Yesterday I finished that saddest of tasks: taking down the Christmas decorations and packing them away for another year. It always leaves the house looking bare, and there are still a couple of months of winter to endure before the first glimmer of spring appears. But January is also a wonderful opportunity for breathing some fresh life into a home, so here are a few simple changes that can make a big difference…
Ramp up the cosiness
The Danes have cosiness nailed with the idea of hygge, which roughly translates as the happy feeling you get from good surroundings and good company. It’s a lovely concept at any time of year, but never more so than during these bleak weeks. You can translate it into the home by adding lots of snuggly textures to create a warm, welcoming atmosphere – woollen blankets on sofas, soft rugs underfoot, fluffy sheepskins draped over chairs, tactile linen on beds.
Think about fragrance
Lighting a scented candle instantly creates a certain mood. To mark the new year, I tend to move away from heady festive fragrances towards scents that are uplifting but still retain a hint of winter cosiness. The ‘Hygge’ and ‘Koto’ candles by Skandinavisk and P.F Candle’s amber and moss version (available from my shop) are perfect.
Add plants and flowers
Dotting houseplants and flowers around your home is a simple way to freshen the air and bring a bit of the outdoors in. My favourites at this time of year are bunches of snowdrops and ranunculus in glass jars, and pots of early-blooming hyacinth and paper-white bulbs. If you want more ideas for seasonal flower arrangements, Emma from beautiful blog A Quiet Style does a monthly step-by-step tutorial with florist Wild Rubus.
Maximise natural light
Counter dark winter days by bringing in as much natural light as possible. Introduce pale colours, position mirrors to bounce light around, and try swapping heavy curtains for semi-sheer drapes in rooms where you don’t need full darkness for sleeping.
Declutter and rearrange
The start of a new year is the perfect time to declutter, rearrange your furniture and play around with different layouts. Rooms seem so much bigger once the decorations come down and you’ll see your space with fresh eyes, so have a good old clear out and then look at how you could reposition items. For me, the key is creating a look that’s simple and liveable – a tranquil sanctuary for the cold months ahead.
How about you? Do you have any tips for brightening your home at this time of year?