How To Brighten Your Home (And Your Mood) During the Winter Months

Feng Shui expert Amanda Gibby Peters offers tips for how to help lighten our space (and our mood) during the darkest time of the year.
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Welcome Home: Petit Collage in San Francisco

Image Credit: Lorena Siminovich

Winter is a season of silence – the earth resting in her own field of stillness. And while proof of life is preening to burst forth in only a few months, it’s easy to become susceptible to the short day, dark sky drag. So, until the crescendo of spring, we are obliged to mimic her welcoming warmth and vibrant overtures. If your mood could use a makeover, here are a few simple shui considerations that brighten a home, putting happiness and delight in plain sight.

Collaborate with color.

Iris Apfel said, “Color can raise the dead.” And she’s magnificently right! Bold colors suggest fluidity and movement, a gorgeous salvation from winter’s gray-wash oblivion. Mix things up with flowy patterns and cheery palettes, and our home becomes a collage of visual charisma. Wearing color, too, is a loud invitation when we crave a fresh way of perceiving ourselves. Whether we use it sparingly or liberally, color is how we put ourselves in the way of beauty – a feeling that leaves us deliciously sun-swept.

Keep it light.

With indoor lighting a necessity this time of year, dark pockets are commonplace in our homes. But when moods plummet, light becomes life-breathing wattage. So, open curtains wide. Turn on lamps. Watch the fireplace tango. Bring out the candelabra. Or add candles everywhere, like it’s a séance summoning summer love. And if actual light is already at full strength, play with the color white and her posse of lightly-dipped hues. Decorate with reflective surfaces – mirrors and metals shine and sparkle. Even if the sun isn’t shining outside, there is a circuitry of ways to keep us out of the dark.

Cultivate change.

With any artwork and photography highlighting our space, it’s important to LOVE what we see. Energy follows that tempo. So, if your gallery is growing lackluster, how about a change? Be gutsy. Make a statement. Rethink those first impressions. There is inexhaustible magic in the joy we feel seeing something new and different – a single glance creating a visceral response that ripples positive energy around us. Also, take note of where frames are hung or stacked. If the gang is commencing along the floor or slung too low, it has a tendency to take our perspective with it. Should this resonate with your current state of mind, re-hang a few pieces at eye level or higher – and you’ll upgrade those low notes into something better.

Connect with nature.

Plants suggest upward mobility, and that distinct characteristic hauls our energy with it. And plants also refresh the respiration in a space, an unfussy way to literally change the air around us. Don’t have a green thumb? Move the furniture around, and make a window with a view the focal point of a room. Reconnecting with raw beauty, even in small doses, opens the veins of our space to high octane energy. We are all habitually connected to our environments, and the metaphors mingling here instruct how we feel. So, play with shui and your personality this winter, and splurge on the good vibes their joint effort creates.  

p.s. For more shui tips from Amanda Gibby Peters check out Simple Shui