15 Ways to Brighten Your Home During Winter

Winter doesn't have to be dark, drab or dull. Use these inexpensive ideas to brighten up your home this winter and it'll be spring before you know it.

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LED shade light

Swap Light Bulbs

Check to see what type of light bulbs you’re using. There is quite a bit of difference between cool white and warm white, so you may find a simple switch could add new brightness to your space. The best way to do this is to take one of each type of bulb and test it out in a room at different times of day. Follow these 15 tips for choosing LED bulbs for your home.

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Hang Bold Artwork

Think color when it comes to artwork. Hanging a couple bold pieces of artwork in a room will brighten things up this winter (and throughout the year!). Don’t hang anything on your walls until you read these nine tips.

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Remove Screens

Unless you live where it’s warm throughout the winter, you don’t need the screens on your windows year-round. Remove window screens and you may be surprised by how much more light streams into your home. You can take the time to clean your window screens with this guide. Fix a window screen with this handy guide.

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Use the Right Paint Color

Painting a room a light color will make the room look bigger, but pops saturated color can make it feel brighter. Consider adding a bold color to an accent wall. You can also paint the ceiling a bright white to lighten up the room even more.

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Use Light Slipcovers

Dark furniture can make a dark room feel gloomy. Instead of buying new furniture, invest in a light-colored slipcover for your couch or loveseat to help brighten up the space. Make your furniture last longer with this 12 tips.

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Display Flowers

Fresh flowers add a pop of color and life to an otherwise dark and dull space. Brighten up your kitchen this winter with a vase of bright flowers and use a colorful arrangement to bring a fresh look to a living room or home office. Try these 15 creative ways to hang a plant indoors.

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Add Accessories

Be smart about accessories. Accent pillows in a bold color or pattern, a bright-colored or white throw blanket and colorful fixtures will brighten up an otherwise dull room during the winter. This is what your home would look like if you decorated based on your zodiac sign.

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Be Smart About Rugs

Does your area rug make the room brighter? If you have a dark rug, there’s a good chance it makes the room a little too dark in the winter. Try swapping it with a lighter area rug for the season or just remove it for a few months to let your shiny hardwoods reflect natural light. Here are 16 ways to warm up a cold room.

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Clutter can make a room look messy and even darker than it should be. This winter, take 10 minutes a day to declutter and stay organized. Organize the whole house with these clutter-busting strategies.

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shutterstock_579004942 living room with house plants

Bring the Outdoors In

Plants give life to any indoor space, so bring in some plants to brighten up a room this winter. If you don’t have a green thumb, there are plenty of plants to choose from that don’t require much care. Here are 10 indoor plants you probably can’t kill.

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Ana Blazic Pavlovic/Shutterstock

Check Window Treatments

Are your curtains too dark for the winter months? Brighten things up with light-colored curtains. You can also open up the curtains to let the sun in during the day, then close them at night to help keep the cold air out. Keep your home warm this winter with these 15 unexpected ideas.

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Light Candles

Candles aren’t just for romantic nights or to add coziness to a room. Brighten things up by lighting some candles on the darkest of winter days. Battery-operated candles are a good option and they eliminate the fire risk. Discover how to make beeswax candles in glass yogurt jars.

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Go Gold

Gold brings brightness to a room. Look for gold picture frames, gold book ends or a coffee table with gold accents to make a room feel brighter during the winter months. Here are 14 ways to embellish your home with metallic paint.

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Keep it Clean

Make a point to keep up on cleaning during the winter months. Windows that are free of grime, a crumb-free kitchen and a freshly vacuumed carpet or mopped floor will help keep a room looking bright and fresh. Make your home shine with these 39 cleaning tips and tricks.

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Use Mirrors

Hang a mirror to help fill a room with natural light and make it brighter. To do this, hang a mirror opposite a window or sliding glass door so the light bounces off the mirror and floods the space. These 15 ideas will make a small room look bigger.

Rachel Brougham
Rachel Brougham lived through a major home renovation in 2019, knows the ups and downs of home improvement, and loves sharing tips with readers. A veteran journalist of both print and television, she’s won several awards for her writing and has covered everything from the environment and education to health care, politics and food. She’s written for several publications beyond newspapers including Bob Vila, Taste of Home and Minnesota Parent, and she currently writes a weekly syndicated newspaper column. Her memoir, Widowland, about the sudden loss of her husband, was published in 2022. She specializes in everything from home decor and design to lawn and garden, product reviews and pet care. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her tending to her garden (both vegetables and native plants), playing with her dog, watching sports with her family or getting some exercise. A native of Michigan, she currently lives in Minneapolis. An avid user of Instagram, you can follow her @RachBrougham.