How to Brighten Your Home and Your Mood During Gloomy Winter Nights

As Melisandre is fond of saying on Game of Thrones, “The night is dark and full of terrors”. You may not have to worry about dragons, direwolves, or white walkers creeping around your backyard, but the seemingly endless nights of winter can still be a major bummer. Many of us struggle with the “winter blues” or its more serious cousin, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). If you want to ward off the winter blues, you don’t need a spell. Here are ten simple things you can do to help brighten your home and your mood.

Hang Mirrors

Mirrors are not only stylish accent pieces, they also love reflecting sunlight and lamplight. Adding a few well-placed mirrors in a room can increase the amount of light, especially if you place them directly across from a big window.

Throw Down… a Light Colored Rug

Rich, dark wood floors are gorgeous, but they can also seem to drink in light. Head to your nearest home store and snag a light or brightly colored rug to add some nice contrast and texture.

Paint the Ceiling

Find the brightest white paint that you can, grab a tall roller, and go to town painting your ceiling. A bright white ceiling will not only make your room look bigger, but it will also help reflect more light.

Start a Fire… in the Fireplace

If you’ve got a fireplace, use it! The fire itself will add some nice, textural light to the room, while the dancing flames and cheery crackle can make you feel warm and cozy. If you don’t have a fireplace, you can buy a beautiful LED option or add it to your remodel wish list.

Add More Lighting

One of the easiest ways to brighten a room is to add more light… literally. Buy an extra lamp. String up pretty LED lights along the cabinets in the kitchen. Install canned lights to add a soft glow to the dark corners of a big living room. To get the biggest bang for your buck, consider lights that shine upward, which will diffuse the light.

Paint an Accent Wall

Colors can have a profound impact on our mood, so if winter blues get you down, consider giving yourself a natural visual perk by painting an accent wall. Choose a warm color, like orange or even yellow. Red is often associated with passion, but can also be linked to anger, so be careful with that shade! Even a light lilac or bright topaz hue can be an energetic and fun option.

Add Brightly Colored Accessories

If spending a weekend painting an accent wall is too big an ask, another great option for brightening your home is to add some brightly colored accessories. Again, focus on warm and energizing colors. Put up a painting with bright reds and yellows. Add orange accent pillows to the couch. Just switching up the look of your rooms can also make you feel happy.

Replace Dark Lampshades and Curtains

Dark lampshades are great for creating mood, but in the dead of winter, you want more light, not less. Switch out those dark lampshades for lighter options that will allow more illumination through. The same goes for heavy, dark curtains. They have a way of sucking up light and never letting it go. Replace them with lighter, brighter options.

Change Out the Furniture

Big, heavy, and dark furniture will make your room seem small, cluttered, and… well, dark. Now might be the time to finally sell Grandma’s furniture (or hand it off to your little sister who just bought her first house) and invest in some brighter, more streamlined furniture. Get rid of that huge, dark curio cabinet, the 500-pound couch, the massive oak dining room table, and the gigantic king bed with the mahogany head board.

Of course, if you can’t bear to get rid of your furniture (or can’t afford to replace it), a quick fix is to re-upholster your furniture in brighter shades, add lighter curtains, and buy a bright comforter set. Even these small changes can make a huge difference in the mood of a room.

Install New Windows and Skylights

If you are serious about letting the light in this winter, then you might want to ask your friendly neighborhood design and remodeling company to put in an extra window or two into your home or even a skylight. Adding even just one extra window to a gloomy kitchen can make a huge difference, while a skylight can fill a whole room with sunlight during the day.

We hope that this advice can help brighten your mood, even during the doldrums of winter. (Game of Thrones binge, anybody?) If you are seriously considering a home remodel in the San Diego area, we would love to compete for your business.

Finally, Seasonal Affective Disorder is a serious condition. If your winter blues feel like something more serious, we strongly encourage you to reach out to friends, family, and your doctor. You can learn more about SAD from the National Institute of Mental Health.