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Winter lasts almost three months after the holidays are over. After the Christmas decorations are put away, try these warm and cozy ways to brighten your home.

Force Bulbs

Fresh blooms can instantly add a bright shot of color to any room and make it feel polished and refined. Amaryllis and paperwhite bulbs are readily available around Christmas time, but if you prefer spring bulbs, try tulips and hyacinths.

Add Arctic Animals

In summer we decorate our lawn with pink flamingos and add tropical touches around the house.  In winter, add cold-climate animals to your decor like snow owls, penguins and moose. It doesn’t have to an exact replica of the animal, a swatch of faux white fur, antlers or dark feathers will work just fine.

Wrap With Wool

Don’t throw away your old sweaters, use them to decorate. Cut off the sleeves then slip them over vases and glass votives.

Implement Aromatherapy

Use a diffuser with essential oils or scented candles to provide summertime smells to your home. Citrus scents like grapefruit, orange and lemon are known to energize and uplift. Bergamot, jasmine and clary sage are said to help relieve anxiety and stress.

Change Your Lightbulbs

To make up for the lack of sunlight, switch to lightbulbs that emit blue or white light because they are the closest to mimicking sunlight. Dawn simulator lights are great anytime of the year, but are especially helpful on cold, dark winter mornings. The bulbs gradually get brighter over a period of about 20 minutes to gently wake you up and simulate the rising sun.

Use Mirrors to Add Light

Adding mirrors is another quick way to get more light into your space. Try hanging a wall mirror behind a lamp so it will help reflex light or hang a collection of small mirrors on a wall opposite windows.

Mix Winter Whites, Metallics and Nature

Combine soft colors with metals to create a glow and then sprinkle in some natural elements like birch bark, pinecones or dried flowers. Here, terra-cotta pots painted in metallic colors and glitter highlights on pine cones supply reflective surfaces while candles and lanterns provide a warm glow to make them shine.

Winter Planters

The cold weather doesn’t mean the end for colorful outdoor planters. There are many flowers and plants that thrive in the winter. The best part is, you can find interesting textures to add to your winter planters in your own yard.

Winter White Tulips

For a centerpiece or windowsill, upcycle glass jars into vases by frosting the glass. Then fill the jars with greens, white flowers and red berries.

Light-Colored Linens

To brighten your home in the darkest days of winter, use white and light-colored slipcovers, window treatments and throw pillows.