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How to beat the winter blues by sprucing up your living room

Julie Sprankles is a freelance writer living in the storied city of Charleston, SC. When she isn't slinging sass for SheKnows, she enjoys watching campy SyFy creature features (Pirahnaconda, anyone?), trolling the internet for dance work...

Feeling the doldrums of winter's dreary weather? Brighten your spirit with these living room touch-ups

As the season stretches on in an endless parade of chilly days, it's difficult to not fall prey to the winter blues. But few things can perk up a person like a makeover, so why not spruce up the space you're spending all your time curled up in anyway?

That's right — show your living room some love with a few easy tweaks, and you'll be brushing off those winter blues before you know it. Give these eight transformative ideas a try.

1. Color your world

Feeling the doldrums of winter's dreary weather? Brighten your spirit with these living room touch-ups
Image: Place of My Taste

Studies have proven that color affects our mood, which makes it a natural option for uplifting your spirit and space during the whitewashed winter months. Just because the sun isn't out doesn't mean you can't bring some sunshine indoors with accessories in punchy shades like yellow and green — think brightly colored toss pillows and decorative accents. Or if you're feeling adventurous, repaint a humdrum piece of existing furniture in a cheery new hue.

More: How to tell if your living room needs more seating

2. Soften things up

Feeling the doldrums of winter's dreary weather? Brighten your spirit with these living room touch-ups
Image: We Are Scout

While beautiful, Scandinavian design may be prohibitive to those of us who have small children (white on white on white plus tiny, messy humans don't match), there are definitely lessons to learn from this design style that translate well in the winter months. Like, for starters, bringing in loads of texture by swathing everything in soft, snuggly layers. Who wouldn't feel happy curled up in a room full of chunky knit throws, fluffy Mongolian pillow covers and, naturally, a faux-sheepskin rug.

3. Think big

Feeling the doldrums of winter's dreary weather? Brighten your spirit with these living room touch-ups
Image: Digs Digs

Most of us love our hardwood or tile floors, but unless you're lucky enough to have radiant floor heating installed, they can feel cold and sterile during the winter months. There's no time like the winter to up the scale of your living room rug to cover as much of that chilly flooring underfoot as possible. Even if you roll it up and store it during the warmer months, having a huge wool rug to greet your toes is worth it. Also consider oversized throw pillows for the couch or for propping against walls when company comes to visit. Not only do they add a little whimsy, but they can also block drafts.

4. Beach it up

Feeling the doldrums of winter's dreary weather? Brighten your spirit with these living room touch-ups
Image: City Farmhouse

A day at the beach is the quintessential activity of sunny days, right? There are few things more uplifting or refreshing than spending a day with your toes in the sand, the sun on your shoulders and the salty breeze tousling your hair. So why not re-create that feeling in your living room? Prop a decorative piece of driftwood on your mantel. Make a shadow box of seashells. To really mimic the restorative effect, invest in an ionic air purifier! Indoor HVACs strip air of ion concentration, while ocean air is pumped full of negative ions — they boost your blood oxygenation, leading to the happy, relaxed effect we all feel and love after a day at the beach. An ionic air purifier restores the negative ions to HVAC air, so you can have ocean-like air right in your living room. Ahhhh.

More: 6 Top places to spend money in your home, according to the pros

5. Swap your curtains

Feeling the doldrums of winter's dreary weather? Brighten your spirit with these living room touch-ups
Image: Crazy Wonderful

There are two ways to go about this, really. The first would be to add warmth and a feeling of being enveloped in coziness by swapping out your sheer, summery window treatments for something more substantial. Heavy draperies buffer cool air coming off of windowpanes, making them a logical choice. Plus, you could always pick fabrics in fun, funky, colorful patterns to perk things up a bit. If you love your sheer window treatments and the way they make you feel like a warm spring breeze could ruffle through at any minute, then by all means, keep them up! But if you don't have one already, consider adding a woven wood shade beneath for added texture, privacy and warmth.

6. Accent with art

Feeling the doldrums of winter's dreary weather? Brighten your spirit with these living room touch-ups
Image: Oh Happy Day

Art is one of the easiest ways to change the feeling of any space, and the living room is no exception — especially in the winter months, when the world can feel so devoid of color. Bonus? You can pick any color under the sun, so to speak, without fear. If it feels too bold for year-round, you can easily switch it out with the seasons. Pick pieces that make you happy!

7. Give your couch an update

Feeling the doldrums of winter's dreary weather? Brighten your spirit with these living room touch-ups
Image: Park City Dual Reclining Sofa/Value City Furniture

It's hard to not get the winter blues when the sofa you're spending most of your time on has seen much better days too. If you're going to splurge on something to lift your spirits, choose a wise investment with a cozy couch that'll make spending blustery days inside seem like a total breeze.

8. Let there be light

Feeling the doldrums of winter's dreary weather? Brighten your spirit with these living room touch-ups
Image: Lindevegen

Does anything feel cozier than the warm glow of a candle? There's something inherently comforting about being in a room bathed in the flickering light of a flaming wick. Of course, you must exercise caution — aka don't forget to blow them out before you go to bed — but adding a few candles can give your living room a welcoming vibe that'll make you feel like winter isn't so bad after all.

More: How to make a blanket ladder — an easy DIY project perfect for cold weather

This post was brought to you by Value City Furniture. For more inspiration, visit their blog at blog.vcf.com.

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