No, not in a religious sense! It’s February. It’s cold. It’ still dark outside and yes we’re all feeling it now. Summer still feels a long way away but there’s clever ways we can play around with light in our homes which will instantly lift our mood and make these dark dreary days just that little bit brighter.
I always find at this time of the year a good shuffle around and restyling helps. Simply moving one key piece of furniture to a different position can radically transform a room and sometimes let more natural daylight in. Take a look at the room you want to add some light to. Perhaps the sofa is positioned right across the window, maybe there’s a large table blocking the access to the patio doors? Sometimes this can’t be avoided and there’s no other way to lay out the room but it’s worth a thought as just moving that one item can open up the room and make it instantly take on that showroom quality. Window dressings can also be a barrier to daylight if they are too heavy. Heavier fabrics will not draw back as far as lighter fabrics and you’re instantly losing probably as much as 20% of your light just from this. Think about substituting for some lighter, more iridescent ones to prevent valuable daylight being shut out.
It’s natural human instinct I think to want to have a Spring clean at this time of the year and I do think one of the easiest (though not necessarily quickest) ways to make your home feel lighter and airier is to clear some space. It sounds obvious but it’s amazing how much bigger a room looks once it’s been decluttered. Sometimes it’s not always about what you can add to a space to transform it but what you can take out!
If a clear out has set you in the mood for a full-scale refurbishment or mini interior design project and you want to look at decorating your walls, using lighter shades will create a sense of freshness. There are some wonderful new shades that have been introduced for 2020. My particular favourite is Skimming Stone by Farrow and Ball. It’s a fabulous neutral colour which has a light relaxing tone and it works well with a variety of accent colours. I would pair this with a couple of soft wool throws in sage or blush to add a hint of colour whilst not losing the impact of the lighter walls you’ve created.
If you don’t want to completely redesign your room, consider using mirrors to bring in some light. Mirrors are always an interior designer’s friend. I love to play around with them. If you have the budget and space an oversized mirror placed on the opposing wall to a window will envelope your room in natural light. But you can create an equally impressive amount of light with a small collection of mirrors. The key is finding the right wall. In a small space having a mirror so close to an opposing wall can be distracting and counter-productive so it’s important to balance out the size of mirror for your space.
If introducing some natural light isn’t easy then have a play around with artificial light. I like to mix up-lighting which provides a good solid pool of light with some softer table lamps and floor lighting. Combined together you can create an illusion of bright light and warmth, just what’s needed at this time of the year!