Design Tips for Beating the Winter Blues

Kaye Puckett 500x500Article by Kaye Puckett – Interior Designer

While the holidays and winter months can be a magical time of the year, many people find the lack of daylight especially challenging. This can range from the simple “winter blues” to Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD. Admittedly, on many evenings I find myself craving dinner at 4:30 p.m. and struggling to stay awake until 8 p.m. which is not great for my mood, to-do list, or waistline…ha!

The Mayo Clinic describes SAD as “a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you’re like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody.” The Mayo Clinic also outlines symptoms specific to winter-onset SAD, sometimes called winter depression. The symptoms may include: Oversleeping, appetite changes to include craving high-carb foods; weight gain, fatigue, and low energy. Health experts encourage those experiencing prolonged or severe symptoms to visit a doctor for support and advice on how to manage SAD.

To combat the typical ”winter blues,” there are simple interior design tips you can use to help boost your mood and energy:

Photo from HGTV

-Turn your interior lights on just before it starts to get dark outside.

-Bring in extra floor and table lamps. Place a few along the perimeter of the room to brighten the walls and expand the space. (Battery-operated wall art lights are affordable and easy to install.)

-Add uplights to floor plants as this will add additional lighting and create exciting shadows.

-Change out dim bulbs for brighter bulbs. (LED technology has evolved to include bulbs with warmer colors.)

-Incorporate more plants and botanicals into your décor. Plants help reduce stress as well as toxins that tend to get trapped inside during the winter months. I treat our household to a fresh bouquet of florals or greenery as often as possible, especially during the winter. One large bouquet can be broken down and placed in smaller vases to fill many rooms of your home. 

-Reflective accessories such as large mirrors, mercury glass lamps, and metallic vases create a cheery shimmer.

-Bright-colored throw blankets are seasonally comforting while offering an opportunity to add a sunny hue. (Red, yellow, orange, and bright pink all work great.)

Photo from GQ Magazine

 

-Keep your window treatments wide open to get as much sun as possible during the daylight hours.

I am truly envious of those I have spoken with who are actually energized by the darkness. As for the rest of us, with the shortest amount of daylight (December 21) now behind us, hang in there….each day brings us closer to more sunlight. In the meantime, keep cozy, stay inspired, and enjoy the season!