Lighten up your living room

Light and warmth make us feel good but can be in short supply in the winter months. So to keep your spirits up, here are some tips to lighten up your living room:

Walls: Bring in spring! Walls offer at least four opportunities to freshen up your act and bring in some light spring and summer colours. The smell of violets is said to help raise low moods, so why not consider a new vibrant paint colour or maybe a wallpaper with a floral theme frothing with light summer blooms?

If a full redecoration sounds like too much effort, or you think florals might be too flouncy, then what about some new prints for the walls? Check out the museum of modern art in New York for some interesting ideas about the symbolism of flowers and some examples of flowers in modern art.

Windows: Curtains can be great for insulation from winter winds, but even when they are tied back, heavy drapes can soak up the light. Glazing made to modern environmental standards gives you the option to consider alternatives, such as blinds, which let in more light and give cleaner lines.

Soft furnishings: Changing your furniture may be a bit pricey, but you don’t have to break any budgets to change your soft furnishings. A simple throw, or cushions in a lighter complementary or contrasting colour, can update your sofas or chairs and achieve the effect of a brand new lighter look.

Lighting: Daylight floor or wall lamps will, literally, lighten up your room and can help reduce eye strain. They are popular with crafters and artists who value the clarity of the light generated. You can buy new lamps, or for the eco and budget conscious, it is easy to convert your old light fittings with new daylight bulbs, and energy-saving daylight bulbs are available.

Flooring: Be light steps ahead with your choice of flooring. Bamboo flooring comes in a range of lighter colours, including elegant white, and its environmental impact is about as light as it gets. Bamboo flooring is durable, water resistant and easy to clean too, so you can have a lighter floor in every room, without having to compromise.

One thing you can’t lighten is the load on your joists, so before you lay any new floor, check out whether there is room for improvement under your floor with the aid of restraint straps used with the correct rawl or other fixings.

As with all home improvements, don’t forget to reuse and recycle your old items wherever possible so your conscience is as light and bright as your room.

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