10 Ways to Brighten Your Home to Combat Seasonal Darkness

Daylight Savings Time has come and gone. As always, it leaves darker days in its wake. As you settle in during the evening, you probably notice how dark your space feels. Until we reach the shortest day of the year in December, it will only continue to feel darker. So why not take steps to correct it now? We are sharing 10 ways that you can brighten your home and combat seasonal darkness. Now as evenings approach, you will be smiling about your refreshed space.

1. Paint Colors 

While dark colors make a space feel cozy and warm, we must remember that they also absorb light. So during this time of year, they may not be the best color to combat seasonal darkness. If you are looking to repaint, keep in mind that the color you choose ultimately determines the atmosphere of the space.

Roller vs Roman in living room austin, tx home
Vignette® Modern Roman Shades

We encourage you to explore lighter colors like gray, beige, pink or blue. They reflect light and make a space feel bigger and brighter. When it gets darker outside, you will be thankful that you chose a light color for your walls. 

2. Contemplate Sheen 

Consider sheen when you start to paint. If you’re not familiar with what sheen is in regards to paint, it’s the glossiness of the finish. When you narrow down your samples, keep in mind that the higher the sheen, the higher the shine! It would behoove you to steer away from matte or flat finishes in your darkest rooms, and lean towards eggshell, satins, semi-gloss and high-gloss. That is because these finishes reflect more light off the walls! You’ll be thankful for making this decision the moment you dip your brush in the paint can. 

3. Levels of Lighting

If you recall, there was a time when one light in a room was considered sufficient. However, that left many dark areas in the room and did not feel as inviting. Homes today have a variety of different types of lighting available. You can get a sharp look while using overhead lighting or give warmth to dark areas with sconces and lamps. No matter what style you choose, you will be able to create a new atmosphere based on your selection!

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

4. Illuminate with Lightbulbs

As you combat seasonal darkness, consider illuminating your space with higher-wattage lightbulbs. When you consider the temperature of your space, you can determine what wattage is best. If you’re unfamiliar with Kelvin, it’s used in lighting to measure the color temperature of a particular light bulb. Kitchens and home offices work best with 3,000K–4,500K. Anything higher than that can be too bright for a space. Thankfully, technology has advanced so much that there are apps that can control the brightness of your lightbulbs. While they are more expensive than traditional lightbulbs, you have the opportunity to adjust the lighting based on how you are feeling that day! 

5. Consider the Exterior 

Not all ways to brighten your home come from inside the house. Now is the perfect time to step outside and assess your landscaping. You may see that there are some shrubs that have grown bigger than you expected and are blocking half the window. Take some time to trim these down and you will automatically have more light coming through. 

Exterior of home with nantucket shades on the window with landscaping in front of the windows
Design Studio™ Roman Shades & Draperies

6. Clean Space. Brighter Light. 

It is that simple. If you are looking around your house and you see that pieces of furniture or other items are casting shadows, it may be time to consider what you don’t need. By cleaning out and removing these pieces from your home, you will see that the light becomes brighter! Not only will you feel better with a more simplified look, but the light that emanates in your space will also keep you smiling during this season.

Now, if you have a clean space and still feel like there are shadows that are being cast throughout the house, you can always place mirrors and artwork in areas to reflect light. This will greatly help bring in some much-needed light to your space. 

7. Utilize Area Rugs 

As you make your way through these 10 items that will brighten your home, we have a question for you. Do you have darker hardwood floors? If so, it’s understood that dark hardwood floors have a tendency to make your home look darker.

These fabrics on glass patio door elevate this Austin, TX area sunroom
Alustra® Woven Textures®

While hardwood floors are beautiful and provide contrast and depth to a space, you may need to break that up with some area rugs. Placing a light-colored area rug in your rooms that feel dark will greatly help break up the darkness and provide the additional light that you are looking for! 

8. From Dark to Light

We have always heard that contrasting colors in a room are ideal because it adds a large dose of visual interest to the space. However, you can still have the contrast in your home while also adding some light. For instance, we recommend swapping out items like throw pillows, blankets and table runners that are dark in color and replacing them with more neutral items. Not only does this brighten your home, but switching these few items will continue to provide the contrast that you were originally going for! 

Don’t Forget Window Treatments

We can’t forget the importance of window coverings in a home. When a space feels dark, our first instinct is to open the curtains, raise the blinds and let in natural light. However, don’t let this go too far, as you will start taking these window treatments down and removing them from your home. As you start brightening your space, keep in mind that bare windows can bring in too much light, creating discomfort. There are multiple window treatments that create the perfect amount of bright, comfortable living. We also need to remember the added privacy they bring when night rolls in.

9. Top-Down Shades

If you are looking for privacy, and want to let in natural light simultaneously, top-down shades are the way to go. You get the privacy you wish while also allowing light to bounce off the ceiling while brightening your home. 

year round temperature control Hunter Douglas roman shades with motorized blinds Cedar Park 78613
Vignette® Modern Roman Shades

10. Sheer Fabrics 

Sheer fabrics are a great option if you are looking to let in soft, diffused light into your space. It is the perfect option as the days are shorter. They are also a great option to provide some privacy from the outside for individuals in your home. 

coordinating sheer window treatments on windows and doors
Luminette® Privacy Sheers & Pirouette® Shades

We Are Ready to Help!

As we fully embrace this time of year and work to combat seasonal darkness, we are ready to help you brighten your home. At Austin Window Fashions, you can schedule a FREE in-home consultation, or stop by the showroom to chat with an expert. Contact our team today to get started!