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Whether you're pleased to de-Christmas your home or desperate to hold on to the magic a little bit longer there's no denying that interiors can look a little lackluster once stripped of festive sparkle.
Luckily, as with ways of making a home look expensive on a budget, there are simple styling ideas that can brighten up the decor during the darker winter months to make your home feel cozy and well-dressed and less devoid of decorative touches – all without a bauble or piece of tinsel in sight.
Follow these expert styling tips and you can keep the spirit of Christmas decor alive, without it being obvious that you're struggling to let go. Besides what better way to banish the blues and cheer-up dark winter decor than adding a little extra finesse here and there?
Ways to decorate a house after Christmas – 9 ideas
From adopting a leading biophilic interior design trend by keeping a tree present to hanging ambient fairy lights, these small touches can make a huge difference when it comes to decorating homes after Christmas.
1. Keep fairy lights on display
One of the most mesmerizing things about festive decorations is the twinkling lights, whether it be the ones on the tree, the mantelpiece, or the porch, fairy lights captivate and instantly transform the decor. We're big fans of celebrating the humble fairy light at all times of the year to spark joy in any room.
“Don’t take down the fairy lights" agrees Amy Wilson, interior designer for 247 Curtains (opens in new tab) so you needn't worry about the best way to store Christmas lights. "With Christmas now behind us and we begin to box the decorations back up, I’d advise you to keep the fairy lights in place for the remainder of these dark, cold winter months."
"That special, twinkly glow does not need to be kept exclusively for the festive season, instead, let them continue to make your home feel cozy. When taking down your Christmas tree, try draping the lights over window ledges, mantles, or door frames.”
To make them feel less festive you could opt for alternative fairy lights, such as pom poms or paper lanterns.
2. Welcome prominent greenery
Talk about the elephant in the room...there's now a great big empty void where a magnificent alpine spruce commanded attention for weeks.
Not having a tree where one has stood for so long creates a distinct lack of focal point within your living space. A great way to rectify this is to simply get another tree or a statuesque plant, that can provide an all-year-round alternative. Of course, you are best to steer clear of hanging baubles and lights on this one.
“Dragon Tree is one of the easiest indoor trees to maintain," advises Wendy Rea, an expert florist at Direct2Florist (opens in new tab), "making it a good choice for beginners, or those wanting something a little less maintenance, as it can go a long time without being watered."
"The Dragon tree can grow up to six feet tall, filling any space beautifully that may look a little bare - especially now that our Christmas trees have been packed away. It’s an ideal choice for people who prefer a minimalist look and suits any interior space."
When buying plants online or from a local garden center they can offer advice on the optimum growing conditions to ensure you get the right option for your home.
3. Dress the mantel
As the focal point of any living room, the fireplace is the most obvious place to decorate during the holidays, so it's a key area to create a decorative point of interest all year round.
You might not choose to go as a statement as you would at Christmas, so swap the garland for smaller foliage and garnish but still pair it with candles and decorative trinkets to welcome a glint of sparkle.
4. Hang a decorative wreath
It's becoming more commonplace to hang seasonal wreaths outside of the Christmas holidays, and for good reason – a decorative wreath on the front door brightens up the exterior of your home with minimal effort. And who's the say they can only be used on the front door? There are plenty of internal doors that may need cheering up for winter too.
You can celebrate seasonal blooms with a fresh floral creation or go for a longer-standing artificial wreath that will last all year round. There's no saying the wreath in question has to be flower-based because as with the best Christmas wreaths, there are many creative designs to choose from to suit your personal style.
5. Cast a warm glow with candlelight
Candles are just for Christmas, in fact, they are ideal for use all year round – but particularly post-holidays to add more ambient lighting and during the darker months generally as we look for ways to make our homes feel cozier.
The best flameless candles are perfect for window ledges to cast a warm glow that can be enjoyed by passersby, something that we personally miss once the decorations come down. They are also ideal for safely dressing mantelpieces, coffee tables, dining tables, and even kitchens – basically, anywhere you would have Christmas candles alight.
While the use of candles won't necessarily keep your house warm it goes a long way to making the surroundings feel more comforting and cozy, and will certainly lift the atmosphere.
6. Create a seasonal centrepiece
Christmas centrepiece ideas are a huge deal when decorating for the holidays but why not use this styling tip to make your dining table feel dressed for all occasions?
Replace the eucalyptus and winter berries for more seasonal appropriate flowers and foliage, you can even forage your garden for greenery that can act as a table display at no cost.
It may be that you don't use the table for everyday meals but in that instance why not move the garland to a console table to coffee table to enjoy a flourish of color and foliage there instead.
7. Add color to welcome guests
An area that is often most significantly devoid of colorful Christmas cheer is the entrance to your home, which without stair garlands, lights, and festive characters adoring console tables suddenly becomes very drab in comparison.
Adding a simple touch of color via a decorative doormat is a great start to make it a more receptive and cheerful space. You may well have a Christmas doormat that gets swapped out for a plain coir mat once it's all over – consider a colorful upgrade to make the transition a little bit brighter.
8. Hang garlands and happy sentiments
Festive decorating always welcome a statement of goodwill and happy sentiments, which your home might miss once the decorations come down. Consider hanging thoughtful bunting or banners in place of Christmas garlands or artwork that declares happy sentiments to bring positive energy to your home and ensure smiles all around.
9. Replace the scent of Christmas
Christmas has a very distinctive smell, one of cloves, cinnamon, and spices. Because this conjures up the scene of festivities you'll want to look to make your house smell good in other ways, with scents that don't make you feel like it's Christmas.
“Interiors are often brought to life when paired perfectly with a complimentary scent," explains Amy. "With scent being commonly associated with mood, adding a new fragrance candle or room diffuser is a great, and cost-efficient way to elevate the space."
"Opt for fresh and clean smells such as eucalyptus, basil, or lavender which will work to instantly calm the senses as you enter the room. A good tip is to ensure you have a different scent in your relaxing areas to your home working areas if you work at home. This will help to separate the two and encourage true rest in your living spaces.”
Tamara is a highly experienced homes and interiors journalist, with a career spanning 19 years. Now the Lifestyle Editor of womanandhome.com, she has spent the last 16 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, and it’s with these award-winning interiors teams that she gained a wealth of knowledge and honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing about every aspect of lifestyle and interiors.
With a keen eye for the latest interior trends, there's not a lot she doesn't know about home decor – whether it’s what colour we should be painting our living rooms next season, or if the latest 'must-have' buys are actually worth investing in.
A true homes and interiors expert, Tamara has served as an ambassador for leading interior brands on multiple occasions, including appearing on Matalan’s The Show and presenting at top interiors trend events such as the Autumn Fair and Spring Fair.
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