How Winter Colors in Your Home Help Lift Your Spirits

This time of year many people endure a condition known as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), but one way to lift your spirits and decrease the effect of SAD is to decorate your home with winter colors – bright and light!

cardinalsWhat is SAD?

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that tends to occur (and recur) as daylight hours grow shorter in Fall and Winter. The theory is that affected people react adversely to decreased amounts of sunlight and colder temperatures. The term “seasonal affective disorder” first appeared in print in 1985. Seasonal affective disorder is also sometimes called winter depression, winter blues, or the hibernation reaction. The further away (north or south) of the equator you live, the more prevalent this syndrome becomes. In the U.S. 1-10% of adults experience it, but oddly much less when there is snow on the ground, possibly because of how light it is outside due to the reflectivity of the white all over. Women tend to be affected more than men, although no reason is given for this on various medical sites.


  • tiredness
  • fatigue
  • depression
  • crying spells
  • irritability
  • trouble concentrating
  • body aches
  • loss of sex drive
  • poor sleep
  • decreased activity level
  • overeating

Home Décor Colors That Will Help

Think “snow” and “crisp blue skies” and “spots of red” etc. If white snow helps, then certainly white inside your house is a good option. Accent with a crisp sky blue. Pillows, curtains, rugs…you get the idea. Add a touch of red here and there, like a cardinal that has stuck around to keep you company and cheer you. Add in some warm tones, like yellows and oranges. You can even add in some green. One thought about SAD is that people miss all the green of Spring and Summer, so adding green is a great solution.

How to Achieve That anti-SAD Look

Repainting the walls of your rooms and/or swapping out furniture every time Winter comes around isn’t very practical, so here are some other ways to achieve this uplifting look in your home:

  • Swap curtains from darker ones in Summer that will help keep your home cooler to light-colored ones in Winter that will let in those warming rays when you need them, lifting your spirits and saving on that heating bill, even when they are not fully open (which they should be on sunny days).
  • Swap your dark-colored bed comforter for one that is a lighter color or some warm color such as gold or green.
  • Use white or light-colored throws and table linens in the living room and dining room, and textures such as faux fur, wool, and chenille to embrace your whole being with their comfort giving feelings.
  • Decorate with items that convey romance, comfort, whimsy, and anything generally uplifting mood-wise.
  • Have some plants, real or fake, around for that impression that the world around us only sleeps and will awaken again.

A final note: just because Christmas is past, don’t abandon those holiday color combos of gold-green-red – perfect in front of that gas log or real log fire!

© 2016-2020 A.C. Cargill photos and text


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