6 bright ideas for coping with the dark weather – enhance the mood in your home

Don't let the dark evenings get you down. Follow these simple tips to enhance your mood, as well as the light

(Image credit: Future / Damian Russell)

The summer of 2020 is one that certainly won’t be forgotten in a hurry, but sadly it is now over, which means that the days are drawing in at an alarming rate and everything just feels a little bit darker. 

Luckily, clever interior design – and a few simple tricks – can make you and your homes feel brighter and better. The team of experts at premier windows furnishing company Thomas Sanderson have put together the following tips on how to cope with the darker weather, the winter blues and, for many of us, another round of lockdown.

1. Open the shades

(Image credit: Future / Damian Russell)

While it’s generally advisable to keep your curtains or blinds closed during the day in the summer to keep the sun out, it’s often best to keep them open during the day time – for at least the autumn months. 

You want to ensure that you are getting as much natural daylight as possible, and you won’t get this if your curtains are drawn tight. Of course, when the weather gets really cold you may want to keep them closed for insulation, but leave this off for as long as possible.

2. Top up your vitamin D

Given that sunlight is a great source of vitamin D, it is not perhaps surprising that the dreary autumn and winter months can bring about a deficiency in it. 

During the darker period of the year, it may be worth topping up with Vitamin D supplements, or amending your diet to ensure that you are getting enough of it.

3. Hang a mirror (or two)

(Image credit: Future / Jonathan Gooch)

 Mirrors are a fantastic way to make a room appear brighter, to ward off the darkness. While mirrors do not physically produce light, when placed opposite or perpendicular to a window they bounce natural light around the room, filling your home with what daylight there is outside.

4. Get outdoors

(Image credit: Future / Emma Lee)

Going outside for a walk, run, cycle or even just to stand, can be really beneficial, and help you cope with the darker months. Keeping active in general can help you stave away the blues, and fresh air will prevent you from feeling sluggish, and keep your energy levels high.

5. Light up your room

(Image credit: Future / Davide Lovatti)

Waking up when it’s cold, dark and miserable can understandably be the hardest part of the day. It’s so easy to just bury yourself back into bed where it’s toasty and comfortable, but that won’t do you any good. 

Make sure that you fill the room with light as soon as you wake up, as this will have you out and ready for the day. Even smarter are light therapy products, which get increasingly lighter until it is time to wake up, so that it’s not such a shock to the system.

6. Relocate your desk

(Image credit: Future / Carolyn Barber)

Whether you are now working from home or still in the office, you might want to think about moving your desk so that you are beside a window. 

Considering most working hours span daylight time, there is a danger that you won’t see any daylight if you are starting work when it is dark and finishing when it is dark. 

Move your office chair to be next to a window; though you might want to wear an extra layer throughout the colder months.

  • For more inspiring news stories, visit our dedicated page

'As hard as it is to admit it, the summer is pretty much fully behind us, the weather is getting darker and the days are getting shorter,' says Laura O’Connell, Interiors Expert and Product Manager Thomas Sanderson.

'It’s important not to get downbeat because of this and to face it full on, and these tips can help in doing so.'

Jennifer Ebert
Deputy Editor (Digital)

Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.