Let there be light!
The trees are getting bare and the days cold. The transition into this dusky time of year takes some getting used to for most people. Not enough light and dark rooms can affect your mood and make you feel constantly tired and exhausted. Conversely, bright and cheery rooms have a positive effect on your mindset. Good lighting keeps you awake longer and makes you much more active than in a dimly lit space. Light rooms also place less strain on your eyes.
We show you how to stay positive through the winter and how to flood your home with light.
Of course, if you have the opportunity, the most effective option is to install as many large windows as possible to maximise the natural light sources. Western and eastern façades are most suitable. If building new windows is not an option, you could simple remove the existing doors and replace them with glass ones. This can work miracles. A slightly cheaper alternative would be doors with integrated windows, which also act as a good inlet for natural light. However, you can also greatly improve existing windows. Firstly, make sure that no large furniture is stopping the light from streaming into the room. Smaller furniture can be placed well under the windows, while larger items are best against a wall where they do not block out the light. Secondly, you can compensate for smaller windows by painting the window frames and sills white. If you have curtains, they should be as light and transparent as possible. Roller blinds are a good option because they can be easily rolled up when not in use and take up very little space.
Prevent vitamin D deficiency
Another effective way to combat the winter blues is to place as many lamps and additional light sources around your house as you can. Where possible, make sure that you buy daylight bulbs because they simulate natural light. These bulbs are kinder on our eyes and increase our sense of well-being. What’s more, you can also now buy special daytime lights for people with seasonal affective disorder from as little as 40 Swiss francs. Small lamps give out a lot of light and don't take up much room. Equally, big standing lamps can be well hidden behind large plant pots. On the topic of plants, some don't require much light, such as Zamioculcas, Sansevieria, Kentia palm and Aspidistra.
Ceiling, wall and floor
You can also increase the effectiveness of existing light sources. Reflection is your greatest ally. Light surfaces reflect light really well, whereas dark surfaces absorb light. So, it makes sense to have as many light surfaces as possible. Ideally the ceiling should be white. If white walls seem too neutral for you and you’re missing a bit a pizazz then pastel colours are a good compromise. A mint-green or lemon-yellow wall still reflects well enough to brighten up the room. The flooring should also be as light as possible. For wooden flooring the best types of wood are birch, maple and spruce. Alternatively, a cheaper option is to use a light-coloured rug to cover up dark flooring.
Another very effective tip is to use mirrors. They not only make the room feel bigger, but also optimise light distribution. For best results, put two or three mirrors in places where they will best reflect the light into dark areas. For example, opposite a window. Furniture and tables with a glossy finish also reflect better than matte surfaces. The more white surfaces, the better. So, you also need to make sure that you don’t have too many items cluttering up your shelves. Choose your favourite trinkets and display them discreetly. Having fewer dark items around the room will make the space even brighter. You will notice the difference immediately.
If, while making changes to improve the light in your home, you discover some unnecessary items or furniture that is too large then there is no need to throw these things away. Zebrabox offers a wide range of flexible external storage units for your furniture.