Through the Front Door

Home after the Holidays

How to De-clutter and Freshen Up

by Lisa Bartell of Wisteria Cove
photos by Raz Imports

  • Tree down
  • Ornaments put away
  • Santas and nutcrackers tucked away safely in their boxes
  • Tinsel and glitter put away until next year
  • House lifeless and dull

Whoa! Back up! House lifeless and dull? I think we all have this same dilemma after the holidays. We go from “Ta-da!” with all that sparkle and shine from Christmas decorations to “Ho Hum!” boring when it all is put away.

Some of us may have a stock pile of after-Christmas winter décor to revamp the house and bring it back to life. But if you’re like me and don’t have much storage, than an after Christmas treasure chest of winter goodies is out of the question. Here are a few ideas for both.

Shop the house

Without spending any money or taking up more storage space, shop your house. Look around and take things from one room and add them to another. For example, things don’t often really get appreciated in a seldom-used room like a guestroom, so bring these items out and show them off for a nice change. Switch accessories and home accents around out for a breath of fresh air such as a lamp, pillow, throw or piece of art work. You can even pull in a piece of furniture from another room such as a chest, side table or accent chair. Rearrange the existing furniture seating for a totally new look or switch out a rug.

Don’t forget to add to the atmosphere by covering all the senses. Touch: include soft, winter fabrics. Smell: infuse the air with warm winter scents of pine and berries from a candle or potpourri. Sound: play your favorite music softly in the background. Sight: pull out some family photos of past winters, such as a photo of building a snowman, beautiful winter snowscapes of your home or winter wildlife. Also, don’t forget to let as much natural light in as possible to keep the doldrums away. Place a mirror across from a window to reflect more light into the space. Sunlight is full of vitamin D and is essential to our bodies in many different ways. Since you’re letting all that sunshine in, why not plant some winter indoor bulbs such as lovely paperwhites and vibrant Amaryllis?

Cozy winter lodge

Winter lodge is a warm and cozy theme full of woodland creatures and fresh winter plaids. Think of a cozy fire, sipping hot cocoa with family and friends. You can change out some of your framed prints for different ones depicting deer, bear, fox or whatever you like. Same goes the for the pillows: winter wildlife designs intermixed with plaids or even burlap will add to the theme. Bring in fresh pine branches or white birch stems and place them in a vase.

Decorate with vintage skis, snowshoes, ice skates and sleds. You can even leave an evergreen tree up decorated in a woodland theme. Pine garlands can be enjoyed through out the winter, just leave them bare or with simple berries and maybe a plaid bow.

Fill a glass bowl or container with pinecones or dried cranberries. When you take your Christmas Village down, replace it with snowy capped log houses accented with flocked pine trees for a winter village. Replace delicate china with a winter transfer ware, it’s heavier and more robust to display during the winter months.

Winter white

Winter white is a simple clean look, almost spa like. Accent rooms with various hues of white, such as toss pillows and throws. Select these items in a textured fabric to show their differences. Spray paint birch branches or curly willow with white – maybe even add a little mica snow to give sparkle — and place them in a vase. Same goes for pine cones: just add a little paint and snow.

Crisp white pottery looks sleek and clean in a hutch, china cabinet or bookcase. White table runners or table cloths look fresh and new.

White snow birds or other snowy white creatures can be a nice addition to any room. White pillar candles in groupings placed on a coffee table, mantle or even in an unused fireplace, are soft and inviting. White flower arrangements in soft silks add elegance.

Silver trays, teapots, urns and frames create a richer look.

Snowman whimsy Some people just love these little frosty guys. I know you probably have a collection floating around that you keep up through winter. Snowmen are light and fun – and they just make you smile. So create a whimsical icy theme with various snowmen and snow flakes. These jolly gentlemen look great placed anywhere. You can use glass blocks found at the hardware store as blocks of ice, placing these along side a snowman and back-lighting them. Use them single or stack a few.

If you are a die-hard snowman lover, you may want to turn your white door into a giant snowman by placing a cut out black top hat made of felt or poster board above the door and then place black felt eyes and mouth on the top half of the door with an orange felt carrot nose. Next, attach a scarf under the mouth and then continue with black felt buttons down the rest of the door. Voila! You have a bigger-thanlife snowman! This can work on a white refrigerator door as well.

A mirrored tray with scatter snow and a few snowmen makes a nice centerpiece on a dining room or coffee table.

Enjoy your home this winter!

Author: Brian

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