With the flurry of festivities coming to a close, there’s no denying that hibernation season is upon us. We’re retreating, regrouping and celebrating everything that’s wonderful about the rest of winter – starting with a much-needed home refresh.
We’re not suggesting you leave the tree up beyond twelfth night, but there are a few versatile – and far less controversial – Christmas fixtures that it seems a shame to pack away so soon. Here’s what to save from the attic.
Fairy lights: There’s nothing quite like the twinkling glow of string lights to set a mood - they’re a hygge favourite for good reason. Take them off the tree and wind inside a lantern, instead.
Candles: Evocative scents like gingerbread and pine might be passé come the 26th, but we’re not sold on the idea that warming winter notes like fig, ginger and cedarwood are just for Christmas.
Foliage: Minus the red berries and pinecones, winter foliage has appeal beyond the festive period. Remove the baubles from a garland or breathe new life into a wreath with silk flowers and feathers.
For the rest, take a few extra minutes on some simple storage ideas. Seal baubles in sandwich bags, wind extra Christmas lights around a coat hanger and label as much as you can - your future self will thank you come next year.
It’s so easy to see that pile of presents as clutter, but don’t lose sight of the thought and effort behind each one. If you’re struggling to find space, it might be time to think outside the box.
Books: Shelf fit to burst? Stack your most interesting hardbacks on a sideboard or mantelpiece, store in the dead space under a bed, invest in a magazine rack - or simply give your well-thumbed reads to a charity shop.
Food: Organise these according by sell by date. Scoff the handmade gifts first – they mean the most (and won’t last). Next up are biscuits, followed by sealed jams and chutneys. Chocolate is at its best for up to 12 months.
Cookware: Remove kitchen electricals from the boxes to save space, and consider displaying the aesthetically pleasing presents on an open shelf – that’s tonal dinnerware, wooden boards and marble accessories.
If all else fails, it might be time to invest in smarter storage. Sets of boxes will stack, whilst fabric bags and baskets can flex to fit in tricky corners. Don’t dismiss design - metallic, mock croc and more eye-pleasing options are less likely to impose on your scheme.
Once you’ve restored some order and reset the scene to something resembling life pre-Christmas, it’s time for a refresh. It’s all about creating a cosy space to inhabit as those wonderfully lazy weekends stretch out in front of you.
Colour: Nothing creates visual calm like commitment to one or two key colours. Forget blue’s melancholy connotations – soothing tones like denim drift are still going strong. Keep your eye on sage green, too – it’s the new grey.
Texture: Chunky knits, faux fur and velvet finishes are all hygge hits, but wood and rustic textures are key too. Don’t resist the urge to camp out in that cashmere jumper for the foreseeable future – it’s what the colder months were made for.
Lighting: Good lighting has year-round appeal, but matters most in winter. Switch the overhead light off and look to the pools of light cast by table and floor lamps for warmth – layering your lighting will de-age your space in no time.
Take time to enjoy your newly decluttered den, too. Long brunches involving bucks fizz might be behind us, but breakfast in bed is a simple joy that can be as easy or extravagant as you like.
We get it. Christmas is over, the cold weather is very much not and it’s no longer acceptable to consume your weight in Terry’s chocolate orange – it’s easy to feel less than enthused about January. But here’s why it’s not all bad.
Longer days: The shortest day is past us, and whilst summer isn’t exactly just around the corner, if you’re more ‘spring fling’ than ‘Christmas crazy’, you’re on the home stretch.
Slow living: With all three work Christmas parties out of the way, weekends are officially your own again. The sales are on too – and it’s never been easier to indulge from your sofa.
A clean slate: Feeling guilty about festive over-indulgence? That’s no fun. Consider this your opportunity to reset your intentions, even if you can’t reset the scale. And who doesn’t love investing in a new diary?
There’s plenty more occasions to look forward to in the first half of the year. Valentine’s Day, spring weddings and a particularly early Easter are practically on our doorstep.