Adding Light to your Home in Winter
As winter sets in, you may be looking for home decorating ideas to brighten up your living space. Shorter days and cooler weather are often accompanied with overcast skies and less sunlight. Here are some ideas that bring cheer, warmth, color and light to the indoors during the winter months.
The entrance to your home gives a first impression and speaks about your lifestyle. Start your winter decorations at the entryway or foyer using color, texture and light to create an atmosphere that beckons guests and family to the interior. Let your entrance make a statement about your style, but keep it simple and neat. Knick-knacks, artwork, a bench with pillows or an attractive table can say a lot. Seasonal flowers, plants and boughs in pots or vases showcase the blooms and colors of the winter months.
Tile, stone and wood floors are practical materials that are easy to clean during months of snow and rain. Area rugs give a hint of color, warmth and texture while presenting an uncluttered, clean line. They can be changed each season for variety. Coat hooks and a shelf on the wall behind a door give a convenient place to stow winter coats, umbrellas and bags.
Embellish the walls with mirrors to create a sense of space. Mirrors also maximize natural light during the day and reflect electric light at night. A lamp on a table just inside the door sets a welcoming mood. For winter, add bows in colors such as burgundy, navy blue and forest green to the lampshade, or intertwine pine branches around the base. For small spaces, use wall sconces to light the way in. Having a variety of shades for the sconces lets you decorate for the seasons. Decorative bulbs in unusual shapes and colors don't need a shade. They also cast more light during darker months. A formal entryway can be embellished with a chandelier that casts gleams of light throughout the space.
Let the Sunshine in—Winter Window Treatments
Let in as much sunshine as you can during the cold winter months. The ultraviolet rays of sunlight help warm up rooms and brighten moods. Curtains and other window treatments contribute to the feel of a room. It is easy to change curtains for a new look that complements the change of seasons. If you use sheers when weather is warmer, add thermal curtains during the winter months to keep cold air out and reduce drafts. Open them during the day to take advantage of the sun's warmth. Close them after the sun goes down to create a cozy feel and keep warm air in.
Don't forget the kitchen. Kitchens are often a central gathering place for family and friends. Valances and café curtains in bright colors and bold patterns lend cheer and vibrancy to the workspace without blocking natural light. If you have a seating area, add cushions in colors that complement your kitchen decorative theme. Cushion covers are easy to launder, and colors can be changed seasonally. Textures add depth. Look for textures like corduroy, velvet and faux leather for a rich look. Linen and cotton give a lighter, natural look. Match cushion colors and patterns to window treatments to bring the look together.
Other kitchen accessories that can be coordinated with seasonal décor are pot holders, kitchen towels, vases and crockery. Crockery is a favorite of many cooks to make often-used utensils easily accessible. The earthy tones and vintage charm of crockery complement any decorative style. Throw rugs can be used to soften flooring and delineate work areas. Add one in front of the sink, place one in front of counter preparation areas, and place another under a breakfast table or bar.
Table Decorations and Linens
Whether you go for casual, formal, rustic or minimalist, you can play up your style at the table. Emphasize seasonal textures, colors and scents with table decorations. Table runners enhance the textures and colors of the table itself, whether wood, metal or glass. For formal dining, tablecloths create a background that sets off the elegance of china and cutlery. Candles and greenery like pine boughs, pinecones and winter flowers can embellish each place setting and blend with the theme of the decorations.
Placemats and napkins come in many colors and patterns to complement table and room décor. These dining accessories can be easily changed from season to season, or even meal to meal, to create a unique mood and style for every dining experience.
Accessorize with Color
In most regions, winter landscapes can be stark and monotone. Although neutrals in interior décor can be soothing, they can also feel cold. Warm up your décor with colorful accessories. Throw rugs, comforters, cushions and knick-knacks can change the ambience of a room from cold and stark to warm and cozy. The golden glow of hues of orange and yellow evokes sunlight and warmth. Rich reds, burgundy, vibrant blues and deep purples give depth of color. Mix solids and patterns for texture and variety. Place a sheepskin rug on the floor for warmth and color. Placing area rugs on top of carpeting adds interest.
Bringing light in on dreary days is always uplifting. Light gives a sense of warmth and chases away the winter blues. Hang a large mirror over a sideboard, fireplace or other blank wall space. During the day, the mirror will reflect sunlight and amplify the natural light in the living area.
Well-placed lamps and candles brighten a room during the evening and night. Place a lamp next to an easy chair or sofa to create a cozy nook. Change light bulbs to hues of blue or white that mimic the sun. A reading lamp next to the bed lets you cuddle up in warmth with a good book.
Candles and sconces on a mantle are both decorative and illuminating. A bowl of potpourri rounds out the sensory experience. Use the scents of winter such as pine, cinnamon and clove to complement the seasonal décor. Sage, peppermint and lemon add a refreshing pop.
Once you begin to implement new home decorating ideas, it may be difficult to stop. Throughout the year, you can bring the freshness and unique attributes of each season into your living space with a few changes in color, texture and scent.
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