Once our festive decor is carefully packed and put away, the holidays have officially come to an end. It’s always a little bittersweet to shut the storage room door on the holiday season till next year, especially when that also means saying goodbye to long-distance loved ones who were visiting, and slowly getting back into our busy routines. That said, I admit I love looking around our clean, tidied house once everything is back to normal. With our familiar pieces in their dedicated places, a little extra floor and mantel space, and winter light streaming through the window, the feeling of our home right now matches where my head and heart are: grateful for a moment to breathe and reset while eagerly anticipating the exciting promises of the new year. If you’re struggling to hold on to joy this month, I suggest taking your post-holiday clean-up one step further. Instead of simply packing away all of those special, meaningful items and feeling like your home is boring or empty as a result, make the effort to give your space a true refresh. Especially in winter, loving your home and feeling comfortable and relaxed there is so important. Here are a few of my steps and suggestions for a winter home refresh that will make this season a little more rejuvenating–the perfect way to start the year.
Do a deep clean.
Rotating house guests, frequent entertaining, and busy schedules can do a number on home upkeep, so get the year started on a squeaky clean note. Hire an expert cleaning service, or stock up on effective, non-toxic cleaning products and supplies before tackling the job over a weekend. A few more to-dos: take guest room comforters or duvets to the dry cleaners, add a half-cup of distilled white vinegar to your washing machine when laundering towels to make them feel like brand new, and restock household items you may be running low on after the holiday season. Even if this is the only step you take in refreshing your home, I promise you’ll feel more ready to embrace the new year because of it!
Bring in greenery.
I’ve read about a handful of benefits that come from keeping plants in your home, from the ways they help filter pollutants to the moisture they add to the air (especially important during winter when the heater is on), but my biggest reason for wanting to be surrounded by plants year round? They simply make me happy. In the spring, summer, and fall, I always have fresh flowers around the house, but in winter when my favorite blooms are pricier and harder to find, I browse Terrain and other sites for a curated selection of potted flowers and plants. I also keep an eye out for beautiful, interesting greenery (plus beautiful planters and containers to keep them in) at local garden stores.
Set out throw blankets and pillows in fresh, neutral colors.
We still have a few months of needing plenty of pillows and blankets around the house to cozy up in, but when they come in fresh, neutral colors, even the heaviest pieces contribute to a room looking light and airy. I gravitate toward options with beautiful textures and details, like cable knit, linen, and perfectly placed tassels. Be sure to keep the fabrics of your living room furniture in mind when shopping for pillows and throw blankets–a thoughtful mix of textures always looks the most interesting and inviting.
Upgrade your bed and bath linens.
Many home linens are on sale in January, so it’s an ideal time to stock up on new items or upgrade your existing sets. We keep crisp white bedding on the beds in our Charleston house, since patterns play starring roles elsewhere in the rooms, but if your bedroom (or a guest bedroom in your home) is on the simpler side, add a touch of print through a beautiful sheet set. And can you ever have too many bath towels? My favorites are made of 100% Turkish cotton, like these ones from Serena & Lily. I like to have plenty of full sets of white towels on hand for us and guests, along with a few darker colored hand towels and washcloths for removing face masks and washing my hands after putting on makeup.