In the middle of winter, it's easy to feel depressed with bad weather and short days. If you're looking to liven up your décor to fight the winter blues, consider using the elements of color, light and scent. Professional interior designer Leslie Hart-Davidson of Hart-Davidson Designs is here to tell us how using these three senses will help you get through the winter!
Adding pops of color is the fastest, easiest, and most cost effective way to liven up your winter décor and change your mood for the better. It's easy to get winter blahs when your house is full of beige, but here are three great tips for bringing the happy back to your room:
1. Go for blues and greens. These cool colors make a space feel bigger (which is perfect for combatting cabin fever) and remind us of the bright open sky and beautiful grass.
2. Try some toss pillows or throws. Many discount home stores will have pillows in many shapes and sizes for $10-$20. Don't be afraid to go for blingy pillows-if they're only being used for a season, it's worth the cash. Throws make a big impact in color and can be stored easily in the off-season.
3. Get creative with canvas. If you're not looking to spend the time or money repainting your entire wall, try making some wall art using large artist canvas from a hobby store. Hanging a series of them in a striking color can completely change the look of a room. Use a monogram or small image to personalize if you'd like. Making art is easy, fun and inexpensive!
To be able to safely move about and function in your home, there are standards for lumen requirements for each room. Lumens are a measurement of how much light gets to what you need to see. An average living room requires around 2000 lumens, but a kitchen requires close to 8000 lumens for safety. Maximlighting.com is a great resource for charts to determine the needs of each room.
If you find a room unappealing and don't have a desire to spend much time there, ask yourself these three questions about the lighting:
1. Do you have enough LUMENS in the space to feel comfortable and functional?
2. Is the QUALITY of light good? Fluorescent or compact fluorescent bulbs aren't as warm-looking as the new energy-efficient incandescents, so changing the bulb type can make a huge impact.
3. Do you have enough VARIETY in the styles of lighting? One stark overhead fixture might get the job done, but a table lamp and some sconces will give the same light with greater ambience and warmth.
If you think about your happiest memories, many are likely to contain a scent: cookies baking when you're a little kid, the smell of the ocean on vacation, or flowers in a garden. The category of home fragrance is a billion dollar industry, and everyone from Yankee Candle to Glade is cashing in on your desire to add another scent to your home.
While color is an element that can be changed out quickly or moved to another room, it is muuuuuch more difficult to remove a scent if you're overdone it. Before you go crazy in the scent aisle and snatch up every variety of Febreze spray and Glade plug-in, consider these three things:
1. Do I want to mask an offending odor? Musty basements, stinky kitchens, and smelly bathrooms can all benefit from some scent intervention, but make sure you address the cause of the odor before just overloading your nose with another smell. You'll never hear a guest say "mmmm......pine-fresh mildew!"
2. Do I want the scent 24/7 or just when I'm there? If your desire for scent is only temporary, then a candle is a perfect choice. If, however, you feel the need to subject your family and guests to a scent that is so pervasive that you leave a contrail wherever you go outside of the house, well....knock yourself out. Consider scale when selecting a scent. The larger the room, the more scent is required to make an impact.
3. Do I really want scents in every room? Prevent "competing scent syndrome" by thinking of the variety of scents you're introducing in your home as ice cream flavors. If the combo doesn't sound appealing, don't put them in adjoining rooms.
More information on Livening up Your Winter Décor can be found at www.designisademocracy.com