Brighten Up Your Home to Combat Darker Days

2013-11-03T10:00:00Z 2013-11-06T18:50:14Z Brighten Up Your Home to Combat Darker DaysMichelle Kruger Times Correspondent
November 03, 2013 10:00 am  • 

The end of daylight savings time is always a bit dramatic. Nature’s recent gradual shift into shorter days has once again been hastened by a quick reset of the clock.

Not only will it be pitch black outside when most of us start our day, there’s definitely not going to be much, if any, daylight left as we prepare dinner, let alone by the time we are finished.

While changing up your home decor from summer to winter can be as simple or dramatic as your desire, there are several ways you can brighten up your interior in preparation for the cold, dreary days ahead, according to Interior Stylist Patte Lau.

For starters, turn up the lights!

“In the evening, lighting your spaces with table lamps helps beat the winter blues,” Lau said. “Make sure the light emitting from your bulbs is warm, a daylight color and not the cool blue fluorescent bulbs. During the day, let in the sunshine by keeping your window treatments open and have the warmth of the sun enter your rooms.”

Lau also suggests using scented candles throughout your home for a warm, inviting glow that keeps it fragrant. Floating candles can enhance the romantic appeal.”

“Adding bright pops of color to your space in winter is also great idea because you can then brighten your home and turn it into a cozy retreat while everything outside is bare and gray,” she added. “Coming home to a warm cheerful home is a perfect cure for all kinds of winter blues.”

So while the wintry scene outside may be drab and lifeless, your home doesn’t have to be.

“You can liven up your space with the right window treatments,” Lau explained. “By introducing bold color and pattern you can spice up your view and space. You can also give your bathroom a cozy update by introducing a beautiful fabric shower curtain that can turn an ordinary bathroom into a spa-like setting. Then try filling a few glass jars with complimentary soaps to add more color and a good reason to relax in a hot tub.”

Other ways to fight gray skies with color include painting your walls.

“A bright, happy color can brighten up your mood in an instant. Or if that’s too drastic, hanging colorful art on the walls brings warmth into your space. The exact shade should be based on your personal preference and décor scheme, You can go a little brighter than you normally would, since overcast skies and indirect light will dull the vibrancy somewhat,” she said.

“Colorful table lamps and vases will brighten any room. Consider your color scheme and go brighter for more pop of color. Burnt oranges, lime greens and yellows add zing to a room. You can also ramp up color with decorative accent pillows and throws against a neutral sofa or chair. Select your favorite colors and go for it.

“Using rugs throughout the home during winter is one way of keeping the cold at bay. It’s a great feeling when you step onto a warm and fluffy rug rather than the cold floor when you wake up each morning. Putting rugs on the floor in front of sofas, beds and armchairs will help keep your feet warm. By selecting rugs in bright colors, you can liven up a room even if the rest of its décor is in paler hues.”

In the kitchen, Lau points out that colorful enamel teapots and counter appliances have been very popular and introducing those accessories into your space will brighten your spirits on a gloomy gray day.

Outdoors, you can encircle a fire pit with some warm seating to roast marshmallows.

“This space can really be used year round,” Lau added. “Start off adding some colorful planter containers with fall plants. Then opt for greenery that stays green all year long to brighten the landscape. That way, when looking outside you’ll see the colorful containers standing out among the grays and browns of winter.

“I have an outside courtyard in the center of my home. During the fall, I plant mums in the containers. For winter, I fill these large planters with Christmas tree branches and twigs to keep that space from going bland. I also add white outdoor lights and ornaments coordinating my inside colors to the outside space.”

You can also bring nature elements like pinecones and dried branches indoors to create interesting displays on a side table or fireplace mantel, according to Lau.

“Pebbles and stones can also be arranged creatively to increase the coziness of your living space,” she said. “Also purchasing indoor flowering orchards and tropicals will help bring some of that summer feeling into your space.”

To receive more seasonal tips plus informative ideas to assist with your interior styling needs, subscribe to Patte Lau’s online newsletter “Hues News” by sending a request to

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