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How to keep your space feeling fresh in the dead of winter

It’s winter. It’s cold. The days are short and we’re aching for sunshine and warmth.

While we are home — yet again — there are little things we can do to add some brightness to our home and our lives. Here are 10 tips to combat winter and help you create a fresh, brighter space during this latest lockdown.

#1. Declutter your space, declutter your life

decorating tips in winter Sue Pitchforth Decor Therapy Plus
A decluttered room feels fresh and more spacious. Photo: eQ Homes, Sawgrass model

As I’m sure you’ve heard, clutter makes a room look messy, smaller and even darker than it should be. It also adds so much stress to our everyday lives.

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We know it’s there, we hate living with it and we want to get rid of it. We just don’t know where to start so we put it off.

The simple answer? Just get started.

Select a room, take a deep breath, and dig in. Remove anything you don’t need in the room. That includes extra furniture, too much artwork, things taking up space on the floor.

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Now step back and take a look at the space. Open the curtains and see how decluttering can make such a difference. Once you begin, you gain more confidence and can move onto the next room.

#2. Bring the outdoors in

decorating tips in winter Sue Pitchforth Decor Therapy Plus
Photos: Lana Doss

It’s amazing how leafy, green, healthy houseplants can give energy to any space — especially in winter. They rejuvenate us, clean the air and add beauty to our decor.

And they are not as high maintenance as you might think. Start with one plant that makes you smile. Nurture it, water it and it will grow beautifully — giving you confidence in expanding your indoor plants. Then have fun!

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#3. Light candles

decorating tips in winter Sue Pitchforth Decor Therapy Plus
Photo: Sue Pitchforth

Battery operated candles can be found anywhere these days and they’re such a simple way to take the gloom out of winter. I have them all over my home in different groupings and love the ambience they create.

Many of the pillar styled candles have remote controls, can change colours and are on timers, making it so easy for us to enjoy them all year round. I especially love them in winter for the warm glow they cast in a room.

decorating tips in winter Sue Pitchforth Decor Therapy Plus
Photo: Sue Pitchforth

You can group them together on a mantel or add them to a lantern. Be creative and let the light glow.

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#4. Hang mirrors

decorating tips in winter Sue Pitchforth Decor Therapy Plus
2020 Minto dream home. Photo: Chris Mikula, All Things Home

I love working with mirrors. They have so many different uses, both functional and decorative.

Do you have a dark room, space or hallway? Try hanging a mirror to help fill the room with natural light and make it brighter.

Tip: Hang a mirror opposite a window or sliding glass door so the light bounces off the mirror into the space. Mirrors are design magic. They open up spaces and make them look brighter, just by where they are positioned on the wall.

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#5. Remove your screens

decorating tips in winter Sue Pitchforth Decor Therapy Plus
Photo: Cardel Homes, Devonshire 2 model

This is something I had never done. I only removed my screens to clean the windows and then I put them back.

I never really thought of removing them in winter to let in more light. What a great idea! It’s amazing how much extra light you can get in a room when you remove your screens. Why not give it a try?

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(It’s also a good idea to remove screens in winter if they are on the inside of the window to allow for better air circulation, which helps keep window condensation to a minimum.)

#6. Use lighter accessories

decorating tips in winter Sue Pitchforth Decor Therapy Plus
Photo: Richcraft Homes, Grafton model

It’s natural for us to lean toward darker colours in winter, making our spaces feel warmer and cosier. But they can also make rooms appear darker and blah.

Why not lift up your space by selecting lighter colours and shades of accessories such as pillows, throws and curtains. You can be sure it will also lift your spirits.

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#7. Swap out lightbulbs

decorating tips in winter Sue Pitchforth Decor Therapy Plus
Photo: Laurysen Kitchens, Talos Homes

The lightbulbs you select for your spaces are so important. There is a big difference between a warm white, cool white and daylight bulb. Selecting the wrong type can really make your room appear smaller and darker.

Not sure which one to select? Try different bulbs in your room to see which one you like best and that gives off the best light for the space.

#8. Choose light-coloured drapery

decorating tips in winter Sue Pitchforth Decor Therapy Plus
Photo: Caivan Communities

Selecting the right drapes can really set the tone in a room. In winter, we tend to hang darker-coloured curtains in heavier fabrics.

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It’s so inexpensive now to purchase drapery panels, why not pick up some lighter-coloured ones? It’s amazing how the look and feel of your room will change.

 

#9. Hang bold or lighter artwork

decorating tips in winter Sue Pitchforth Decor Therapy Plus
Photo: Just Basements

One sure-fire way to bring new energy to a space is to hang bold or lighter-coloured artwork.  Why not add some “pop” to your room with a colourful piece of art?

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You can pull a colour or two from the artwork for cushions and throws. It’s always nice to have new energy and visual inspiration in your space.

#10. Display real flowers

decorating tips in winter Sue Pitchforth Decor Therapy Plus
Photos: AM Floral Studio

If you’re like me, you love flowers any time of the year, but especially in winter when it’s cold, dark and snowy outside. There’s just something so uplifting about seeing flowers in your home.

They make me smile. Why not treat yourself and your family to a bouquet of flowers to add beauty to your space and to your eye.

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And it’s as simple as that!

I hope some of these tips inspire you to bring some light into your home.

About the Author

Sue Pitchforth

Sue Pitchforth of Decor Therapy Plus is an international award-winning designer, TV personality and professional speaker. Her approach to design is refreshing, emphasizing budget-friendly options that yield luxurious results. Believing “home” is an expression of your life and personality, Sue says people usually have a lot of what they need, they just don’t know it. She is passionate about creating spaces where homeowners surround themselves with things they love that reflect who they are. Based in the capital and recently appointed Ottawa ambassador for the Canadian Association of Property Stylists, she is an industry leader offering her unique staging and design from a distance virtual services.

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