I happen to love January (it is my birthday month, which helps!), but I know that a lot of people suffer from the dreaded January blues. Particularly a week or two in, once the shine has rubbed off the New Year and it stops feeling so brand new and more just kind of back to the same-old, same-old. I reckon one of the biggest issues is unpacking and dismantling Christmas bit by bit throughout our homes. Once the Christmas decs have come down and been boxed away for another year it can feel a little flat, joyless and well, undecorated.
Never fear, because I have the decorating remedy. Here’s what you can do to fill the Christmas-shaped gaps in your pad (and your life!), as well as some ideas on how you can make the decs last all year round.
Mantels and wreaths
Easy one this, as I must admit I leave my wreath up all year round! At Christmas it got an extra festive smattering of fairylights, but otherwise it’s a permanent fixture for me. And why not? If you love something you can keep it up all year round (assuming it’s faux and will last of course). If you can’t bear to pack your wreath away yet, just move it indoors and hang above the mantel. Your pad, your rules.
Chucking out the Christmas tree always seems particularly brutal – it leaves a honking great space where it used to be, and is the surest sign of all that the festive period is well and truly over. Before you mope too much, or immediately shift all the furniture back around to fill the gap, take a good look at that spot. Why not introduce a statement-making tree or giant houseplant there all year round?
My suggestion this year is to swap your Christmas tree for a banana tree! Yep it sounds radical and you might think I’m losing the plot, but bear with me here. How much happier, cooler and generally livelier does your room feel with the tree in it? About 250% I reckon, which is why I’m so obsessed with decorating with plants.
Ever since I launched my own-label collection two years ago, a corner of my living room has sprouted a huge array of faux cacti, oversized succulents, leafy ferns and our giant banana tree. (On that by the way – they’ve been massively popular so sold out at the mo, but we will be restocking them later on this season. Keep an eye out!). My plant collection has made the hugest difference to the space, and actually inspired a whole makeover of that space. I think the important thing is go big, bold and tall here. This is no time for shrinking violets – a giant cactus or fern plant should do the trick!
During the holidays I love nothing more than to go overboard with flickering candles and t-lights, drape fairylights everywhere and hunker down of an evening in front of a roaring fire. There’s no reason not to embrace this amazingly snuggly, “hyggelig” vibe all year round, so please don’t pack away all your lights. Obviously if you’ve got giant neon Santa and reindeer in your garden (hey no judgement!) this might be the time to retire them until next year. But some beautiful copper string lights twined round the staircase, draped over the mantel or adding subtle glimmer to the hallway can be magical all year round. You’d be surprised how much of a difference it makes to the space. My favourite trick is to drape a string of them over an outsize mirror, to double the twinkle!
The finishing touches
My other antidote to Christmas blues is to light a scented candle and to keep up my dusk time ritual of going round lighting t-lights. I dot them all around the place in a collection of old jars, dainty little bud vase and metallic t-light holders. Just magical. Keep a vase full of Christmassy foliage, such as eucalyptus, olive branches, or even fir and pine branches from the tree! I use foliage (real or faux) as a statement-worthy centre piece on my dining table all year round. Feeling better about January already!