How to brighten up the cottage

Tips to help you keep it bright through the winter months

By Jessica LewisJessica Lewis


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Don’t let the lack of natural light get you down; there are easy ways to brighten and warm the cottage through the cooler seasons. Read our tips on how certain items, ways of decorating, and small improvements can keep your retreat comfortable when the sun goes down.

DIY wool blanket

If you’d like to keep warm, try making your own wool blanket. Choose your fabric and decide on the blanket’s size. Then as you relax by the fireplace, stitch yarn around the edges, and you’re finished!

Decorative mugs

One way to show off your sense of humour or style is having decorative mugs for everyone to drink out of. Cute mugs can be conversation starters, giggle-worthy, or simply comforting. Hundreds of designs are available online and many may be found at your local home decor store. For cottage-themed mugs, visit the Cottage Life store.

Light therapy

It’s common to feel down in the fall and winter months due to lower temperatures and less natural light exposure. To help lift your mood, consider investing in an artificial sun lamp, which emits ultraviolet (U.V.) rays found in sunlight. These rays can help increase your level of vitamin D, which maintains bone strength and aids calcium absorption.

  • Light can have positive effects on your mood by increasing energy levels and overall happiness. U.V. light, however, causes progressive damage to human skin, so do not leave the lamp on for longer than one hour.
  • If you’re concerned about U.V. light exposure, there are phototherapy lamps that filter out or do not emit U.V. rays at all, such as the Litebook Elite. Both U.V. and non-U.V. lamps come with possible side effects, so consult your doctor before purchasing one.
  • If you experience extreme depression during the darker months, seek psychiatric assessment before attempting to treat it with light therapy and ask about Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Splashes of colour

If you’re looking for a simple pick-me-up, add colour to some decorations or everyday objects. You can get door mats and sofa covers in lighter palettes, or spice up your kitchenware with decorative bowls.


If it’s too chilly to make s’mores at the fire pit, you can still make them inside. There are microwavable s’mores makers that heat up the snack in under one minute, like this one from Smart Living and stand-alone cooking kits with portable grills, like the Casa Moda S’mores Maker.

Outdoor lighting

If it’s nice enough to enjoy some time outside, explore creative lighting options such as patio can lanterns or tealight candle logs.

This article was originally published on October 26, 2010

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Jessica Lewis