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How to Brighten Your Home Before a Dark Winter

By Brian Kline | November 1, 2022

Lights and glass are the best solutions for overcoming gloomy winter days. Winter’s darkest skies will soon be with us, and you might want to take on a few simple DYI projects that will add brightness inside until the long sunny day's return.

Luxury home living room with contemporary decor

Replace Older Fixtures with Modern Lighting

You have many bright options today if it is time to replace older original light fixtures with modern LED lighting. The right lights can have a major effect on a room or an interior. In fact, few things can date a home more quickly than old lighting even if you have a curated and stylish décor. Although changing fixtures are generally an easy DYI project, you want to first put plenty of thought into your new lighting scheme. A good approach for most homes is a layered approach. 

Ambient lighting is considered the base level of lighting. Done well, it makes a room considerably more welcoming. It provides an area with overall illumination and a comfortable level of brightness to see and move about safely.

Task lighting is another layer providing a direct source of light for a specific activity like reading, grooming, preparing food, cooking, doing homework, and playing games. Ensuring adequate task lighting makes a work environment more pleasant, free of glare and shadows, as well as bright enough to prevent eye strain.

Accent lighting adds drama to a room or area by creating visual interest. It can be used to draw the eye to items such as artworks or displays, highlight architectural design elements, and even outdoor landscaping. 

There are other options you want to consider when putting together your lighting plans. Flexibility with your chosen lighting should be a key consideration. This includes thinking about dimming and brightness options to increase the versatility of the space. Dimming and home lighting controls mean your living room’s illumination can change as your needs change throughout the day. Warm lighting can make your living room feel cozy, while cool lighting can make it feel bright and fresh. LED lighting even allows you to install lighting that can change color temperature depending on the desired mood or time of day.

Mirrors are another easy DIY option that enhances lighting. Whether you want a small mirror or a whole wall, reflecting light is always a good answer to dreary winters. Mirrored walls are making a comeback. Antiqued mirror panels are one way to get the look as long as it doesn’t give you regrettable flashbacks of the 1980s. The purpose of mirrored walls is to reflect light, making the room look bigger and at the same time brighter.

Bring in More Natural Light and Open More Indoor Space

This is more than a simple DIY project replacing wooden doors with glass paneled doors will give you a feeling of both openness as well as more light in a space. Consider replacing your current wood or solid doors with transparent doors like French doors. These doors make a room look bigger and brighter. You might also want to remove any unnecessary doors between rooms like the kitchen and dining room to help spread more natural light. If you really want to get ambitious, you can consider putting in skylights.

Replacing window treatments and rugs can also brighten a room if what is in there now is darker colors that not only look gloomier during the winter but actually absorb some of the light that is in the room. Lighter colors will reflect the light, so a brighter interior might begin by painting walls and changing rugs to create your palette. You could also rehang your curtains beyond the window trim, allowing additional light to come into the room and make the windows appear larger.

Decluttering rooms is often the first recommendation that real estate agents offer to improve the appearance of rooms and make them feel larger. A cluttered space feels heavy and dreary. Make an effort to declutter your home and eliminate anything you don't need. This will help brighten the space and make it feel more open. In a similar vein of thought, you may need to trim back landscaping, especially if it is near widows. The summer growth very well might be blocking the limited winter light from getting inside.

A little DIY muscle and a weekend or two worth of work will reward you with a brighter winter. Having a home that feels light and airy is the best way to navigate the hibernation that tends to occur from fall through winter and into spring.

Please comment below with your DIY lighting experiences.

Brian Kline has been investing in real estate for more than 30 years and writing about real estate investing for seven years with articles listed on Yahoo Finance, Benzinga, and uRBN. Brian is a regular contributor at Realty Biz News
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