10 Ways to Brighten Your Home and Combat Seasonal Darkness

It is that time of year. The days are short and it feels like seasonal darkness is here to stay. We get used to returning home after a busy day to the sun still high in the sky. Now, we turn the key to head inside and the sun has set long before our arrival. As we approach the shortest day of the year, it seems like everything in our homes looks and feels darker. Take control of how you feel this season with 10 ways to brighten your home. In no time you will be saying, “Seasonal darkness, who?”

1. Paint Colors 

As we all know, dark colors absorb light. During this time of year, light is what we lack. Keep in mind that paint colors determine the atmosphere in the room. While dark colors make a space feel warm and cozy, light colors greatly increase the amount of light in a room. Now, you do not have to run out and grab all of the white paint you can find. 

rolling roman shades
Vignette® Modern Roman Shades

You can mix up the colors. If you are considering new paint colors, we encourage you to opt for gray, beige, pink or blue. At the end of the day, you will feel rejuvenated as you walk into a freshly painted space emanating light. 

2. Consider Sheen 

As you start to paint, consider sheen. For a quick refresher, the sheen is the glossiness of the paint finish. The key to successfully picking a good sheen for your space is to remember that the higher the sheen, the higher the shine. 

When you narrow down your paint samples, distance yourself from flat and matte finishes and steer more towards eggshell, satins, semi-gloss and high-gloss. The more light reflected off your paint, the happier you’ll be this season!

3. Levels of Lighting

Back in the day, one light in a room was considered sufficient. Nowadays, homes have a variety of different types of lighting available. Overhead lighting gives the space a sharp look while sconces and lamps fill previously dark areas with warmth. Each style provides a specific need and it also creates a new atmosphere. 

floor to ceiling arched windows in modern neutral living room Reno, NV
Design Studio™ Roman Shades & Draperies

4. The Power of Lightbulbs 

With lighting comes lightbulbs. Adjusting to shorter, darker days may mean that you are looking for new wattage in your lightbulbs to help brighten your home. You can start by considering the temperature of the space. Kelvin is used in lighting to measure the color temperature of a particular light bulb. Long story short, the higher the Kelvin (K) rating, the whiter the light will be. 

Typically, spaces like kitchens and home offices look best with 3,000K–4,500K. Anything beyond that can be too bright. If you are still feeling indecisive about lighting, there are also lightbulbs that connect to mobile apps that can control the temperature of the bulb on a sliding scale. This can be a happy medium as you adjust to dark days.

5. Maintain the Exterior 

The 10 ideas on this list do not all revolve around the interior of your home. If you have any landscaping that is obstructing light from entering your spaces, you may want to consider trimming it down. Not only could this provide a cleaner look from the outside but your rooms will be filled with more natural light. This small change might just make all of the difference for you!

Nantucket™ Sheer Shades from the exterior of the house overlooking shrubbery
Nantucket™ Sheer Shades

6. Lighten Your Load 

Now is the perfect time to start taking inventory of everything inside your house. Maybe there are pieces of furniture or other items lying around that serve no purpose. They could be casting shadows that make your space feel darker than it really is. Take the time to remove these unnecessary pieces. You’ll thank yourself later!  Another great way to lighten your space is to place mirrors and artwork in areas that reflect light. Before you know it, your space will be shining bright. 

7. Embrace Area Rugs 

It is evident that the darker the hardwood floor, the darker your space feels. While dark hardwood floors give depth and contrast to the space, an area rug can break that up and provide some light where it wasn’t before. We recommend a lighter-colored area rug. This will greatly help with illuminating the space.

floor to ceiling cream shades next to mid-century modern chair
Alustra® Woven Textures®


8. Swap Dark for Light

Contrasting light and dark colors in your space is a great idea. However, swapping out some dark-colored items like throw pillows, blankets and table runners and opting for light-colored items is preferred. You will still have the contrast you were originally going for but you are not overwhelmed with darker colors! 

Don’t Forget Window Treatments

As you create the atmosphere in your home, keep in mind the importance of window coverings. When you start brightening your home, you may jump to getting rid of your window treatments. However, bare windows bring in too much light at inopportune times. Remember the benefits that window treatments can have when you start to brighten your home.

9. Start from the Top 

Top-down shades are perfect for the spaces in your house where you want privacy but would also like to welcome natural light. As you get privacy from your neighbors, you are allowing light to flood your space and reflect off the ceiling.

custom roman shades thermal window treatments Hunter Douglas Maple Grove 55369
Vignette® Modern Roman Shades

10. Sheer Fabrics 

Sheer fabrics are another great way to brighten your space. They effortlessly let soft, diffused light into your home. If you want a bright feeling in your space, look no further. 

modern dining room with vertical privacy sheers large dining room table
Luminette® Privacy Sheers & Pirouette® Shades

We are Ready!

As we continue on in this season and you are wanting to brighten your home, we are here to help! At Blue Sky Shutters & Shades, you will work one-on-one with one of our expert designers. Contact our team today to schedule an in-home consultation.