Winter can feel perpetual and as the long dark days persist, it’s important not to let your home reflect the season’s blues. Winter is often associated with dullness and as working from home has become the norm, creating a vibrant and cheerful space can have essential restorative benefits. Some properties don’t facilitate an abundance of natural light but the strategic use of design principles can inject brightness into any dark space.
Layered lighting for additional radiance
Implementing a layered lighting scheme is one way of illuminating rooms lacking in natural light. The overhead lighting comprises the foundation and can act as a feature piece. Floor and table lamps can be placed strategically to accentuate sections of a room and offer mood lighting. Adding sources of brightness to the top of cupboards and shelves can enhance the ambience and balance out shadows created by cabinets. Assimilating multiple sources of light enables you to transition from the task lighting provided by overhead lights during the workday to a cosier setting to unwind in the evenings. Using brighter or tinted light bulbs augments the warmth of your home while artfully infusing colour.
Subtle chandeliers are teamed with recessed spotlights, sconces and under-cabinet bulbs in this impeccably refurbished apartment for sale in Westbourne Gardens. The embodiment of contemporary sophistication, the array of light sources in this home caters for both practical and leisure purposes. This well-defined, contemporary flat has the bonus of being eco-friendly and is currently open for long-term lets.
Make use of reflective surfaces
Leaving hardwood floors exposed, embellishing walls with mirrors and including metallic accents enables light to bounce around your home. Similarly, glass furniture such as coffee tables can have the same effect. This reflection of light generates a soft glow that instils cosiness, adds depth to a room by delivering a more spacious appearance and establishes a connection with the outside world. Heavy drapery can also be replaced with blinds, sheer drapery or light fabrics to maximise the potential of your windows to illuminate your home.
Sold by Domus Nova, this impressive duplex on Blenheim Crescent amplified natural lighting by installing a mirrored ceiling and a stainless-steel kitchen station. This way, the sweeping wooden floors are laced with intermittent reflections of light that illuminate its dark tones. A glass dining table, mirrors and glossy chairs support the distribution of light throughout the home.
Embrace natural colour palettes
White and creams reflect the sunlight and can enlarge smaller areas. White ceilings carry great potential in maximising both the brightness and height of a room while simpler additions such as white furniture or bedding can scatter the effect across your home. The consistency of a lighter collection of tones creates unity and acts as a blank canvas, enabling the rest of the room to be infused with character. Introducing touches of black or navy in thin, linear elements can emphasise the more neutral hues but avoid dark furniture and fitting such as sofas or cabinets.
Available to buy, this iconic triplex designed by Claire Lloyd displays flawlessly polished white surfaces, occasionally interrupted by bursts of vivid hues. The minimalist colour scheme echoes the natural light, enabling it to take centre stage and creating a sensory experience. The clutter-free aesthetic is reflective of the designer's love for simplicity, a lifestyle that inspires clarity and calmness. Learn more about how Claire has been handling the lockdown and the renovation of her own Sydney home here.
Experiment with warm hues
Reds, yellows and oranges are warming colours that mimic the sun and can make a room more radiant and energetic. Pinks and greens are equally sanguine. These dynamic colours can be easily integrated into a room through cushions, bedding and homeware. To make a bolder statement, vibrant sofas and rugs can alter a room, conducing a contemporary touch. For coherence and a higher impact, limit the variety of shades. Adorn walls with invigorating artwork for an urbane and inspirational aesthetic. Creative oeuvres become focal points that capture attention and enrich spaces with depth and complexity.
This six-bedroom house doesn’t shy away from experimenting with buoyant and vivid primary colours that coalesce in an eclectic and memorable presence. The lively and whimsical bursts of colour are crucial in emboldening and freshening up the property’s character. Explaning her creative thinking behind the yellow kitchen, archictect Sophie Nguyen stated that "the joy that comes from preparing meals together and eating them is celebrated with a warm and joyful colour. The gloss finish adds the reflection of the space around it and extends it". Read our full interview with Sophie here. For sale on Pangbourne Avenue, this four floor property is a unique family home.
Ultimately, reaching an equilibrium between light and shadow is the key to achieving a more jovial and élan room without sacrificing finesse. Highlights and lowlights are important for interest and diffusing colour throughout your home adds variation to create a rhythm. De-clutter your space and reconsider how you can experiment with the arrangement of your home to weave a harmonious design narrative that can lift your spirits.