Expert tips for brightening the house once the decorations have come down

So here we are, January 5th 2016. The 12th day of Christmas, and traditionally the day when decorations should come down, marking the end of the festive period (gulp…is it no longer acceptable to eat our weight in chocolate?) and the beginning of a fresh new year.   

After several weeks of fairy lights illuminating every corner of the home, pretty tinsel and treasured knick-knacks creating a warm and cosy feel, the home can feel a little bare once all of the decorations are safely packed up and hidden in the loft for another year. So what do you do once the sparkle comes down, and the turkey is well and truly finished? With a new year comes new beginnings – so why not extend this to your home, too. Forget waiting until Spring for an annual freshen-up – we’ve asked a few of our favourite industry insiders for their expert tips on brightening the home for January. From editors to bloggers, interior designers to stylists, check out the full list of helpful hints and tips below and make the most of the mayhem for creating a bright and fresh home for the year to come.

Here’s what they had to say…

David White & Mark Russell – Forward Features Bloggers

“When the decorations come down it can feel quite bare. When packing away and boxing up the decs, put the tree lights to one side. Fairy lights can be an all year round addition to the home and can be used in a variety of exciting ways. Bunching within a glass globe or decorative bowl is a great way to create an alternative focal point in the room, filling a space where the festive decorations have been. However, we’d recommend entwining around a bed frame for a more soothing way to sleep away the January blues.”

Top Tip: 'Fairy lights can be used all year round' via @forwardfeatures Click To Tweet

Alison Davidson – Homes Editor of Women & Home 

“The house feels so drab when the decs come down, so how about creating a wall of art?  Choose 6 or 8 of the same frames and fill them with colourful prints or photographs then arrange in a block on the wall. It will add colour and be a great talking point.”

Top Tip: 'Choose 6 or 8 of the same frames and fill them' via @womanandhome Click To Tweet

Jo Bailey – Freelance stylist

“Fairy lights don’t have to be in the home just for Christmas. Why not wrap them around your frames to make your walls a focal point or perhaps fill a large bell jar or bowl with lights to brighten up your January!”

Top Tip: 'Fairy lights don’t have to be in the home just for Christmas' via @jobaileystudio Click To Tweet

Ruth Garner – Interiors Blogger of Gathered Cheer

“Once all the decorations are down it’s the perfect chance to have a good clean and a decor refresh. While dusting and hoovering isn’t the most fun task, it will clear the decks for the new year and bring a lovely sense of calm to your home. At the same time consider moving ornaments, photos and other home accessories around too – this will make things feel fresh for the new year.”

Top Tip: 'Consider moving ornaments, photos and other home accessories around' via @ruthlgarner Click To Tweet

Ciara Elliot – Editor of Essential Kitchens Bedrooms Bathrooms

“Now that all of the colour and flashiness is gone (boo!), it’s time to make your home a calm winter haven for January and February. Banish the tack, have a big spring clean and then cosy up with candlelight, roaring fires, good books and your favourite music. Also lots of task lighting are good – think  cosy reading corners, over pictures and in the hallway. Enjoy!”

Top Tip: 'Banish the tack, have a big spring clean and then cosy up' via @ciaraell Click To Tweet

Kiran Singh – Editor of My Unique Home

“The last days of winter tend to have an emotional resemblance to the layers of dust peeking out from behind your furniture. While the mood of winter calls for quiet colours like calming browns and cool blues, spring screams for colour! Bright pastels and lively shades of red and orange bring life to a dormant room, so before yard work comes calling, it’s time to get down to business and brighten up your rooms in the spirit of spring. Softer colours and fresh flowers can help bring the warm weather and soothing scents of spring into your home.”

Top Tip: 'Bright pastels and lively shades of red and orange bring life to a dormant room' via @kiransingh Click To Tweet

Cate St Hill – Interiors Blogger of Cate.St.Hill

“Once the Christmas decorations are down, everything seems a bit bare, sad and a little bit unloved. Even just by rearranging some shelves and clearing out some clutter, you can create a new perspective and begin to see things differently. Try adding colour with flowers and plants, or creating a cosy atmosphere with blankets bundled into baskets”

Top Tip: 'Try adding colour with flowers and plants, or creating a cosy atmosphere with blankets' via @catesthill Click To Tweet

Carole King – Dear Designer Blogger

“My top tip for January is to fill the house with potted bulbs. They look so pretty in bowls, teacups, baskets or whatever you have to hand and that fits in with your decorative scheme. Not only that, they fill the house with scent and colour, and they remind us that spring is just around the corner.”

Top Tip: 'My top tip for January is to fill the house with potted bulbs' via @deardesigners Click To Tweet

Stacey Sheppard – The Design Sheppard Blogger

“A recent survey of UK residents found that Christmas lights are by far the most popular Christmas decorations and I would have to agree. They give our homes a cosy, warm feeling over the festive period and once they get taken down in January they can leave our interiors feeling somewhat gloomy and underwhelming. But if we love Christmas lights so much why take them down? There are countless ways to incorporate fairy lights into our interior schemes from draping them over shelves, and hanging them around mirrors to filling jars, vases or bowls with them. Fairy lights are a sure fire way to keep your home feeling magical long after the festivities are over.”

Top Tip: 'Fairy lights are a sure fire way to keep your home feeling magical' via @StaceyJSheppard Click To Tweet

Mike Ahérn – Brit Décor Blogger

“As the final Christmas decoration is safely packed away for another year, I like to turn-up the colour dial in January to compensate for the lack of Festive cheer. Whereas in December it’s easier to let the trimmings do all the talking, in January I will introduce new and uplifting flashes of colour into our home with quick & easy updates such as a bold & beautiful cushion, or a vibrant print. I also like to create a contrast with the rather bare outdoors by introducing new houseplants and fresh flowers so I can at least pretend that Spring has arrived early, plus the scent is delicious!”

Top Tip: 'Introduce new and uplifting flashes of colour...such as a bold & beautiful cushions' via @mikeahern_ Click To Tweet

Tiffany Grant-Riley – Curate & Display Blogger

“I’m a big advocate of decluttering regularly – I’m not talking about living in an empty house, rather getting rid of items you absolutely do not need, use or love any more. Donate, recycle, gift them. The feeling of space you get once you’ve had a clear out will set you up to tackle whatever comes your way in the new year and you might rediscover some of the things you never knew you had.”

Top Tip: 'Donate, recycle, gift them...you might rediscover something you never knew you had' via @CurateDisplay Click To Tweet

Laurie Davidson – Homes Editor @ Style at home

“My top tip for bringing life back into the home for the new year is colour – have a total refresh, whether it’s painting the walls, adding artwork, or simply buying a colourful new lamp or cushion. It’s easy to feel the walls look dull after all the glitz and festivities are over, but adding a new colour can help it feel updated and new. Go for something different to bring you into the new year – blush pink is the Pantone colour of 2016, so why not try a feature wall or a few affordable accessories to give your home a treat?”

Top Tip: 'For bringing life back in the home for the new year is colour' via @Lauriellabella Click To Tweet

Lori Taylor Arnold – Lifestyle blogger ‘Wild & Grizzly’

“Use coloured felt ball garlands over picture frames to add a special touch to bare walls.”

Top Tip: 'Use coloured felt ball garlands over picture frames to add a special touch' via @wildandgrizzly Click To Tweet

Monica Welburn – Blogger – The Elgin Avenue

“After Christmas our flat can feel chaotic; between the people and parties it’s turned on its head by the time January rolls round! In order to regain some semblance of normality, I like to make a day of taking down our decorations, storing them neatly (and labelled!) away for next year, and giving the flat a really good spring clean. I actually look forward to that day as I love having a ‘clean slate feeling’.  I then fill our home with things which bring us joy – fresh flowers, cosy throws over the sofa, perfumed candles – all the little elements which make for a welcoming home come January. Oh and my Birthday is in January, so I never really dread it anyway!”

Top Tip: 'Fresh flowers, cosy throws over the sofa, perfumed candles' via @monicabeatrice Click To Tweet

Abi Dare – Blogger – These Four Walls

“Rooms often look so bare once the Christmas decorations come down, but there are still several months of winter to get through so I tend to ramp up the cosiness with candles, snuggly blankets to curl under, and perhaps even a sheepskin draped over a chair. I also dot lots of plants and seasonal flowers around to breathe a bit of new-year freshness into the house – small bunches of snowdrops and pots of blooming hyacinths look fantastic at this time of year.
And, strange as it may sound, taking down the Christmas tree is a great opportunity to rearrange your furniture. You’ll see the space with fresh eyes and can play around with repositioning chairs, tables and pictures to create a new look for the new year.”

Top Tip: 'Taking down the Christmas tree is a great opportunity to rearrange your furniture' via @these4wallsblog Click To Tweet

Cassie Pryce – Deputy Homes Editor – Style at Home

“Even though the festivities are over, continue to light your home with candles for a cosy feel and to replace the glow of Christmas fairy lights.”

Top Tip: 'Light your home with candles for a cosy feel and to replace the glow of fairy lights' via @cassiepryce Click To Tweet

 Michela Colling – Style Editor at Ideal Home

“As alternative to framed wall art, go for a Seventies boho vibe with a macrame wall hanging (you could take up the challenge to learn the craft in 2016!) Or why not give yourself a lift each morning with a motivational message on a wall flag or pennant”

Top Tip: 'Give yourself a lift each morning with a motivational message' via @homeshoppingspy Click To Tweet

Lou Archell – Lifestyle & travel writer / Blogger – Little Green Shed

“When I take down our Christmas decorations, part of me feels slightly sad that Christmas is over, but mostly I love the chance to clear the decks.  Once the house is clean and clear, I love to put a large house plant or a vase of bright blooms in the space where the tree was, to fill the ‘gap’ that was left behind.”

Top Tip: 'I love to put a large house plant or a vase of blooms in the space where the tree was' via @littlegreenshed Click To Tweet

Hege Morris – Blogger – Hege in France

“After Christmas your home can feel empty and bare, add accessories like throws, cushions and scented candles.”

Top Tip: 'Your home can feel empty and bare, add accessories like throws and scented candles' via @hegeinfrance Click To Tweet

Teri – Blogger – The Lovely Drawer

“January is usually the point in the year when I think about a bit of an overhaul or at least a refresh. This usually starts with a huge clear out and my first port of call is to buy a whole bundle of new plants to freshen everything up and give each room some life. It helps to give a lift in a dark and somewhat dull month.”

Top Tip: 'Buy new plants to freshen everything up and give each room some life' via @thelovelydrawer Click To Tweet

Lucy Gough – Interiors Stylist 

“If you fancy yourself as the handy type around the house then one thing you could do is get out the saw and cut your Xmas tree base into small slices about 2cm thick. You can use them as coasters or placemats  for the rest of the winter season!”

Top Tip: 'Get out the saw and cut your Xmas tree base into small slices about 2cm thick' via @style_by_lucy Click To Tweet

Emily Dawe – Home Editor – Woman’s Weekly

“Choosing white bed linen means you can have fun by adding pops of colour with cushions and throws. Create a lovely welcome for your guests – fill a medium sized wicker basket with towels, soap, slippers, face and body cream and even a scented candle, and make their stay even more special.”

Top Tip: 'Fill a medium sized wicker basket with towels, soap, slippers, face and body cream' via @embolina12 Click To Tweet

Helen Powell – Blogger – Design Hunter

“My tip is to brighten the home up with bulbs and early Spring flowers throughout the month of January. Many of my favourite flowers are in season at this time of year, including hyacinths, paperwhites, narcissi, snowdrops, anemones and tulips. Grown indoors in pots or arranged as cut flowers in a simple jug or vase they help remind me that Spring is just around the corner.”

Top Tip: 'Cut flowers in a simple jug help remind me that Spring is just around the corner' via @designhunter_uk Click To Tweet

Emma Morton-Turner – Interior Stylist & Writer

“Give your bathroom or cloakroom a new look with brightly coloured vases. Buy a selection of shapes and sizes from charity shops then give them a new colour with spray paint. Go for bold colours or metallics- gold always looks great. Small designs work really well for this look and fit onto the tiniest of window sills.”

Top Tip: 'Give your bathroom or cloakroom a new look with brightly coloured vases' via @emmamortont Click To Tweet

 Gabriella Palumbo – Interior designer & blogger – Flat 15

“Once the holiday decorations are down, I like to keep my space feeling fresh, bright and airy to help beat the winter blues in the months of January and February.  Adding natural decorative elements like green plants or pops of color through simple florals are my favorite way to bring in some freshness, vibrance and cheer.”

Top Tip: 'Adding natural decorative elements like green plants or pops of color' via @flatfifteen Click To Tweet

Deborah Gordon – Blogger – Ollie & Seb’s Haus 

“Once the tree comes down and all the decorations are boxed up, I love the feeling of creating a new look with the empty space.  It gives me the chance to look at the space and really play around by moving furniture or even small decorative bits.  I always make sure to have all my candles out, so I can still have the twinkle from a lit candle on a cold winter night”

Top Tip: 'Really play around by moving furniture or even small decorative bits' via @apieceofcake82 Click To Tweet

Laurie Prescott – Blogger – Bell & Smokey

“I always feel like my home looks a bit flat and empty when I take the Christmas decorations down. For me, the perfect antidote is new house plants – they add colour, life and a reminder that Spring is just around the corner!  A selection of succulents will add an instant pop of greenery, or for a real statement put a fig tree where the Christmas tree was”

Top Tip: 'The perfect antidote is new house plants – they add colour and life' via @bellandsmokey Click To Tweet

Sophie Bush – Editor of My Warehouse Home

“With the baubles packed away and the days once again growing longer, consider bringing fresh spring colours into your interiors schemes. Dusty pink will be a popular colour for 2016 – and it’s a Warehouse Home favourite. The muted pink shade is ideal for a bedroom and works particularly well pared with burnished metals and vintage finds for a soft industrial scheme. Add touches of copper for a more sophisticated, luxe look.” 

Top Tip: 'Dusty pink will be a popular colour for 2016 - and it's a Warehouse Home favourite' via @mywarehousehome Click To Tweet

Do you have any other tips, then get in touch! ​

 

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