9 Ways to cheer up winter decor after Christmas

Keep a little decorative magic alive well after the baubles and tinsel have come down with these simple styling ideas...

We're always amazed at how quickly Christmas comes and goes – one minute our homes are kitted out with full-on sparkle and the next we're packing up those baubles ready to be stored away for another year.

Whether you're dragging your heels over boxing up the last of the decs or are more than ready to have a good declutter, our interiors can often feel a little lacklustre after the festive season – which is why we've put together some simple ways to brighten your homes winter decor after the Christmas decorations disappear.

Follow these tips and you can keep the spirit of Christmas decor alive, without it being obvious that you're struggling to let go – and what better way to chase those January blues away

9 easy ways to brighten winter decor after Christmas

1. Encourage nature to take centre stage

living area with white wall and painiting and grey sofa and pots and round table

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Douglas Gibb)

Nature is always a mood lightener, and taking your real (or faux) Christmas tree out is a sad moment. So keep the natural theme going indoors by letting trees and potted plants take centre stage all year round.

Head to your local garden centre and look for some small indoor trees (you can even decorate them with fairly lights if you so wish). Indoor plants dotted around the room helps to welcome a touch of the outdoors in.

2. Choose a centrepiece alternative

dining table and chair with table cloth and flower and candle sticks

(Image credit: Bloom & Wild)

Your berry and fir centrepiece might have been packed away on twelfth night, but that doesn't mean you can't still enjoy a beautiful table. Think fresh flowers and berries in assorted jars and vases. To dress the table in style and welcome a light, natural feel to give your home a sense of optimism and brightness for the year ahead.

These could be as simple as flowers picked from your own garden. You don't have to even spend a penny, to make a decorative impact.

3. Embrace fairy lights everywhere

white wall with wooden shelf and fairy lights

(Image credit: Future PLC/Fiona Walker)

Twinkling lights are one of the best things about Christmas decorations, adding a touch of the magic to any room and keeping the lighting low and flattering. But while it might be time to put away your multicoloured lights, warm white is perfect all year round to embrace fabulous post-Christmas fairy light ideas.

Look for cute shaped options, like the geo spheres above, or quirky bulbs in fun motifs festoon lights, and drape over a branch, mirrors, pictures and along window sills. Or put a couple of reels of fairy lights into a glass vase and enjoy the light it throws.

4. Hang a winter wreath

brick wall with wreath and lantern

(Image credit: Dobbies)

Thought the best wreaths were just for Christmas? Think again! A simple winter foliage design, without all the Christmas trimmings, can help bring interest to your wall or door and adds a lovely scent too, especially if you add some herbs into the mix.

Herbs are particularly lovely as they'll give a delicious scent to the room too - or welcome guests to your home when placed on the front door. So think about rosemary, mint, thyme and bay leaves, and mix up your favourite scents.

Not a fan of greenery? Why not take inspiration from this year's trend for dried flowers and add pampas, dried honesty or bunny tails?

5. Drape non-festive garlands

wall with handcraft garlands and candles and flowers

(Image credit: Handcrafted Cin)

There are plenty of different themes to use for garlands around the house now you've put your Santa hat and stocking designs away. Take inspiration from travel by making your own map-themed garlands or go for bright floral colours to keep your spirits up for the rest of the winter.

We're feeling inspired and uplifted by this paper garland featuring Monstera and banana leaves and Birds of Paradise tropical flowers.Just the thing to brighten up any grey winters day.

If you're good with needlework, try crochet garlands using the basic granny square pattern, or knit some multi-coloured flags with odd ends of yarn. The possibilities are endless.

Buy now: Tropical Garland, £21, Handcrafted Cin

6. Style shelves and staircases with paper decorations

blue stair case with blue railing and paper decorations

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Olly Gordon)

Once the garlands and pine cones have been taken away, shelves and staircase can look bare, so why not add some paper decorations in your chosen colour way? Because why not, why do we only reserve the right to decorate such spaces at Christmas time?! Go for it we say.

If you're missing the Christmas sparkle, choose ones in glittering metallics like these honeycomb designs, or go for a bright colour to help liven up your decor. You could also look for oversized versions and hang a cluster from the ceiling for instant impact.

7. Prepare a beautifully dressed table more often

table with plates and cutlery and napkin and straw

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Polly Eltes)

Just because you don't have the whole family descending on you for every mealtime, doesn't mean you have to ditch the beautifully-dressed table. Sitting down to a lovely place setting on a January evening is a lovely treat, so keep the special feel to mealtimes that you've cultivated over the festive period.

Leave a baseplate and monochrome napkin out so you can mix and match coloured plates and cutlery, cute straws and other accessories. Make every meal feel a little bit more special with minimal effort.

8. Add strong colours and scents

Floral Street flower scents

(Image credit: Floral Street)

We all know it's Christmas when you smell the fir, cinnamon and orange, but changing up the scent you have in your home can also help ring in the new year once the festive period is over. Not only that, but candles are a great accessory for adding small hits of colour to your shelves and surfaces.

Choose one with a wintery fragrance – the candle shown here combines Guaiac wood, vanilla beans, and Texas Cedarwood for a deliciously refined scent.

9. Snuggle up in stylishly warm bedding

bedroom with bedside table and lamp and cushions and throw

Snuggle fleece marl checked duvet cover and pillowcase set, from £32

(Image credit: Next)

The stocking may have been removed and your Christmas bedroom decorating ideas put to bed (no pun intended!), but there's nothing to say that winter bedding can't have a bit of pizazz to it. This check marl set is made from a snuggle fleece fabric to keep you extra cosy on chilly nights.

How can I decorate my house after Christmas?

It's always a sad moment when the last of the Christmas decorations are taped back up into their cardboard box and shoved in the loft. The little baubles wave at you goodnight as they go into hibernation, and the wilted Christmas foliage makes its way to the garden waste bin. But fear not, there are plenty of ways to perk up your after Christmas winter decor.

'Once the festivities of Christmas are over, there are many ways you can keep the celebrations going into the New Year without being too Christmassy,' says Lorraine Aaron, founder of Curious Egg.

'A great way is to swap out your Christmas decor to pieces centered around New Years Eve. Decorations such as stars, honeycomb or origami paper party balls and bunting help to keep the party mood going, whilst dried flower arrangements and plants with fairy lights are a great alternative to Christmas trees and wreaths.'

How can I brighten up my house after Christmas?

A great way to brighten up the house after Christmas is to use fairy lights. 'You could hang them around doorways or across a wall, or even position them around furniture to add a warming glow,' says Lorraine. 'They also look great wrapped around plants as an alternative to a Christmas tree.'

'You can even fill glass bottles with battery-powered fairy lights or candles to create little features on your dining or coffee table, or even in the corner of a room on the floor,' she continues.

What do you hang on your door after Christmas?

'I like to create a wintry wreath or bundle to hang on my door with a lovely satin ribbon in dark green or dusky pink-brown,' says Lorraine. 'I love to go on winter walks and collect seed heads of plants and grasses, or leaf skeletons that look so sculptural and beautiful at this time of year. Sometimes they are perfect as they are, or occasionally, I’ll add a little gold or silver leaf and a frost mist of white paint.'

How can I decorate my house in January?

'In January, once the Christmas and New Year's festive seasons are fully over, there are many things you can do to decorate and help bring in the beginning of a new year and a fresh start,' says Lorraine. 'Why not hang a dried flower wreath on the front door or even inside the house? Placing a mix of dried and fresh arrangements around the house will help create a fresh feel too, whilst candles and fairy lights work all year round.'

What do you do to make your house feel more joyful post-Christmas?

Additional words by Laurie Davidson.


Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.