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3 ways to brighten a room in Winter

It is Winter.
It is a little chilly and less sunshiny out than usual
not to mention it gets dark super. early. 

As in
 I am already thinking about getting my cozy jammies on at 6 pm.
Then I realize it is 6
 and that it is too early (okay...maybe not) 

Winter means that the daylight and sunshine coming in through
 windows just isn't as bright or as strong or as warm as it is in other seasons
and that means a lot of your rooms may not be feeling as warm as they usually do.

For me- that makes me feel a little on the blue side. 
And not as in I am loving blue like last weeks post but as in
 I am feeling blue  and I need a burst of sunshine.

Aside from taking off and spending some time at the beach
lounging in the warm sunshine with my toes in the sand
(ahem...if you need me- that's where I will be)
what else can you do to warm up your home when it's feeling a little blue?
 Without spending a big chunk of change for a new look right after the holidays?

There are several different ways of course,
 but I thought I would share 3 of my favorites today
Side note: (I was going through some of the archives for a lot of these photos
and it is really interesting to see how the house and my photography has changed)

Of course you can probably guess 
my numero uno way to chase away the winter blues. ;)

 1. Bring in some fresh flowers

Fresh cut flowers, potted flowers, a small tree-
you name it. Bring it.

Bring some blooms inside. Scatter pitchers of flowers here and there
to spread some of that Spring cheer to your winter rooms.

I know that I hear all the time from readers across the country who can't find pretty flowers at good prices- and believe me, I hear you. 
When I tried to find flowers while in the midwest- 
I was really bummed at the lack of selection and the high prices. 
So if that is the case where you live-
why not bring home a potted plant or plant a few flower bulbs?

A couple of favorite trees to bring indoors for the Winter-
citrus trees and olive trees. 

For growing from bulbs- I love paperwhites in little pots
though mine did not grow well this year for some reason.

Or  for a burst of color and perfume - hyacinths. 

Sometimes all it takes is the mere thought of the promise of Spring from that little
 something growing on the windowsill to brighten the room

#2. Freshen up your paint

I am always inclined to grab a can of paint and a paint brush and go to town in January and February.
The days are short and darker and I need bright and light and airy feelings in my rooms. 
Plus since it is chilly- you spend more time indoors and you notice when things might need a refresh.
It is actually a perfect time to try a new shade of a favorite color
or to simply freshen the color you love. 

I first painted all those dark knotty pine walls during January and February
when I was going a little crazy in the dreary doldrums those dark walls.

 and I am feeling like a fresh coat of a favorite shade of white
will do wonders this year as well.
Plus, it is a good arm workout at the same time.

#3. Re-Arrange

I always feel like I am ready for a new look after the holidays. 
The sofas seem well, kind of like eh...whatever sofas. 
The coffee table is ready for a switch for something more elegant.
 Maybe more cottage. 
Or more... who knows...
maybe something that is just plain different.

I love most everything that I have made the decision to drag home with me. 
Most everything- not everything.  We all have those 'what was I thinking?' 
purchases that end up being returned or donated.
 But even though I love something- that doesn't mean that I don't get tired of it.  
It just means that I might need to give it some time off for a bit
or even just move it to a different spot or room to feel a renewed sense of love for it.

One of the easiest ways to get a fresh perspective in a room
is to change the furniture arrangement or swap out a painting for a mirror, etc
and give some of those pieces waiting in the wings a little love and attention.


In the cottage for example, simply moving the chalkboard and a few of the white dishes and putting the farmhouse hutch in that spot changed the whole feeling of the room. 

So what I am doing over here?
I am tackling them all.  
I am refreshing with paint and definitely bringing some fresh blooms home to warm up my chilly rooms- and I am thinking of rearranging a few things.

But this week- it is all about wrapping up a project 
and wrapping up the photos on that project.
After that project is done
 another one is getting underway that involves tile- A LOT of tile
and we also have to refinish the wood flooring in the living room.
Aye...THAT will be a fun one. 
We did it once before when we first moved in and I can tell you that 
 I did not love the process but I did love the finished product. 
This isn't a major refinish - more like a refresh with a new poly
so hopefully it won't be as involved as before.

That is it for todays round up
Hope your Tuesday is going well!

I also answered some of your questions about white slipcovers at Ebay this week.

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  1. Lovely ideas..beautiful photos! I am soon repainting my pale yellow living room (which also "bleeds" into a foyer and upper hall) After taping tons of paint chips to the wall until my daughter's best friend made fun of me,I have finally picked palest blue. Next is tearing out the carpet and putting down the plank flooring.. I just need to dive in! Glad to find your blog!

  2. Lovely post! Your blooms are so delightful... :-) I'm one of those people that has a hard time finding good flowers in the winter. I have two questions for you. First - do you generally get your flowers from a grocery or from the florist? They have such a great... for lack of a better word... "drape" to them. Just a lovely flowy attitude. Not droopy, but not stick straight either. My second question is about your couches. I saw your post on eBay about your slip covers and I was wondering where your couches & slipcovers are from? Thanks in advance for the tips!!

    Lory at Designthusiasm

    1. Hi Lory!! The slips and sofas are from Ikea :) I get my flowers from the grocery store- they have amazing flowers at great prices year round! Favorites are Safeway, Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. Not sure if you have any of those near you- but if so, give them a try. Hope that helps!

    2. Yes, I use Whole Foods too. I used to have a great flower arranger there who would put together the flowers I selected and it was great. But she moved elsewhere, so now I'm on my own. You must get better flowers, though, due to your region. They look really great! And of course you do a great job styling them... :-) Thanks for the info. Never expected you to say Ikea. I've never been there. May have to change that.

  3. Beautiful photos. I love the lemons and flowers. Such a burst of spring. Northwest Ohio is just gray and cold all winter long. The yellow looks great to add into my home. Stay warm and think spring!

  4. Thanks for showing us those beautiful blooms! It's just what I needed to see on such a cold day here! - 22 Celsius today!!!!!
    As always, your images are amazing.
    Mary @ Orphans With Makeup

  5. I love your blog and I have been inspired to do all kinds of projects. I slipcovered my two chairs in white, and am now making slipcovers for my dining chairs. I am not firmly committed to a country french/cottage look with a pallette of beige, cream, white and shades of aqua and blue.

  6. Courtney, your home is full of charm. We had knotty pine walls in a room in our first home. I was one happy person the day we painted them and lightened up that room. '-)

  7. As always....beautiful photos!! Yes, by us flowers are expensive, sometimes I splurge an spread them around like you. Are you kidding.......I'm in my jammies by 5 and my warm robe!!! It's now 14 degrees......brrrrrr....

  8. Lovely ideas Courtney, love fresh flowers, they made every room looks beautiful. Rearranging things in my home is my every day work, always want to make things looks and feel new. It`s a little OCD problem, but in a good way, don`t you think? :D
    Have a great day!

  9. Thank you for this great post! You can motivate people around you... This week I bought a lavender tree and for my daughters room a Bell flower - Platycodon grandiflorum in a pot. It looks pretty and she loves it ♥ Alexandra

  10. Great post and ideas! Never thought about a fresh coat of paint! Love it! Your pictures are beautiful as always!

    Thanks for sharing!


  11. Thank you Courtney for your ideas flowers do make a house more alive ,i love what you do and how,you house is so beautiful.

  12. Beautiful photos!

    Harriet x

  13. Your home, and ideas are always so inspiring, Courtney. It's always such a treat to visit here.

  14. Courtney, I love your chalkboard in the old frame with the small green wreath!
    Have a lovely day!