No matter how you feel about it there are some things we can do at our home to make sure we are enjoying as much sunlight as possible. Making our home light and bright can help us avoid Seasonal Affective Disorder which can make us feel unusually blue, even in our own Sun City, El Paso, Texas. Symptoms of SAD typically start thanks to the increased darkness and include increased appetite, increased daytime sleepiness, decreased energy in the afternoon, loss of interest in work, unhappiness and lethargy.
Even if you’re not personally affected by the time change, your house probably is darker than normal. Lighten it up with a few of these tips!
– Lose the solar shades and shutters
If you have solar shades on your windows to keep the bright sun out and lower your electric bills in summer, consider removing them until spring. Likewise if you use those great plantation shutters to block out the crazy El Paso summer sun, remember to keep them open during the autumn and winter. You house will be noticeably brighter and you may just help lower your heating bills.
– Change dark drapes to sheers
Sheer fabrics and/or lighter colors could re-energize your décor and hung on rings are easy to open fully to let in light.
– Use task lighting
Check the living areas for dark corners or any areas that need more light. Use this as an opportunity to show your creativity. And that goes for placement too. If you don’t have the perfect spot to put a desk or floor lamp, wall mount it. Placing a desk lamp or floor lamp strategically could make your place feel brighter and more inviting.
– Cut through your roof
If you have a little money to invest add skylights or a Solatube can bring light into your house year-round. And it can save you money on your electrical bill all year too! An option like Solatube is easy to install and surprising affordable, effective and carried at your local big box hardware store.
– Lighten up your paint
Dark walls absorb light while brighter walls reflect it. Painting your walls white is a great way to get more use out of the natural light that filters through your home’s windows.
– Use mirrors
Mirrors reflect light, so you can actually create the illusion of a lighter space. Hanging or propping a large mirror on a wall opposite a window doubles the light streaming in. Or you can buy furniture with glass, chrome, or mirrored accents to help reflect the natural light. Just make sure to keep them clean. It’s amazing just how much sunlight is lost through a window pane covered with dirt, grime and soot.
When you’re finished making these changes, take a step back and enjoy the fresh, bright light for the rest of the winter!