5 Ways to Brighten Your Home During a Dreary Winter

The days are short, and many of them, gloomy, cold and full of dramatic weather. Make the most of your long days spent inside by trying to make your home as bright and cheery as possible – a few simple changes can make a big difference.

1. Remove your screens.

Mesh screens aren’t necessary if you aren’t opening your windows. Remove them, and be surprised how much extra light streams through when there isn’t an extra layer blocking the flow.

2. Use lighter-colored slipcovers.

Invest in ivory, white, or any other light-colored fitted slip cover for your sofa and sectional. The brighter colored fabric will feel lighter, and the room as a whole, brighter. Same goes for light-colored tablecloths on your dining room table. They may need to be washed more regularly, but light will deflect from your table and make the room feel brighter.

3. Let the hardwoods shine.

If you have hardwood floors, consider removing area rugs in rooms where natural light is at a minimum. The light that does stream in will reflect off your shiny hardwoods and onto your walls.

4. Swap your light bulbs.

Time to pay closer attention to the coloring of your home’s light bulbs. The difference between a warm white, a cool white, and daylight bulb can greatly change the feel of a room. If your home is anything like mine, you might find that some bulbs work better in some rooms than others; selecting a few and comparing live in your fixtures is the best way to see how it will really look. Those in-store displays situated beneath the fluorescents don’t always do the bulbs justice. Also, this is as good of a time as any to upgrade to LED bulbs for efficiency. For more tips on lighting, refer to this guide and learn how to choose it, what lighting works best in your home, and more.

5. Select light-colored drapery.

Curtains with saturated colors and dark patterns will make the room feel darker. Install lighter-colored curtains in their place for the winter months. While you’re at it, install the new drapes at the far edges of your window, so as not to block any portion of the window and to let as much natural light in as possible.

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