Lifestyle » Volume 49

Winter decorating after the holidays

By Jennifer Russo

After all the presents are unwrapped and the holidays wrap up, we still have three months of winter. You may not want to keep the holiday décor up until spring, because, frankly, it gets a little tacky after New Year’s. At the same time, you may not be quite ready to go back to your usual look. Let’s compromise.

There are many ways you can maintain a festive décor while saying farewell to all of the ornaments, Santa figurines, bells and the like. Why not celebrate the winter season itself with some blues, whites and silvers and a bunch of natural elements? Even if, like me, you aren’t a big fan of the cold, you must admit that it is really beautiful out there. Consider bringing the outdoors in.

There is something wonderful about pine trees. Unlike their oak and maple counterparts, they withstand the ice and snow with ease. They remain a reminder of the green that will once again grace us when the weather warms up again. They also make a wonderful decorating tool. Pine cones are festive during the holidays and after. Keep them natural, bleach them or spray them white and put them in clear vases or bowls and place them on coffee or dining tables and mantles. Do the same with branches for an instantly elegant winter look in any room. Placing some white birch tree branches or logs in a basket near the fireplace or on the porch is a simple way to hint at warmth. Acorns and holly are also beautiful elements.

One of the interior decorating trends this season is bringing in statement pieces inspired by our forest creatures. Antlers are popular right now and easy to find. They make great wall art and tablescape centers. Other creatures that fit the bill? Cardinals and blue jays. These beautiful feathered friends add a wonderful pop of color in any place you choose.

Bring in the feeling of fun with winter sport-inspired décor. Antique sleds and snowshoes, ice skates and skis make wonderful statements on a porch or in a mudroom.

Winter clothing
Knit mittens, hats and sweaters can be used to make decorations. Have some old ones you don’t use anymore? Cut the sleeves off an old cable-knit sweater and fit them over vases or hang a pair of old mittens on the door and fill them with pine.

Just say the word
At any craft store, you can find letters of all sizes and colors. Some are made of wood, some are plastic and some are cardboard. Why not get the letters of the word WINTER or SNOW and use them in your décor? They can be left as is, painted or embellished and will look lovely above the fireplace, atop the piano, on the stairway or on a bookshelf.

Snow and ice
Instantly make almost anything a piece of winter décor with spray-on snow or by using spray adhesive and shaking some glitter on cranberries, candlesticks, candles, vases, wooden craft pieces, wreaths … anything goes.

White frames/wintery scenes
For a really simple way to decorate a shelf, purchase several white frames in varying sizes. Fill the frames with pretty scrapbook paper, flat snowflake ornaments or paper doilies, or print some wintery scenes at home. Arrange them anywhere for a quick winter nod.

Mason jar crafts
Mason jars are one of the most versatile craft elements out there. An easy trick? Get a few mason jars and a spool of wide lace ribbon in white. Glue a strip of ribbon around the middle of the mason jar and place a candle or tea light in it.

Spice it up
Cinnamon sticks are a great decorating tool, as well. They can be melted into the sides of white pillar candles for an easy look, placed in flat glass bowls or put in clear vases. And they smell wonderful!

Hot chocolate bar
Have a little rolling cart or a buffet in your home? Make it a functioning hot chocolate bar for the season. Fill glass-topped candy jars with mini-marshmallows; hot chocolate mix; mint candies; white, dark and peanut butter chocolate chips; and anything else you think works and display them with a few white mugs. When the craving strikes or you have company, boil some hot water and it’s ready to go.

Throw pillows and blankets
Never underestimate the power that a few pillows can have on a room. By swapping out your usual pillows with more seasonal choices, you can change the entire look of your space.

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