How To Make Your Home Appear Brighter In The Winter

Tom Gaffey
by Tom Gaffey
Credt: Shutterstock / Africa Studio

With the arrival of winter also comes the start of many months of long and dark nights. With this period of fewer daylight hours, life can feel more mundane and dull. Some people even suffer from seasonal depression due to the lack of light in the winter. But if you are looking around your dark home counting down the days until spring, you might want to consider making a few changes that will brighten up your home in the winter.

To make your home look brighter in the winter, swap out your dark throw pillows and blankets for brightly colored ones. Put light-colored slipcovers on your larger furniture pieces. Clean your windows inside and out, and remove insect screens in the winter months. Swap out your light bulbs for warmer-toned bulbs, add colorful artwork to the home, and consider putting fresh flowers or live plants on display.

If you find your home depressingly dark in the winter months due to lack of sunshine, don’t settle for this feeling. There are lots of easy and effective ways to brighten up your home in the winter months. Many of these methods are free or cheap, and you can do all of them yourself. Keep reading to discover our top 11 ways to brighten up your home this winter.

11 Ways To Make Your Home Look Brighter This Winter

1. Use Bright And Light-Colored Pillows And Blankets

One of the most effective ways to add color and light to your home in the winter is to add bold bright colors in places where they weren’t before. One easy way of doing this is to swap out dark or drab-colored blankets and throw pillows with light and brightly colored ones. Displaying brightly colored blankets and pillows in the home will brighten up the space, and costs very little. People tend to use more blankets and pillows in the winter anyway, so make sure when you buy these items, you opt for bright colors or light creams and whites.

2. Change Light Bulbs

You might be surprised to know that making a small change in a lightbulb can significantly impact the brightness of your room. Light bulbs are fairly cheap, so it might be worth doing a comparison between different light bulbs and their brightness. If you have “cool” light bulbs, consider trying warmer bulbs, or slightly brighter ones. You can also get a lampshade or light fixture that allows for more white light to fill the space.

3. Remove Your Insect Screens

Insect screens are beneficial in the spring and summer when you want to let in fresh air. In the winter, however, you are unlikely to open your windows for long, and very few insects survive in frigid winter temperatures. Therefore you don’t need the window screens on your windows in the winter.

Window screens block a lot of natural light, as the thick weave of the screens block much of the light. Removing window screens brings more light through the windows, and also gives you a chance to clean and store them to extend their lifespan.

4. Use Candles And Lanterns In Windowless Corners

The winter is a great time to light up your candles and lanterns. Adding candlelight, whether natural flame or battery–operated, brightens up the home and gives it a warm cozy ambience. One great way to incorporate lanterns and candlelight is by strategically placing them in areas that don’t get much natural light. Windowless corners are great places for these added light sources.

5. Put Light Slipcovers On Your Bulky Furniture

Bright or light-colored slipcovers are another great way to make your home seem lighter. Slipcovers tend to go over larger pieces of furniture, like couches, oversized chairs, and loveseats.

If you have these furniture pieces in your home, consider purchasing slipcovers that are bright or light-colored for the winter months. Not only will slipcovers brighten up your living room and any areas where you add them, but they are also effective at preserving your furniture and helping it last longer. This makes slipcovers a great investment for multiple reasons.

6. Clean Windows Inside And Out

You might be surprised at how dirty your windows get without you noticing. Make sure you give your windows a thorough cleaning both inside and outside once you notice your home getting darker in the winter. Cleaning your windows is not only a great way to keep your home tidy, but it also helps allow the maximum amount of natural light in as possible through your windows.

7. Use Throw Rugs That Make The Room “Pop”

Another piece of home decor that can dramatically affect the brightness and warmth of a room is a rug. Dark rugs are common, as they tend to hide stains, making them perfect for families with children or pets. But dark rugs are not ideal at all when you want your home to look brighter.

Instead, opt for light-colored rugs, or rugs with bright and vibrant patterns. This will help give a breath of life to the space. Alternatively, you might even consider removing a dark rug altogether in the winter. If you have a nice wood floor or light-colored tile, this is a better look for the winter than a dark rug.

8. Clean And Remove Clutter In Common Rooms

If your home looks dark and you want to brighten it up, consider moving up your typical spring cleaning to early winter. A messy, dirty, and cluttered room will almost always look darker than a cleaned room with open space.

Take the time to minimize clutter in your common rooms to let the space breathe. Pay particular attention to areas near windows and light sources. Those areas should be completely free of unnecessary objects to allow for optimal lighting.

9. Incorporate Vibrant-Colored Art And Design In The Home

If you enjoy displaying art and designs throughout the home, consider switching up your artwork in the wintertime. Instead of bland or neutral tones, liven up your walls and countertops with bright and refreshing designs and artwork.

You can choose paintings with warm tones that mimic bright outdoor days. Or if you are more traditional, consider photos or paintings of landscapes on sunny days. This all helps add more life and color to your dark home in the winter.

10. Showcase Fresh Flowers Or Blooming Plants

Another fantastic way to make a home brighter in the winter is to bring some real life inside. Part of what makes a home feel so dark in the winter is that there tends to be fewer live plants outside and inside. Find an indoor tree or indoor plants that require little light.

If you don’t have a green thumb, you can also choose a prominent place in the home to put a nice vase for fresh flowers throughout the winter. If that becomes costly, you can also use brightly colored dried flowers.

11. Use Mirrors To Boost Light

Lastly, one fun trick to make any room brighter is to use strategically placed mirrors. The key to mirrors making a room seem brighter is all about where you hang them. Ideally, you will place mirrors on walls opposite large windows or sliding glass doors. This allows them to reflect some of the natural light that comes in. Mirrors also help make spaces look larger. So, if you have a well-lit room with mirrors, it will look big and bright.

Final Notes On How To Make Your Home Brighter This Winter

Winter can feel long, dark, and even downright depressing. This is also the season you tend to spend the most time indoors. So, while you can’t control the amount of daylight hours in this cold season, you can help make the inside of your home brighter.

Try swapping out things like pillows, blankets, rugs, and even artwork for lighter and brighter colors. Check your light bulbs and lamp shades to see if a different type might add more light to the room. Remove insect screens, clean all your windows to allow maximum light, and add some live plants or fresh flowers to your home in the winter to add color and life.

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Tom Gaffey
Tom Gaffey

Tom Gaffey is an expert writer who currently resides in Washington D.C. Tom has a passion for real estate and home improvement writing, as well as travel and lifestyle writing. He lived the last twelve years in Hawaii where he worked closely with luxury resorts and event planners, mastering his knowledge of aesthetics and luxury products. This is where he found his passion for home improvement and a keen interest in DIY projects. Currently, Tom resides in Washington D.C, and also working on his debut fiction novel.

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