The RentSeeker Real-Estate Blog

News and tips for Canada's renters, home buyers, home sellers and property managers.

25 Feb 2013

Canadians are now fully entrenched in the long, dark winter days. The holiday season is over and the countdown to spring has officially begun. Winter can feel depressing, so why not spruce up your apa

Canadians are now fully entrenched in the long, dark winter days. The holiday season is over and the countdown to spring has officially begun. Winter can feel depressing, so why not spruce up your apartment with some brightening decor to create a spring-like sanctuary from the snow drifts outside?

Brighten up your Apartment

Add Plants

Plants – both real and fake – will instantly lighten up your apartment. There may be no leaves on the trees outside, but your apartment will feel like a lush paradise! If you forget to water plants, many stores (Home Outfitters, Michael’s) offer artificial options that are surprisingly life-like. You can also grab a pre-made bouquet from your local grocery store’s floral shop to spruce up your kitchen table. If you’d rather be on a beach, you can grab more “tropical” items to give your home a vacation feel. Bamboo is a wonderful option that is easy to maintain.

Mirrors

In addition to making your apartment feel larger, mirrors reflect the light in your home to make it brighter. Create a collage of different mirrors on your wall (IKEA has some great options for this) to make for a truly bright and unique decor.

Open Up Those Blinds!

When it is winter, we are tempted to just bundle up and hibernate until it passes. This means we often keep our blinds closed and just turn on more lights. Don’t fall into this trap! The sun still shines in the winter, even if we feel like it doesn’t. Open up your blinds and drapes on those sunny winter days and your apartment (and those plants you bought) will thank you for it.

Adds Pops of Colour

Do you have a dark decor, like leather furniture or dark wood bookcases? This colour scheme can make your apartment feel darker in the winter, so consider purchasing some colourful accessories to make things really shine. What about some green, purple or even light blue pillows on the couch? Or perhaps a neon-coloured throw blanket? Strategically placed colours will add an instant brightening effect to any room in your apartment.

Tidy Up

You may not want to hear this, but tidying up your apartment will make it seem brighter, too. Clutter makes everything feel darker and closed off, so banish it and you’ll go a long way to banishing the dark atmosphere of your home. If one of your resolutions was to get organized, there is no better place to start than with your apartment!

In Oprah.com’s How to Declutter and Brighten Your Home for Summer, Peter Walsh reveals four easy ways to lighten up your spaces—and keep them clutter-free:
1. Create a Winter Storage Area
Create a winter storage area in your attic or basement, using a canvas-covered clothing rack and heavy-duty plastic shelving. This makes everything easily accessible—and lets you annually appraise inventory and throw away or donate things you no longer use or wear. (Dry-clean your coats before storing them, and use cedar blocks to keep away pests.)
2. Replace Dark Throw Pillows
Replace dark throw pillows and slipcovers with affordable white or bright-colored versions; clean and store winter fabrics with your linens. Consider adding an extra lamp to further lighten things up.
3. Add Brighter Accents
Swap out dark photo frames on your shelves for white. Ask kids to pick their favorite piece of artwork each week and drop it into a frame; toss the rest (after photographing for posterity).
4. Keep Surfaces Clear
Keep surfaces clear by instituting daily cleanups ten minutes before dinner, when everyone puts away his or her own possessions. Cynthia Tobin, like many moms, finds it easier and faster to pick up after everyone herself, but “why bark when you’ve already got a dog?” says Walsh.

By following the steps above, you can make your apartment a much brighter and happier place in these long winter months. Before you know it, the snow will be melting and spring will have officially sprung in Canada!

Happy Apartment Living!

The RentSeeker.ca Team