Posted Feb 4, 2015
Shake the Winter Blues by Redecorating
During winter, the sun sets early and the skies are often overcast, sucking the joy out of the season with a little something called the winter blues. In reality, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is nothing to joke about– it can drain you of energy, make you moody and irritable, and be a catalyst for serious bouts of clinical depression.
Fortunately, there are ways to make your apartment a more positive, open atmosphere to chase away the winter blues, check out these redecorating tips:
It may seem gray and dismal outside, but you can turn your apartment into a beacon of light. Sunlight boosts the mood and can stave off the winter blues, so find ways to bring more of those cheer-making rays into each room of your home.
Pull back the curtains with curtain clips that match the color or design of your sofa, or ditch your window coverings altogether. Another interesting redecorating idea is to incorporate mirrors into your home decor to reflect sunlight– a little trick that ancient Egyptians would use to brighten up underground tombs.
If your apartment does not allow for much natural sun exposure, turn to full-spectrum light fixtures, which brings the power of sun inside. They work in the same way that light therapy boxes and even tanning beds help people with melatonin imbalances resolve sleep issues and find relief from symptoms of depression.
These lights give off a blue-white tint, and they can generally be used in any basic lamp or other fixture. Another option is to choose bulbs with a color temperature of at least 5,000 Kelvin, as they produce light similar to that of daylight.
Add Some Color
Without a doubt, color affects the way you feel. In fact, it’s the reason many prisons now paint their walls pink— to provide a feeling of tranquility and help calm potentially violent inmates.
It’s not terribly surprising that the white and gray that takes over during the cold season can lead to the winter blues– it can seem like you’re perpetually reliving an overcast day, except this story’s nowhere near as funny as the plot of “Groundhog Day.”
As you redecorate, brighten up your interior with uplifting hues and shades, such as neon greens, pastel pinks, and sunny yellows. There’s no need to turn your home into the Crayola Big Box– touches of color against the grays, browns, pearls and other common home decor colors can make a big difference.
Pick up a bright chair for your workspace, find (or make) a piece of wall art that makes you happy, order a set of rainbow-colored knives, and scour the aisles of the thrift shop for the perfect pale daffodil lamp shade. If your landlord allows it, you can even paint an accent wall your favorite shade of blue to recreate the feel of a clear sky in your living room.
Create a Haven of Comfort
With the cold wind blowing outside, sometimes the only thing you want to do is snuggle up with a warm blanket inside. Avoid defaulting to your Snuggie and instead hang a stylish throw blanket over the back of the sofa for easy comfort while you’re in the throes of a “Friends” marathon.
Cushy pillows are the way to go– choose mismatched patterns for a funky, off-kilter look. Be sure to keep lighting in mind as well when shooting for comfort. If you’ve hung holiday lights for the season, leave them up for a bit longer and let the soft glow give your apartment a delicate, cozy feel throughout winter.
Even better, install full-spectrum twinkling lights to kill two birds with one stone– get the benefits of sunlight with the gentle radiance of these fixtures.
Smell the Roses
Fragrance has a much greater effect on mood than many people realize. In the same way that the smell of bacon reminds you of morning meals at the breakfast table in your childhood home, certain scents can recall memories and upbeat feelings of springtime.
Fill your home with real plants for a fresh scent (and the bright green colors of nature), and place a vase of purple petunias on your coffee table for a sweet odor.
Potpourri and candles can enhance the effect, and you can make your own pomander ball for a piece of decor that pleases both the nose and the eyes.
Flowers aren’t the only scents that can get you in a better mood– warm aromas such as cinnamon, citrus, peppermint, rosemary, pine, and even fresh-cut grass are excellent happy smells for your home.
If you’re a baker or chef, bake some fresh cookies or make a warm comforting soup– the smell will warm up your home and carry you through to Spring.
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Photo Credit: Kurt Collins, Little Greene Paint Company, Marina Burity, Tess Shebaylo, Leafy, Wayfair.com – Victoria Elizabeth Design, Jessica Whittle , A.F. DUEALBERI, Stéphanie Kilgast, Kelly Sikkema