day to maximize light, and consider investing in sheer curtains or other options that provide privacy and insulation while letting in light.
Stow the screens
You might be surprised to learn that window screens block as much as 30-40% of the sunlight that enters your home. Leaving them up during winter not only makes your home colder and dimmer, it also risks damaging your screens in regions with harsh winter weather. Unless you still need your screens through the winter, consider taking them down in late fall and securely storing them until spring.
Redesign and redecorate
Aesthetics and décor have a big effect on how open and bright your home looks and feels. Choosing lighter colors for your walls, floors and furniture goes a long way, and even just swapping in a few rugs and slip covers with pale hues can make a noticeable difference. Adding wall mirrors can help your rooms feel brighter and more spacious, while fresh flowers, houseplants and seasonal décor contribute a touch of life and cheer.
Bolster your bulbs
The most direct way to brighten up your home is to add more or stronger 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.
Light flickering flames
There’s something inherently comforting about the soft, flickering glow of candles or a fireplace. If you agree, then light up a cluster of candles or fire up your fireplace if you have one. Take care to practice proper fire safety, and for greater peace of mind and convenience, consider investing in LED candles and a gas or electric fireplace.
Clean and declutter
Be sure to keep up on your cleaning during the winter month. Crystal-clear windows, pristine floors and a clutter-free environment will all help your home look and feel brighter.
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.