The holidays are officially over, and the house looks somewhat bare — and maybe even a bit humdrum and empty — after the ho ho ho of the holidays has been packed away. That said, it’s time to embrace the winter months with some fresh and easy decor ideas that give a pop of color, texture, and interest to offset the void left by the sudden absence of holiday decorations. Why bother? Because, for many of us, winter is synonymous with hibernating, so if we are going to spend so much time indoors let’s make it cozy and inspiring to enjoy.
Truth be told, each year I embrace the New Year with classic touches that offer many ways to cozy-up by the fire, relax and ponder away the cold winters months. These touches allow me to patiently await the rebirth in the garden, at which time my attention redirects back to the outdoors. To visit Rosebrook Gardens is to experience a home that is filled with garden inspiration: colors, textures, and fabrics all carry a connection to the outdoors. And of course, many wonderful, resourceful ways to repurpose, reuse and redesign a home for a casual luxury look and feel. So, let’s start with ways to add touches of my casual luxury principals that are attainable and make the biggest impact.
Below are six ways to endure the winter months with cozy, comfortable touches to pass the time until spring arrives.
1. Give yourself hints of the spring to come. As an avid gardener, I fill my home with gardening books that give me inspiration and ideas for the new season. Oversized picture books offer endless hours of beauty and wisdom. I complement them with indoor plants so I am always near to something flourishing. And the flower bouquets I choose always include flowers that will be growing in my own garden in a few months, so I can match the fragrance and greenery for a happy sense-memory.
2. Display ways to stay warm and comfortable. A soft throw — not to be confused with a blanket — is always on hand for use as a simple wrap or for snuggling. Whether you go with fleece, cashmere, wool, chenille or cotton you can never go wrong with one draped over a chair or sofa. They are also a perfect way to add color, texture, and coziness to any room in your house — they’re not just for the bedroom anymore. In a study, in a living room, or even in a sunroom, these mini blankets offer just the right amount of cover while staying fashionable. Get them monogrammed — the modest fee will have your guests giving you extra credit.
3. Use pillow slipcovers to change a room’s color and texture. Pillows and pillow covers can provide you with double the pleasure and double the decor. For example, during the holidays I prefer to keep the pillows more subdued so as to not fight visually with all the colors of holiday decor, so a neutral, solid slipcover is a perfect way. But after the holidays you can dare to go bold by removing the covers. I prefer pillows that are never overstuffed and stiff. They are a terrific way to experiment with colors and textures without a big commitment to the overall budget of a room. With so many off-price retail stores available, your dollar goes a long way in this category. A good, natural-fiber cover, however, can be more of a bite to the budget, but if you go with a safe earth-tone color you can use the slipcovers again and again to disguise any unflattering pillow — like ones that may have been a gift or perhaps a design mistake. I love to use slipcovers when I want to go with a cleaner pallet for a season, and I also love how removing them allows me a quick way to give a fresh new feel to a room.
4. Use hurricanes and lanterns to brighten spaces. No matter what holiday you celebrate, lights play a decorative and sentimental role; replacing holiday lights with lanterns and hurricanes is a MARvelous way to create a post-holiday ambiance — and can even be romantic. The glass offers reflection and the candles offer a soft light that makes us all look younger. Try a collection grouped on a fireplace mantel or buffet for the best impact and results. A sMARt tip: Rather than anchor the candlesticks with wax, fill the bases with coffee beans for something aromatic and visually interesting. Other pantry items to try are beans, nuts and even Jelly Beans for a splash of color.
5. Decorate with friendly faces. I love to have my photo was taken and love to take pictures of friends and family throughout the season, but I rarely have them framed. I know that when I get a new framed photo as a gift I cherish it and want to proudly display them. And if you’re like me, not soon after the holidays you begin to miss the people who you celebrated with. So give yourself a gift of smiles! Consider a collection of updated and beautifully framed photos: Pets, friends and family members can cheer you out of the winter blues and take you back to that fun place and time. Now is the best time of year to refresh your photo gallery with more recent snaps because you likely just took many and have several great ones at hand. A sMARt tip: You can even choose to do this more often, changing them out for each season, but keep the previous photos tucked behind in the frames for easy switch outs.
6. Add functional wicker accents. Wicker is making a big comeback and you’re hearing it from me first. A rustic, well-worn, wicker piece provides interest and a natural elegance to any overall home decor. Get a fabulous wicker basket to collect your firewood. Rest your feet on a pliable wicker footstool. Or consider a wicker tray on a coffee table. Discover an old wicker chair when shopping for that new side chair. In a bathroom, a hallway or even in a corner, the classic wicker chair will always invite you to sit and relax — knowing you’re on one of Mother Nature’s best resources you might even stay a while.
So this winter, grab that throw, sit back on a bright cushion in the lantern’s glow, put your feet up on the wicker ottoman, and peruse through a collection of garden books while fresh family photos smile back at you — you will be surprised at how perfectly delightful the winter months can be, making it that much easier when waiting for MARch!
And there you have it.