The chill is here, and you've officially bid farewell to the streaming, warm sun. With winter just right around the corner, you're bracing yourself for gray skies—and for many of us, waking up in the dark, and reaching home when it’s also dark.
Winter isn't necessarily bleak for everyone. But we might still feel a tad less cheerful, especially since we spend less time outdoors and see a lack of vibrant colors outside our windows.
So, how do you make sure your home is uplifting and healthy enough for your well-being in the colder months? In this article, we're sharing a few tips to make your home a warm refuge this winter.
1. Focus on how your space makes YOU feel.
Take a look at your space right now. What do you feel? Does it look pretty? Do you see something that makes you smile? Or are you indifferent to it all?
When we design our spaces, we often head right away to Instagram or YouTube to check out trends and cool interior features. We see something chic and beautiful, and we immediately want that for our space, too.
It's okay to check out the work of experts because we do need inspiration when we embark on home design projects. But sometimes we become too engrossed at how something looks rather than how it makes us feel.
Do you really like the sparse, neutral Nordic and Scandinavian design because you feel at home in such spaces? Or do you like them because they look right? Because there's a difference. Perhaps you want something eclectic or vintage-cozy rather than an all-beige and wood space.
So, this winter, fill your surroundings with the things that truly bring you joy—they'll make you warmer and more content than anything that's just trendy.
If you're always feeling down and hopeless or unable to enjoy your usual activities, it may be more than just a case of the winter blues. Get the help you deserve by talking to a mental health professional.
2. Maximize natural light during the day
There are two easy ways to maximize sunlight while staying indoors:
- Rearrange the furniture in your home so that the space where you spend the most time is well-lit by sunlight.
- Use mirrors strategically and opt for light-neutral curtains to maximize the daytime.
So, if you find yourself reading in bed on your days off, you might want to move your bed closer to the window. Perhaps you'd like to place your favorite chair near it, too, and maybe a coffee table so you can do your morning rituals in this corner.
If you work from home, also consider moving your desk nearer to the window, allowing you to have a pleasant view while you work.
To optimize natural lighting, strategically place mirrors or glass decor to reflect sunlight. Also, go for light-colored fabric for curtains to draw in sunlight as much as possible while also providing shade.
3. Layer lighting to mimic sunlight
Layering lighting is a great way to add depth to your space and make it feel warmer and inviting, especially during the winter months.
Aside from your existing overhead lighting, add task lights like reading lamps and desk lamps to areas where you usually stay. For the darker corners of your space, consider adding floor lamps. Then, for an extra touch of warm glow and fun, add accent lighting like fairy lights to your bookshelves, side tables, and even across the wall.
As you wake up and, in the evening, switch on the softer lights. This helps you experience the patterns of natural sunlight and can be especially helpful in the days approaching winter solstice.
4. Avoid grey and stark white
While grey and stark white can be sophisticated interior colors, they can also make a room feel cold and uninviting, especially during the winter months. These colors lack warmth and can reflect a lot of light, making your space look and feel sterile.
Now, you don't need to redo the paint on your walls. But you can add in some pop of color and texture through decor—and there's nothing like beautiful decor to complete your cozy sanctuary.
Start with a bold, patterned area rug in your living room or some runner rugs on each side of your bed. Drape over a throw blanket or two on the couch and replace the covers on your throw pillows with textured fabric in warm hues like terracotta or mustard.
5. Get a few houseplants.
With limited opportunity to stay outdoors longer, having houseplants might lighten your mood. Studies have shown that being around plants can reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression as they have a naturally calming effect on the mind and body.
Being around plants can also help you feel more connected to the outdoors when you're stuck inside. This can potentially uplift your mood. Plus, caring for houseplants can be a rewarding experience. When you see your plants thriving, it can give you a sense of purpose and accomplishment, which might be the boost you need to enjoy the cold winter months.
With a few simple tweaks, you can turn your space into a cozy sanctuary this winter. We say add more texture and warm lighting, to name a few tips, but really, it all comes down to what you feel and what makes you comfortable. Remember that your home as a happy place, is a space that truly resonates with YOU.