For people who are susceptible to seasonal mood disorders winterizing can mean more than getting your heating system checked out or sealing up your drafts; it can also involve taking extra steps to safeguard yourself against winter blues or the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) can become a serious condition which needs light exposure, medication and psychotherapy but to fight there are several simple interior design strategies you could undertake to help you keep your spirits lifted all through the season.
The color tones of interior surfaces of your home such as the cabinets, flooring, ceilings, woods and wall colors are responsible for developing a welcoming atmosphere during winter or not. Some people prefer a cozy feeling and so they call upon lots of warm and earthy colors; a golden glow can provide that effect of a sunset. Other people want the room to be very bright and so they have walls that are all white but too much white can lead to an atmosphere that is cold and glaring. Avoid using lots of gray or blue as they are quiet and cool and don’t offer a lot of warmth during winter. The landscape itself is gray and white during winter so it would be better to give your eye something to enjoy indoors.
The Right Lighting
Even walls with the warmest of hues will not be seen for their potential if the right lighting design is lacking. Years of research indicates that a deficiency of light is the primary cause of the winter blues because the decrease of daylight during the winter months results in your brain secreting more of a sleep-related hormone known as melatonin which makes you feel sluggish.
To combat such forces, you might want to re-examine the lighting in your home. Install track lights, add lamps or do something as simple as swapping your dim bulbs for brighter bulbs and you will find that there is an instant impact on the room and most importantly your mood. A fixture that is well-placed is just as essential as choosing the light that goes with it. The light which hits reflective surfaces will make the room appear larger. Lighting only the middle of the room makes it look dark and smaller. Bounce adjustable track bulbs off the surrounding walls and the ceiling to make the room look bigger and the ceilings seem higher. You should also take into consideration how the color temperature of the bulb will mix in with the colors which are already in the room. Warm whites will provide an amber glow which is great for interior spaces that are cozy while natural light or daylight and cool light bulbs will give off a blue hue making the room appear brighter mimicking natural daylight which may seem harsh to some in the winter. The color of the walls, furniture and flooring and the color of the light will mix which also goes for any other surfaces the light will land on. An example would be a blue light on walls with a yellow hue creating a greenish tone or amber light on surroundings with a brown or yellow hue which comes together to give off a warmer glow.
Don’t forget the windows
Even though large picture windows can be excellent for taking in the falling snow against a naturally provided backdrop of spruce trees when the sun sets behind this breathtaking scene the very same window pane can transform into a black hole in the center of the wall. Warm up the windows by putting in low voltage landscape lighting in your yard, putting a spotlight right above the window outside or shining a light up into the trees. If there is a soffit or a deck directly outside the window, try putting some well-placed lighting to these features to give your eyes something to focus on. The windows also tend to be cold meaning you can lose heat so put a heating source beneath the window inside. Keep your windows unblocked by overhanging tree branches or decks to let in more light during the day. For rooms that do not get enough daylight like bathrooms, a solution would be to install solar tubes which bring in sunlight. They are like skylights but 18-24 inches in diameter and the tube can be run through attic trusses to the outside. These solar tubes are also good for incorporating ventilation considering how it is the norm for people to close up their houses to keep in the heat meaning stale and stagnant air will impact your mood. If your house has healthier air you will feel a lot better. In homes which have poor ventilation a good trick for switching out the old air would be to run a bathroom fan for about 90 minutes in a day during the winter.
If you are looking at a white landscape while watching and waiting for the first signs of spring to appear, you do not have to wait for it anymore. Adding greenery to your living space will instantly brighten your home and more importantly your mood. Some studies have shown that whenever plants are in the vicinity people will generally feel better and people are happier overall when they are surrounded by plants.
Plants are also great household helpers during the winter season. Plants can help in purifying and cleaning the air during those long days when the windows and doors are closed while the furnace is on making the air in your home stale and dry. Plants also reduce most of the toxins which can get trapped inside the house and restore humidity back into the dry winter air.
You need to get plants that can grow in little light such as Dracaenas which are low-light plants or Pothos and any of the palms all of which do well in darker winter conditions.
Plants also help in adding energy and life to your living space while providing a taste of summer which is an excellent remedy for the winter blues.