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A pine-tree-shaped gap

Yes, after all the anticipation and excitement that was Christmas, it’s now that lull, when the decorations have been taken down and packed away until next year. Even among those of us who adore every moment of the festivities, there’s nevertheless a quiet sigh of relief as life gets back to normal. ‘I’ve got my rooms back,’ is a common refrain.

While all of that is true, there’s also a slight feeling that something’s missing. We may have our living room or hallway back, but suddenly things look a little emptier, less resplendent and glowing than they did two weeks ago.

It seems a shame to say goodbye to that warmth and jollity radiated by a tree, candles, fairy lights and gleaming decorations. And it can feel as if our walls, mantelpieces and tables are all missing the spirit of bonhomie.

So we decided to put together some of our favourite ways to bring back a touch of the sparkle, light and atmosphere that we all loved so during Christmas. We’re not suggesting you unpack the decorations again – far from it. But we can learn a few tricks from the care we took to drape our spaces in festive décor. Here’s how to recreate the very best aspects of that welcoming mood throughout the coming year.

Let there be light
If you loved the glow that was cast by fairy lights or candles, it could be time to give your lighting a refresh. The beauty of garlands of lights is that they cast light into areas we might not usually pay much attention to. So consider adding a reading lamp next to a corner armchair to create a small reading nook. Or maybe your over-mantel is looking a little less special since Twelfth Night. By adding an oversized mirror (either hung from the wall or leaning on the mantelpiece) you’ll bounce light around the room all year long. Then when Christmas come back around, it can be replaced with a large and striking wreath.

Refresh your foliage
If you and the family enjoyed having the feathery fronds of a tree in your home, it could be a sign that foliage could work well in your home, all year round. From delicate potted herbs to lush rubber plants, having greenery in our homes makes us feel good. What’s more, it adds visual impact. Rubbery leaves in particular, contrast well with dark walls, while flowers add vibrancy to a paler scheme. And if you don’t rate your skills at nurturing real plants, there are plenty of ways to go ‘realistically real’ with life-like foliage.

Didmarton XI print, Badminton I print.

Picture this
Perhaps your walls are looking a little bare since you removed decorations and strings of well-wishers’ cards. If so, this is a good opportunity to move your artwork around. Sometimes that’s all it takes to refresh your look and cast a painting or drawing in a new light. Alternatively, re-framing a painting or print can also give it a new lease of life. Or treat yourself to a new picture that you will love gazing at throughout 2017 and beyond.

Castlefield stripe throw in Mustard, Kingswood throw in Mole Grey, Croft throw in Grey Oak and Sefton throw in Cobble.

Delilah and Camilla scatter cushions.

Rich textures
Christmas is a time when we ensure that guests have extra throws to hand and we layer up sofas with soft, luxurious textures, such as velvet. There’s no reason why we need to stint on these cossetting textures now we’re well into the new year. Velvet cushions can also add rich shades to a living space or bedroom and are a quick and easy way to refresh your look.

Arthur stool in Isla Finch, William armchair in Angus Flint and Kingswood throw in Mole Grey.

Light my fire
Those of us with an open fire or woodburning stove rejoice when Christmas comes around because it’s the cherry on top for our festive scene. But, come January, it’s tempting to just turn up the central heating rather than go to the ‘bother’ of getting out the kindling. But making a fire is always less time consuming than we imagine – and worth the effort (have a read of our fire lighting article in Stories for winter). Because it brings people together again. From teenagers to reclusive cats, everyone tends to quietly slink in and snuggle down when there’s a real fire in the hearth.

So spring isn’t the only time in the year when we benefit from a homes refresh.
The post-Christmas month of January presents the perfect opportunity as well.
Long live winter…

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