Nine Tips to Transition Your Holiday Decor to Winter in the Pre-Spring Lull

I’ll be honest. Decorating (or un-decorating) after the holidays isn’t something I’ve paid much attention to in the past. For me, it’s all about minimizing, purging, getting organized, and giving your eyes a break from all the “stuff”. Surprisingly, as soon as we had cleaned the last of the wrapping paper remnants off the floor, I received several emails requesting for a post on how to decorate post-Christmas but before the warm weather hits. I even had a couple of requests for an after-Christmas home tour. And well, while I didn’t set out to do that, I guess that’s pretty much what today’s post became haha. In the midst of taking inventory and chronicling the current “moments” throughout our house, I ended with nine tips to transition your holiday decor to winter and basically a mini tour of our entire main floor.

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The thing I love most about getting our home back in shape after the holiday craziness is that it isn’t necessarily about adding more, but simplifying what you have. The challenge is being able to keep that cozy factor without making your surroundings too stark in the process. I’m sharing nine easy ways to do just that.

PRE-PLAN YOUR CHRISTMAS DECOR TO TRANSITION TO WINTER

This may fall into the “bookmark-for-next-year” category but most of my holiday decor isn’t necessarily holiday specific; it lends itself more to the entire winter season. Our front door wreath is super simple and while I consider it our “Christmas wreath”, the truth is, it’s also our “winter wreath”. We could add a bow for the holidays, but we don’t; instead, we just have it lit with twinkle lights through Christmas and then “retire” them through the rest of the season. The mix of greenery works for Christmas but will also fit in until we are ready to sub it out for the spring wreath. The more ornate (with ornaments, bells, etc.) your wreath is, the more difficult it will be to pull off. But, if it’s a matter of removing some ribbon, you may already have the perfect winter door embellishment and just don’t know it. If you are looking to up your Christmas/winter arsenal for future holidays, think about pieces that may work even after the Christmas-specific decor has been taken down.

Eucalyptus and green leafy winter wreath to transition after the holidays

INVEST IN VERSATILE, ALL-SEASON DECOR THAT’S EASY TO CUSTOMIZE

Similar to the first tip, I don’t go too crazy with Christmas-specific decor. I talked about this some in my Christmas Home Tour (HERE) but I prefer to use all-season decor and add holiday touches. 1. It saves storage space. 2. It keeps seasonal decor more affordable. 3. You don’t have to re-decorate your entire home once the season has ended; you just make a few alterations. Think of the bowls, vases, urns, baskets, etc. in your home. Adding to them for the holidays and then removing the additions is way easier than bringing in an army of Santas, teams of reindeer, etc. The Christmas tree set-up and garland is tough and time/labor intensive enough.

One of my favorite pieces I use in each season is this lantern – a gift from my Aunt Susan. During Christmas, I had a candle, additional silver pinecones, and snow. I left the natural pinecones and subbed the snowy scene for a substantial magnolia stem (more on those in a bit).

Easy lantern styling ideas with pinecones and magnolia leaves


Source: Lantern (similar)


Our bookshelves have only changed slightly; I added some greenery and subbed out the ornament filler in the small box… that’s it! Unless there is some uber special piece, save your splurges for timeless decor that can be used in any season. Y’all may be tired of hearing me say this but – it absolutely pays to lean toward those neutrals in your mainstays 😉

Styling bookshelves with neutral dcor


Sources: White Lidded Vase | Clock | Obelisk (similar) | Texas Foil Art | Georgia Foil Art


DE-CLUTTER AND MINIMIZE

The last thing I want when I am trying to organize is to be distracted by visual clutter. (I keep a few basics on my countertops but for the most part, they stay fairly bare throughout the year.) After Christmas, I don’t want to “decorate” my kitchen; I want it undecorated. And simple. And clean. The only things I want to be in transition are the donations that are getting ready to be sorted into boxes. Ok, and maybe just a little pretty something.

Neutral kitchen decorating ideas with SW Perfect Greige paint, cream cabinets, and dark hardwood floors


Sources: White Tray (similar) | Wooden Bowl (similar)


Having one larger-scale item feels so much better when you are simplifying than a bunch of small knick-knacks. You’ll probably notice that trend throughout most of my rooms.

Neutral decorating ideas for after Christmas and before spring


Sources: Table | Chairs (similar) | Frames | Curtains | Curtain Rod


open home floor plan with winter decor from the kitchen into the living room

Two story living room with big stone fireplace and Versatile Gray painted walls

Two story bow of windows in living room


Sources: Wingback Chairs | Garden Stool | White Ottoman Tray (similar)


DON’T SWITCH OUT THAT FUR AND VELVET JUST YET

Just because the holidays are over doesn’t mean that all the cozy times (fires, cuddles, blankets) suddenly stop. For a lot of us, winter is just getting started 😉 My pillow game is the exact same as it was on Christmas day – furs, velvets, chunky wool – they are all here to stay until springtime. This may be something else to consider if you catch yourself eyeing a bunch of Christmas-specific pillows. If you stick more to the universal heavy fabrics, there’s no need to do a pillow overhaul just yet.

Fur pillows for winter sofa decor

Wingback chair in the living room with velvet pillow for winter

Living room furniture placement with sitting nook

Crating a sitting nook with a pair of wingback chairs in the living room

USE HEARTY GREEN STEMS FOR IMPACTFUL FOCAL POINTS

When you don’t want to think about how to accessorize one more thing or style up one more vignette, rest assured that a natural arrangement always looks good. Hearty branches and stems typically last longer than a floral arrangement (think upwards of a few weeks) and heavier leaves like these magnolia stems work perfectly in the winter. If you love the look of these magnolia stems and but don’t have any around to snip your own branches, you can order live stems by the pound (HERE) for under $25. They are said to dry naturally and last for up to a year!

Winter kitchen island decorating ideas for after the holidays

Warning… I went a little overboard; I was just really trying to prove my point 😉 Haha- actually, I went nuts trimming and didn’t want any of these pretties to go to waste.

Coffee table decor with one magnolia leaf arrangement centerpiece

This is why I have 29830 vessels. I can always find a use for them all over my home.

How to use magnolia leaves in a centerpiece in home decor

Console table styling ideas with lamps and vases

Breakfast nook design ideas with round glass table

BRING IN SOME HOUSE PLANTS FOR A LITTLE LIFE

Just because the Christmas trees have been taken down for the year doesn’t mean you can’t have fresh greens. Actually, bringing in a few house plants will help warm up your home more than anything else.

Snake plant in basket for winter houseplant decorating ideas

I used to think I wasn’t a house plant person- that I would ultimately kill anything that made its way into our home. (Dave has the green thumb of the family). But, after keeping a small peace lily alive for (going on) three years, I brought a snake plant into our bedroom this past fall. Those babies are SO easy to care for – just put it next to sunlight and give it a small amount of water every couple of weeks. Seriously. That guy has been thriving for a few months now so I decided to get two more (because again- they are SO easy!)

Easy houseplants to keep alive- snake plants

 

They are also known to be good air purifiers. I basket-ed (is that a word?) a dark green variety in the great room and a yellow/green variety in the sitting room.

Mother in Law Tounge houseplant in basket for winter decor

And, per Dave’s request, we also brought in a rubber plant. The substantial leaves remind me of large magnolia leaves – perfect for anytime but especially winter.

Rubber plant in basket for winter houseplant ideas

MIX IN JUST A TOUCH OF SPRING 

Friends, I think I went two months without any fresh flowers (what?!) Now that things are pared down and there’s more surface space, I can enjoy the simplicity of a few blooms without the distraction of all the glitter and sparkle-ies (ok, I know I’m making up words now haha).

Styling wingback chairs for winter in the living room

I mixed in a few lilies with my magnolia leaves (which totally make them resemble magnolia blossoms).

Lily bloom with green magnolia leaves mixed in

And I married some natural pine cones and moss in vessels all over the house. I use pinecones in the fall, add some white/silver pinecones to the natural at Christmas, and use moss during spring and summer. The two together make the perfect little transitional pairing.

Apothecary jar styling ideas

KEEP EVERYTHING FUNCTIONAL

Sticking with the theme of simplicity, keeping those heavily used winter areas free from obstruction is key for us. This is the time of the season that we build fires in our home most often. I don’t try to get too cute with extras around the fireplace during this time of year- just the functional staples 😉

Stacked stone living room fireplace with two story row of windows

Bunch of magnolia leaves in a clear glass vase

MIX THOSE METALS TO KEEP THINGS WARM

Y’all know I do this year-round without hesitation but mixing metals for a little warmth just seems extra impactful in the winter. I had a few on my table during Christmas, but after I cleared it all, I added some candle holders back in, plus, an entire team of other strays who were going to be/already packed away. All different heights and types from tapered to pillar to votive. You can’t ask for an easier centerpiece.

Elegant blue dining room design with cream chairs and crystal chandelier


Sources: Chandelier | Table (similar) | Chairs (similar) | Sideboard (similar) | Curtains | Mercury Glass Votive Holders| Pillar Candle Holders | Mercury Glass Candle Holders | Taper Candle Holders 


Candle centerpiece on dining room table

Ottoman coffee table decorating ideas

Now that we’ve successfully transitioned our surroundings, I’m almost ready to start bringing on the organization. I have a really fun post coming Thursday (one of my favorites ever; right up there with the Elf on the Shelf 😉 ), and then next week, my pantry overhaul will be going live. In the meantime, you can take a peek at past organization projects in the gallery HERE. If you aren’t already, sign up to receive my email updates at the bottom of this post to make sure you don’t miss a single upcoming project!

9 Tips to Transition Your Holiday Decor to Winter in that Pre-Spring Lull

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39 Comments

  1. 1.9.18

    Great tips Kelley. After putting so many things up before Christmas and then now having to bring them back out, I too have decided to make use of our everyday items next year when planning our holiday decor. Lanterns, bowls, urns, glass vases, etc are all good year round things to have on hand.

    • 1.10.18

      Lauren, it makes it so much easier! Happy New Year!!

      • 3.3.18
        Kristi Wisniewski said:

        Hi! Your home is beautiful! I was wondering where you got your sectional couch! Thank you!!

        • 3.4.18

          Kristi, thank you! It is a Lazboy form the Aspen collection

  2. 1.9.18
    Monica Carolla said:

    Kelly, I really enjoy your posts. Your home is beautiful! Where did your kitchen pendant lights come from and are they still available?
    Thank you,
    Monica

    • 1.10.18

      Hi, Monica! Thank you so much. They actually came from a local lighting place in Georgia (Progressive Lighting); I am not sure- they are actually intended for outdoor use haha

  3. 1.9.18
    Gretchen Thomas (Nan) said:

    This was such a great tour and tips! You are set until Spring. I must put the snake plant (aka mother in law tongue) on my procurement list. Love the vessels of magnolias, too!

    • 1.10.18

      Nan, we are two peas and I am so glad we had our “conference call” that morning 😉

  4. 1.10.18
    Marcie Stell said:

    Your home is beautiful! Thank you for sharing your gorgeously decorated rooms, and for the winter decorating tips. I heartily agree with all of them, and incorporate some of them in my own home. Keep the beauty coming!

    • 1.10.18

      Hi, Marcie! Thank you so much. Wishing you all the best in 2018!

  5. 1.10.18
    Karrie Dubeck said:

    Thank you for these wonderful tips! It has always been difficult for me to decorate in the months of January and February. Also, your pictures are always so clear and beautiful! What kind of camera do you use? Thanks again!

  6. 1.10.18
    Shelly said:

    Hey Kelly, I was out at the shops today looking to bring some plants into my home and follow your gorgeous example… But while I was out I heard that snake plants are poisonous to dogs and cats. Your planter maybe too high for a little Maggie, but I just wanted to let you know because we losta cat last year to a daylily that I had no idea could kill her.
    I have a blog post available that shows a few plants that are pet friendly as well as those that could really harm your fur-baby. https://100things2do.ca/plants-and-pets/

    • 1.10.18

      Hi, Shelly! Oh my goodness that is horrible; I am so very sorry. We had an incident with Maggie and a grape this past year (luckily we were able to induce vomiting after calling the emergency ASPCA number). It’s crazy about some of the things their little systems can’t handle. I actually talked to my vet after realizing we had several plants OUTside that are considered to have levels of toxicity. She told me that especially because they have never shown interest in plant nibbling, not to be too concerned. Because the snake plant is in the “mild” toxicity category, if they did ingest, the only reaction they should have is an upset stomach/it may make them vomit. With even Christmas trees being considered poisonous to dogs, we are ok with them being out since the risk is minimal. I so appreciate you taking the time to let me know; we love our babies!!

  7. 1.10.18
    Kate said:

    I really love the snake plant idea. How do you protect your wood floor when watering?

    • 1.10.18

      Hi, Kate! I have small plastic trays in the bottom (available in the greenhouse of your local Home Depot/Lowe’s in various sizes).

  8. 1.10.18
    Carrie said:

    Thank you for the great tips. Another easy to care for plant is the zz plant. You don’t even have to water it on a regular schedule and it prefers to be on the dryer side and low light is no problem. I have had mine for a couple of years and it has grown a lot on neglect and low water. I brought mine at Ikea.

    • 1.12.18
      farrah said:

      Are the Magnolia plants real? Trying to see if we have these in our neck of the woods . . . freezing NYC

  9. 1.13.18
    Leann said:

    Your house is absolutely stunning. These are great tips! Thank you for sharing.

    • 1.14.18

      Leann, THANK YOU! Have a wonderful Sunday!

  10. 1.16.18
    Nicole said:

    What paint color did you use? I’m swimming in swatches, but I love that look!

    • 1.18.18

      THank you! The main color in the great room is Versatile Gray by Sherwin Williams

  11. 1.18.18
    Jennifer said:

    Love this Kel! Your home looks amazing with the beautiful winter touches! Great job transitioning!!!

  12. 1.24.18

    Great tips and your house looks just gorgeous! I can tell from my experience that de-cluttering is essential. Sometimes we tend to gather too much stuff that we actually do not need.

  13. 1.27.18
    Susan Cusick said:

    Hi Kelley I actually bookmarked your blog a while back and then kind of forgot about my blogs. I am so glad I opened yours because your ideas and pictures are so perfect ! I love how you describe everything in detail that helps a non crafter like myself. Thank you for sharing your amazingly beautiful home.

    • 1.30.18

      Susan, you are too kind; thank you for taking the time to stop by and leave me a note!

  14. 1.5.19
    Cecilia from Georgia said:

    Great post! Wonderful ideas and your home is beautiful. Have a wonderful 2019!

  15. 2.25.19
    Elise said:

    Where did you get your kitchen and dinning room table and chairs? I absolutely love them!!

  16. 5.11.19
    Akshay said:

    Great tips and Your home looks amazing with the beautiful winter touches. I actually bookmarked your blog just a while ago and then kind of forgot about my blogs because I am so glad that I read yours because your ideas, Tips, pictures, everything is so perfect ! and I love how you describe everything in detail. This Blog really helped me a lot. Thank you for sharing this blog and your amazingly beautiful home. Keep Posting.

    • 5.15.19

      That means so much; thank you for visiting with me today!! xoxo

  17. 1.28.22
    Ella said:

    Thank you for sharing, I love all of this decor! So cozy! Where did you get the rug in your living room? I have a similar looking rug in my bedroom and always have to get a professional because it gets so dirty, so I’m looking for a better brand of rug.