8 Ways to Chase the Winter Blahs Away

These easy projects will help you to brighten your home and add some cheer during the dreary days of winter!
painted paneling and bookshelves

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I didn't always live in (mostly sunny) Texas.

If you aren't familiar with our family's journey, I'm a Canadian-born girl who married an American. We met in Bible College in Canada. My husband, Mr DIY took his first job as a Youth Pastor a month after we married. We lived in Niagara Falls, Ontario for 5 years. His job has since taken us to California, Oregon, Florida, Tennessee and now Texas. We've lived in a lot of homes, and a lot of states, both cold and hot. I'm familiar with the long, cold, dreary days of winter when you don't see the sun for days, and even weeks, on end! Here in Texas, that only usually lasts for a few days, not weeks!

But I know how long those days can feel. How unmotivated and uninspired you can feel! I struggle with seasonal depression, so believe me, I know!

How can we create a light, bright feeling in our homes and banish the dreary?

Here are a few ideas.

Ways to Brighten Your Home During Dreary Winter Days

1. Paint something white (or light)

Whether you choose to paint a piece of furniture, a wall, bookcase or just a piece of decor, white brightens and dispels the gloom!! Our living room was dreary-ville until we painted it! Don't believe me? Check out these before pictures with the dark paneling!

Painting the walls a soft gray helped. Painting the bookcases bright white helped even more! Painting the dark brick fireplace made it even better! We didn't add any recessed lights (although that is still something we'd like to do) but the room feels so  much lighter!

farmhouse living room with light and bright feel

Lightening up this room took it out of the dark ages! It's cozy, full of texture, and has a happy, fresh feel. It definitely "inspires JOY" as Marie Kondo would say!

If you love color, consider painting a dark piece of furniture a fun, bright color! Here are a couple examples...this old armoire got a new life with a robin's egg blue, and this oak blanket chest got a bright pop of color!

Let's take it a step further...

2. Clean and declutter bookshelves

January is the month when a lot of people crave a clutter-free home. We're going to focus just on your bookcases today. Bookcases can be full to overflowing and cause nothing but stress, or they can be clean, clutter-free and selectively filled with some of your favorite pieces that inspire you! Which would you choose?

The best way to clean and declutter is to remove everything from the shelves! Really! I know it's a pain, but the results are worth it, I promise! Starting with a fresh slate gives you a chance to evaluate what you have, what you want to keep and what you don't want anymore! Before you start to put items back, it's a great time to touch up paint or even paint a fresh coat with the right kind of paint!

clean and declutter bookshelves

Challenge yourself to put items back in a different way, starting with the pieces that you love first.

edit items on bookshelves for a pleasing display

Don't be afraid to use "non-books" to decorate your bookshelves! I brought in a set of copper canisters from the kitchen because I love the color against the white! I also 'stole' a few additional pieces of white ironstone from my dining room hutch to add to the collection I already had!

I wound up with a box of items to donate, some things to throw away, and I was able to move several things into the cabinets below so the bookshelves didn't feel so crowded.

organized bookshelves

The end result is a space that makes me smile, rather than causing stress! I've displayed some of my favorite items and the overall look is a pleasing one! Decluttering can help a space to breathe!

3. Showcase your collections in fresh new ways

We are all collectors of something! If you can't think of anything offhand, just give yourself a minute...what items are you drawn to and love to buy? Books? candles? dishes? paintings?

white cottage dresser with blue ball jars

Gather your collection pieces from wherever you are currently housing them, and display them all together on a shelf or tabletop, or in a bookcase or open hutch!

When I collected all my blue mason jars and glassware from where it was spread out around our home, I was surprised by how much I actually had! Displayed together, it's a bright and beautiful punch of color!

vintage ball jars display

Some of these are vintage ball jars, the rest are not; but the sun shining through this window and through these jars is almost like a stained glass window! It adds a fresh feel to the top of my cottage white dresser!

vintage blue mason jar collection

4. Throw open the doors

Got colorful dishes or a collection that really makes you smile? Throw open the doors of your hutch, or even consider removing a couple cabinet doors so you can enjoy the visual stimulation of a collection that makes you happy! However you stack it, it's sure to shine!

Imagine this hutch filled with colorful books!

blue and white dishes in hutch

5. Add some of your favorite items to a wire basket

Maybe you don't have a hutch or your collection is on the small side. Utilize a wire basket or one that's open and add a collection so it can been seen! A stack of colorful books is equally as beautiful as a stack of white ironstone in an open basket!

wire basket with ironstone collection

white chalkboard and vintage dishes

6. Rearrange furniture or decor in a space

It doesn't have to be a complete room overhaul! Try rearranging some of the items on a dresser top, adding a lamp or a grouping for a fresh new look!

vintage hutch with decor

It could be switching chairs from one room to another, or changing out your coffee table or nightstands for something else you already own!

living room with new chairs

7. Make it cozy

You cannot make your home cozy enough during the chilly days of winter! Throws and pillows add to the comfort level and make a room look welcoming.

cozy spot to sit

Look for throws and pillows with texture. My drop cloth XO pillow was a cinch to make!

cozy throws and pillows

8. Add something green

Buy a new wreath or add a wreath to an unusual spot (like the front of a dresser, cabinet or chalkboard). Tuck some faux greenery into your baskets and displays. You can make the artificial greenery topiary for $20 shown here in my dining room.

winter dining room

Are you inspired to banish the gloom of winter and brighten your home? 

banish winter gloom in your home

I'd love to know if you have any additional suggestions for chasing the winter blahs away?

Share them below!!

bringing beauty to the ordinary,

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This blog's content is for entertainment purposes only and is not professional advice. By reading this blog and attempting to recreate any content shared on it, you assume all responsibility for any injuries or damages incurred. Read my full disclaimer here.


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  1. I'm inspired! I'm going to redo my bookshelves today. Then I'll wonder around the house and do something else.

    1. Haha, that's how I roll too Di! Happy bookshelf-redoing!! 😃


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