Happy New Year! We hope you’ve had a beautiful transition into 2016. Though it’s quite grey this time of year in Portland, we’ve passed the winter solstice, which means that little by little the days are getting longer, and signs of the approaching spring have started to emerge (have you noticed the buds on the camelia and magnolia trees?).
But with 15 days of rain in our forecast, we thought we’d share a few tips to brighten up your home for the new year. Try out these ideas, and you just might find your mood is lifted, too.
5 Ideas that will Brighten Up Your Home (and your mood) in the New Year
- Shine some light
Your house is dark this time of year; short days and the angle of the sun make for less natural light entering our windows. The dark can feel gloomy, but you can easily play off of the darkness to create an intimate, cozy mood. Our solution? Candles! We like simple bees wax because, as a natural product, it smells wonderful without anything artificial added. Plus, the light they make is so warm, you’ll just want to pull up an armchair, wear a cozy sweater and read the evening away.
Another fantastic option brings in the spiritual healing properties of the crystal, selenite. The crystal itself is said to bring a metaphysical light down from higher realms, which brings clarity and cleanses the aura of negative energy. Whether or not you give stock to these ideas, we just adore these selenite votive candles, which use a tea-light insert to illuminate the selenite and brighten up your home.
Both styles of candles are available in our retail shop, or online by custom order.
- Add some green
The transition from fall to winter might also be described as the gradual removal of green from our day to day lives. If you don’t have your own indoor jungle, now might just be the best time to get started (here’s how). You might find that your greenery is looking pretty, well, “bleh” this time of year. Did you know that plant care regimens are quite different during winter? Here’s a few tips to refresh your plants if they’re feeling sad.
If you don’t have room for a jungle but still want a way to add some greenery, Kokedama provide a great solution (our design studio is covered with them this time of year – check out the picture below!). A traditional bonsai form dating back to 1600 Japan, Kokedama are plants whose roots have been bound into a sphere using clay and moss. Since they can be easily hung with fishing line or set in a shallow dish, they fit in tighter spaces than a typical potted plant.
- Detox and refresh
There’s nothing like a good soak in the winter. Brew a mug of tea (and light those selenite candles), put on your favorite album and fill the tub. The hot water relaxes muscles and receives tension, giving you a warmth that lasts much longer than your bath.
To make our soaks truly special, we like to add natural sea salt soaks. They’re widely available by many local makers. We’re particularly fond of Aquarian Soul’s Moon Bath Soak (natural sea salt infused with flowers and gemstones, designed to set intentions around the full and new moons) and Herbivore Botanicals’ Dead Sea Bath Salts (made with salt from the Dead Sea, designed to Calm and Detoxify!). Okay, a soak may not brighten up your home in its entirety, but it would definitely brighten your mood!
- Ring in 2016
Sound is an incredibly powerful and evocative sense. Though the quiet and still of winter is peaceful, you might not realize that the sounds of spring and summer (think birds chirping, leaves rustling, children playing...) actually have a powerful effect on the mood of your home.
We're ringing in the new year with these handmade stoneware bells with reclaimed wood clappers. Recently featured in Sunset Magazine's Gift Guide, The bells are safe for indoor and outdoor use, and you simply won't believe their beautifully resonant tone until you hear it in person! (Need something a bit smaller? Try our handmade Obsidian Windchimes for a similar effect). The sound of these bells as you move through your space creates a meditative aura that will surely brighten up your home, and help you look forward to the seasons to come.
Both styles of bell (moon phases and constellation), and the wind chimes, are available in our retail store and web shop.
- Interior Rewilding (winter style): Streamline, reorganize, nest
Clutter is a bummer at any time of year, but most especially during winter. If your walls are light (or white) in color, they reflect a lot of light back into your home. Take advantage by getting rid of extraneous items. Organize your possessions into collections, and get rid of things that don't bring you joy. Try moving the furniture around to find a configuration that lets the most light in. Cleaning out makes your rooms feel new again, and truly brightens the home.
We asked our followers on social media to share images of their own homes and spaces you've created that are inspiring to them. The results are were very inspiring to us! Check out #interiorrewilding on instagram and pinterest to see some of what you all have come up with, and our favorite images from across the web! Tag your own images for a chance to be featured on our feed!
What do you do to beat the gloom and brighten up your home this time of year? Share your ideas with us in the comments! Once again, happy new year. Here's to a healthy and bright 2016.