Free/Affordable Interior Design Ideas to Combat this Cold Snap

It's worth a shot, right?

When I wake up in the morning and the thermometer says -14 degrees, it's hard not to feel down. And checking the weather forecast only makes me feel worse. Our built environment has a profound effect on our psychology, so how can we improve our sanctuaries and lift our spirits when the daylight is so brief and our heating bills are so big? Here are some free or inexpensive ideas to brighten your day.

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1) Every morning open up your window treatments as wide as they go. Let in each drop of sunlight and glory in it! Revel in those rays of sunshine while enjoying the solar gain. At night, draw closed the curtains or blinds and pat yourself on the back for reducing the window glazing heat loss.

2) DECLUTTER! This is the #1 tool for improving the interior design of your home. And it's FREE! By culling the ho hum tchotchkes that insidiously weasel their way into our homes, we can celebrate the beautiful objects that truly bring us joy. William Morris, an English textile designer and artist during the Arts & Crafts movement, wrote: "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." So pack up the boring dust collectors and allow the treasures to shine that make your heart sing.

I love how EMPTY this room is. There's room to breathe!

(photo courtesy of

3) If you have children in your life, give them some large pre-stretched canvases, brightly colored (washable) paint, and brushes and ask them to paint you some happiness. Grab a mug of something warm and comforting and bask in the children's creative excitement.

4) Indulge in a new, exuberant duvet cover for your bed or a throw for your couch.

Marimekko's Ojakellukka duvet will warm the cockles of even the coldest hearts.

5) Substitute a mirror for a framed print. It will make a room feel bigger and bounce more light around. Be careful, though, to choose a flattering location; no need for a constant reminder of the epidermal effects of this harsh, dry air!

6) Your ideas? How do you brighten your day by sprucing up your space?

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