Fall has officially arrived. The weather is getting cooler and soon, daylight savings time will set us back an hour. This means our evenings will start a little earlier and last a little longer. These dark days can make our homes feel gloomy and dull – and in turn, we can start to feel the same. The good news is – it doesn’t have to be this way. There are actually plenty of tips and tricks you can use today to bring some extra light into your home.
To help you get started we asked some of the top interior design experts from across the country to share their best advice. You won’t need to go all out on a major renovation or an expensive lighting system as you prepare your home for winter — these expert tips are guaranteed to brighten up your home when the dark days start to set in.
Be creative with lighting to stretch the daylight.
While the days grow shorter and the nights grow longer, this is the perfect time to take advantage of other forms of lighting in your home. Adjusting the color temperature and brightness of your lights to match natural sunlight will automatically make it feel a little lighter in your home. – Elle Interiors
Think big, bold, and bright.
When natural light is lost, we love to add brightness through design. Bright bold color and large vibrant prints will help to balance the loss of light in your rooms. – Susan Hayward Interiors
Embrace the textures, colors, and scents of fall.
Welcome the cooler weather and shorter days by taking advantage of textures, colors, and scents that might feel out of place in the summer months. Chunky-weave throws are wonderful for cuddling under. Use deeply saturated colors on throw pillows that come from natural elements like cinnamon, cocoa, and pumpkin. Create a welcoming winter ambiance with candles or simmering potpourri. – Studio Starrs Interiors
Change curtains to light, airy linens.
Once the sun starts to set earlier and the days start to feel shorter, it can be easy to fall into a feeling of sluggishness in the evenings. Try changing out those dark and heavy window treatments with something more lively and bright. Neutral and airy linens or sheer curtains can be a perfect way to liven up a dark or dull space in the winter. – Yellow Bungalow
Deep clean your windows.
Before you make any major changes to brighten your home – get your windows cleaned (inside and out). It sounds overly simple but the clarity of light will literally transform a space. – Yancy Interiors + Home
Switch your cabinet hardware to brass knobs and pulls.
It’s an easy way to both upgrade your decor and to add some bling to outdated cabinets. Even better, paint the cabinets French or Navy blue and you’ll achieve a dramatic contrast that highlights the rich brass glow of the hardware. – Helen Thompson In House
Add bursts of color on top of a neutral pallet.
To brighten a space, I always love to work with a neutral pallet and then add punches of color through the accessories and artwork. Lighting also plays a large role, so make sure to have many different types of light including natural light, accent lighting, and ambient lighting. – BrookeJDesign
Incorporate white or light-colored pillows and accessories.
With winter months approaching and darker days ahead, we highly recommend incorporating white or light-colored pillows and accessories to lift your interior mood. Bring nature inside with live plants not only to freshen the air but to provide texture and color. With the addition of accent lighting and reflective accessories, the light will dance through your space. – Dovetail Studio
Create a cozy feeling with warm-colored lighting.
Glow with the flow by adding multiple sources of warm-colored (yellow toned) lighting. Table lamps, floor lamps, and flameless candles on timers create an atmosphere of comfort when placed near seating, on mantels, and in bookcases. When the sun goes down, these warm lights work with our body’s natural circadian rhythm to promote relaxation at the end of the day. – Gracious Living by Design
Try plain white roller shades to brighten up your home.
You will be surprised to learn that plain white roller shades when lowered, brighten up the space in the evening and night hours. Big dark windows become warm and light spots that reflect artificial light and make space feel cozier. Plus, another advantage of roller shades, is that they have a smooth surface and don’t create visual noise, keeping your furnishings stars of the space. – LK Design
Add oversized and vibrant long-stemmed floral centerpieces to a table, and green houseplants to brighten up your home. There are tons of different kinds of low light plants for rooms that don’t receive a lot of daylight. – AND Design
Add timers to your lighting.
Timers allow you to have your lights come on at a certain time of day which means you can come home to a lit space. If you are renovating or building, definitely consider an automation product. Lutron and other companies have great apps that allow you to turn your lights on and off right from your phone. – Candace Plotz Design
Brighten up your home with accent lighting.
When daylight savings time ends, I love to brighten up spaces and moods with accent lighting. Now is the time to purchase a floor lamp or table lamp. I recommend ambient lighting with a soft linen shade and a bulb temperature of 2700k to 3000k. – J. Miller Interiors
Dress the walls in a bright and bold wallpaper.
There’s no better way to make a statement. Paired with beautiful florals, the room will feel bright and fresh on the darkest day. – Kelly Ferm Home
Flowers, flowers, flowers.
Fresh cut flowers are always available in your neighborhood, the hardware store, at the grocery store, and yes even at the pharmacy. Having fresh flowers in the house always brightens my day a little when I look at them. Go a step further and get a flower with a strong fragrance like lilies and you’ll have twice the benefit. I personally prefer to opt for white flowers always – they are never too overpowering and complement any space. – Hudson & Crane
A vase of fresh flowers brightens every interior. When selecting them, try to coordinate the colors of the flowers with your furnishings or artwork for this will make the colors “pop.” Display them in a room that you are often in. – Nancy Sanford Interiors
Upgrade your lighting.
Most of us have “builder grade lighting” which usually is never enough. Remember in family rooms that there should be a triangle of lights dispersed around the room plus the overhead general lighting. Kitchens should have three different ways of lighting your work area, overhead general lighting, under-cabinet task lighting, and pendants, or other decorative lighting that often adds both general and task lighting. Then don’t forget to get all the sunshine you can both inside and outside your home. – Interiors By KayLynn
Embrace your light from within.
As dusk approaches, light your favorite candle (intentionally placed in front of a mirror and next to a favorite picture of you that fills you with joy). Light the candle. Breath. Notice the subtle beauty of the flame’s reflection. Celebrate the uniqueness of you. Blow out the candle and feel the brightness within. – Jody Pear Designs