Pale Fire: Getting The Lighting Right For Winter

The sky has darkened. The air stunned by winter’s razor-edged chill. A sullen mist creeps gently, without the shade of a whisper, far into the mystery of the deep, black morning… Oh light! Why have you forsaken me?

Yes, we missed the Fringe this year.

The temptation to channel your inner Edgar Allen Poe in the midst of November is almost far too tempting to bare. The gothic charm of Edinburgh’s sweeping landscape seduces at any given season, but there is something about this place that lends itself with such potency at this particular time of year, that it is almost impossible not to be won over by it.

Having said all of that, it is perhaps not something that you want to carry with you the whole day through. The charm of Auld Reekie’s particular kind of gloom is one to be sought out and admired, but not to furnish your heart or, indeed, your home.

So, let’s brighten things up, shall we?

You might not be able to do anything about the grey that looms so stubbornly outside, but you can do something about that which is going on inside. It is often forgotten, but the light in your home is not a static situation. In these darker days, the idea of warmth, comfort and joy are paramount and can be achieved through the tiniest of changes.

Now, tuck the raven back in its cage and put some sugar into your tea. Things are about to get all kinds of sparkly. Here are 5 things you can do to get the lighting in your home bursting with life once more.

Lampshades: A simple thing you can do to give the light in your home a little bit of a different feel is to treat yourself to a new lampshade. Something with a darker colour or a slightly warmer shade will promote a more relaxing atmosphere around the place. It doesn’t have to be an expensive exercise and replacing the old shade is as easy a job as you are likely to get. Give it a shot! You’ll be amazed at the difference it can make.

Light Bulbs: If you rather like the lampshade you currently have, what about simply changing the bulb for a warmer one? The bottom line is, if you are going to be spending more time in your home over the winter months, having a warm and relaxing mood about the place would be extremely beneficial to your piece of mind. And, goodness knows, we could all use a bit of that right now.

Floor Lamp: If you’re looking for a light that’s a bit quieter and less in your face, then a good quality floor lamp is definitely the number for you. Just one floor lamp in the living room can give off enough light to brighten the space right up. But it can also give off a far more romantic vibe than just about any traditional overhead experience. Try this once and you’ll wonder why you ever bothered with anything else.

Candles: Autumn is candle season. Yes, you should be careful and make sure that all precautions are taken…but, if romance is what you’re looking for, then you simply cannot get any better than candles. The flickering, Dickensian glow of a candle tells you to relax, enjoy a beverage and fall in love with a good book under the ancient magic of flame and shadow. Everything is going to be okay. The long, cold nights are now going to be a lot, lot prettier.

Fairy Lights: When the candles are out then fairy lights are not too far behind. They may be a traditional feature of Christmas, but why limit yourself? And besides…Christmas is just around the corner! So, you’re a little early. Who cares! Draping some of these twinkly diamonds of white across your window or over your bookcase looks amazing and can lift the mood of even the grumpiest of Scrooges. You know what you need to do.  Now, get that box down from the attic.

Getting the light right in your home is always important, but it is especially key during the darker months of the year. Making one or two adjustments can completely alter the mood in a room and make for a much cosier and happier winter behind closed doors.

How do you light your home toward the end of the year? Are you a candle person? Or is it fairy lights all the way through to March?

We at Belvoir Edinburgh hope you're all happy and well. Take care of yourselves and those you love. And happy housekeeping.