By - 0 Comments

When the sun sets, do you get a little sad? Feel a little depressed? Many people do; they’re dependent on light to feel happy and cheerful. If that’s you—you can bring some brightness to your home after dark. This is particularly important during winter, when the sunny days are short. Check out a few ideas to let the light shine in.

Candles
1. Brighten up a coffee table with an arrangement of pillars in various sizes and widths, placed on a pretty tray or frameless mirror. Go with a monochromatic cream scheme for a sophisticated look, or keep it casual by adding in a few fun-colored accent candles.

2. At your next dinner party, place small votives down the length of the dining table for an elegant centerpiece.

3. Have a non-functional fireplace or one you never use? Create your own warm glow with a grouping of candles in the firebox. Be sure to clean out any residual debris first. (A nice little bonus: No ashes to sweep up.)

4. Treat yourself to a new scented candle. Look for something with calming lavender notes, and use it to set a mellow tone in a reading corner or on a bedside table.

5. To dress up clear glass hurricanes for the mantel, wrap pieces of colorful washi around the circumference of each holder to create a striped effect. (This decorative Japanese tape is sold at crafts stores and websites.) Repeat as many times as you like—you can cover the whole surface with bands or color, stick to just the top, or focus on the bottom. The tape can easily be removed if you tire of the pattern or want to try another design.

Light Fixtures
The kind of light fixtures and how you position the lighting reflects the function and feeling in each room. As in all home décor, lighting design keeps changing. Here are some recent trends in home lighting.

6. Soft gold is a popular new finish that falls somewhere in the middle of brushed silver and brushed gold and brings warmth to a room. Use soft gold lighting to focus attention to specific corners or areas of your living room.

7. Retro and industrial styles are making a comeback but with sleeker metals—with richer and more varied tones and finer details.

8. For a warmer retro style, vintage Edison-style bulbs are popular with homeowners, particularly millennials. The rounded cone shape makes the bulbs stand out in both kitchens or living/family rooms. You can also get Edison-style bulbs in LED lighting so they last longer and consume less power.

9. Bigger sometimes is better. Larger lighting fixtures do more than just light a room, they act as focal points in the rooms they’re in. For a wow factor, place these fixtures over kitchen islands, the dining room table or in the entry foyer. For fun, try a chandelier in an unexpected place, like the bathroom or bedroom.

Flowers
10. Finally, fresh cut flowers in your home can brighten up a room in any season. To keep cut flowers fresher longer, be sure to change the water and cut the stems every few days. (I hear putting an aspirin in the water helps.)

Rieva Lesonsky is an entrepreneur, best-selling author and self-educated health nut. Follow her @Rieva.

Photo Credit: Sensay/iStock/Thinkstock