The holidays are over and in Iowa, we have many weeks ahead of us where we will spend more time at home indoors than during any other season. Without festive decorations, it’s easy to feel like my home is blah and uninspired.
Did anyone else hang on Nate Berkus’ every word back in the days of Oprah? He said your home should be a place you want to be, and one that rises up to greet you. I’m a huge believer in that, especially in the challenging post-holiday winter months.
So how do you decorate, after you’ve un-decked your halls?
I start by packing away the holiday decorations (and assessing right then and there what I didn’t use, and separate it to sell or donate). With my home suddenly “bare”, it’s easier to focus on what to do next, which for me, usually entails some or all of the following to-dos:
I’m always inspired by the new year to go through my house and declutter. Go through drawers, cabinets, closets, and haul it all out of there.
Don’t just do this in the hidden spaces; take a fresh look at all the “landing spots” in your home (shelves, furniture surfaces) and remove any decor pieces you’re tired of as well. (Tip: Consider consigning at the new Stuff, Etc. store in Clive — a great way to earn a little seed money for a HomeGoods spree…see step 4!)
2: Freshen up.
What better time to try a fresh color in your home to energize you for the new year? (Give me all the emerald green right now.) How about a fresh coat of paint in a spot that needs a little TLC?
A fresh new plant brings in some green and the promise of spring? (And if you have a black thumb like me, there are some REALLY good faux plants out there!)
In short, I like to channel that “reset” button that comes with the vibes of the new year. I look at my home with fresh eyes and make little updates that energize my surroundings.
3: Let there be light.
Consider leaving some Christmas lights up — nothing feels darker and more dismal than when all that tree glow disappears on winter nights. You don’t necessarily have to leave the whole tree up, but I like to keep up some neutral garland laced with white lights, or stuff a strand or two into a glass vase on the shelf. The glow suddenly doesn’t feel so “holiday”, but more “cozy winter warmth”.
Another tip to make the most of the scarce daylight — mirrors! They are fantastic for maximizing light by bouncing it around your house, and making smaller spaces feel larger and brighter.
4: Add to cart.
It doesn’t have to cost much (although if you’re in the market for bigger purchases, take advantage of the year-end sales!) Even the smallest purchases can make an impact: an arrangement of flowers or a couple bright covers for the throw pillows (tip: I buy a couple GOOD throw pillow inserts and then only ever buy covers. I keep the covers stored in a drawer. It’s less expensive to have a variety this way and makes for MUCH less to store when not in use.)
Some of my favorite budget-friendly spots to score a couple of quick new pieces include H&M home (since Des Moines doesn’t yet have one, it’s fun to not see your accessories in everyone else’s home), Society6 (for fun pillow covers!), and various Etsy shops (support the small business makers!).