February can be a difficult month. The coziness of early winter has given way to sluggishness, the festivity of December is long over, and the motivation of the New Year has faded. We start to hope for an early spring just over the horizon, but also have to settle in for the possibility of a long winter. Fortunately, the lengthening days give us some hope and comfort. To beat the long winter blues, bring some of that light into your home. Brightening your space can create a world of difference in your mood, energy, and productivity. A little home makeover may be just the right thing get you over the February “blahs.”
Paint your ceiling white, or refresh it with a new coat if it’s already white. This technique will give an instant lift to your space, creating both a sense of brightness and space. If you decide to redo the entire room, limit dark and saturated colours to a single wall or other accents. Keep the rest light.
A dark wood floor can be a gorgeous feature, but if it’s feeling dark and overbearing, a quick fix is a light toned area rug. If you’re putting in flooring and are concerned about light, pick lighter floor treatments or light coloured hardwood.
The ideal way to brighten a space, of course, is to make maximum use of natural lighting, so choosing the right window treatments is essential for maximizing brightness and bringing light into a dim room. Swap heavy drapery for treatments made of lightweight materials that provide privacy without blocking light, such as cotton curtains, natural fibre shades, and sheers. In addition to choosing materials, think about the design and proportion of the window treatment. Avoid treatments that are bulky; weighty and bulky styles can both physically block light and be overcrowding and heavy, absorbing light and detracting from the overall sense of brightness. Lightweight, simple blinds and shades are an excellent minimalist option which will not overcrowd the window. They also offer more privacy, when closed, than lightweight curtains.
For cozy nights in and dark winter days, or rooms that simply don’t get enough natural light, artificial lighting can be enhanced by placing lamps so that they can shine onto other surfaces. Light coloured walls and ceilings can reflect and diffuse lighting, making a space brighter without creating a harsh, glaring light.
Bright, lightweight, and simple furniture and décor enhances a bright atmosphere. Choose sleek furniture in light, solid colours rather than heavy, dark, or ornate pieces. Keep busy patterns to a selection of accents. Even simply decluttering can refresh and revive a dim room.