Winter Decorating Ideas: Relax…Renew…Reset

If you recently put away your holiday decorations and are wondering what you can do to add some life back into your home, I have a few after Christmas winter decorating ideas that you can easily implement in your own home. 

This time of year in the decorating world it is all about… RENEWING and RESETTING. These two words  sum up perfectly what many of us are going through in early January right after putting our Christmas decorations away.

Winter decorating ideas using the color greenery

After Christmas Winter Decorating Ideas

I enjoy decorating my house for the holidays and making it festive, but I also enjoy the flip side, taking all the decorations down and getting a clean slate to refresh with a new look for the new year ahead.

Home decorating ideas for January and winter decorating ideas

This is how my living room looked this morning after taking the holiday decorations down. I left the basics of the room intact. As you can see they are all neutrals.

Instead of looking at it as a bad thing or empty… I find it inspiring to just sit in the room and enjoy the blank slate. It helps me see what is needed to make it decorative with a winter twist.

Winter decorating ideas on a budget

I like decorating with white as a room base color. It enables me to easily change the color pops seasonally or on a whim.

Even in its blank state, my living room has everything it needs in the way of function and comfort. This is more important than anything I add to make the room look pretty. You can read all about making this happen in this post: Feeling at Home.

The room is simply missing the third part of the decorating equation which of course is personal style… this is what I need to add along with a few pops of color.

After overspending during the holidays, I don’t want to spend any money or buy new stuff to give the house a few winter decorating tweaks.

Winter Decorating Tip: Don’t Buy New

Instead of buying new decor, I shopped my house to find items to decorate for winter.  It is my favorite type of decorating… the “use what you have” method. It is fast, simple and allows you to transform a room with things you know you already like.

Don’t just start moving stuff around from room to room. Start out by thinking how you would like the room to look.  After some thought, for my living room, I decided to go with a white on white scheme… like a snowy winter’s day and show off a few of the pitchers in my white pitcher collection.  In my previous house they were on display in my dining room hutch.

White kitchen shelves with white dishes

In the lake house I live in now, they are displayed on the open shelves in the kitchen.

Decorating With Candles and Greenery

Candles (I like white, but use your favorite color) are my go-to staple all-year round, but I love them best on a wintery afternoon as the sun goes down.

When decorating with white, I usually like to add a pop of seasonal color as an accent.


For my winter decor I used a color called Greenery as my inspiration.

Budget decorating idea for winter

After placing chunky white candles, my white pitchers and one large white vase on the mantel…

Affordable decor for a winter mantel

… all I had to do was go outside and cut a few clippings from the evergreen shrubs and trees in my yard. Placed in a pitcher or vase of water you get instant updated style!  The clippings will stay green for a few weeks.

Green and white…so fresh and clean.

Decorating ideas using the color greenery

The wood log slice was previously used on my kitchen table where I used it as a candle holder for my Thanksgiving table setting. It provides texture and visual interest on the mantel while adding height to a pitcher.

The combined items, color and texture adds just enough color and impact to the mantel.

After Christmas Winter decorating ideas that are fast and easy. Budget friendly decor.

Mixing white candles with greenery on the mantel looks fresh and clean, but adds coziness.

How to decorate a mantel after Christmas

As the room gets darker, the candle glow gets warmer and adds a relaxing ambiance to the room…

The best beef stew recipe

…that is best enjoyed with a cozy winter meal of beef stew. 

Faux green plants grouped together on a coffee table

If you don’t have a resource for clipping greenery from your yard, faux plants look just as nice.

On my coffee table, I grouped 3 faux plants on a tray with a collection of bubble glass candle holders.

Use Non-Decor Items to Decorate

Do you have a collection of stamps, matchbooks, corks, pretty stones gathered on a walk? Anything that has another purpose can be repurposed and given a new decorative role.

Collection of matchbooks on a pretty plate on a coffee table. Use What You Have Home Decorating Ideas

Pick out a few favorites and place them in a bowl or on a decorative plate from your kitchen. Volia!!!  Instant decor. The best part about using non-decor items… you didn’t have to buy anything new..

Decoratively Arrange Fireplace Supplies and Tools

Fireplace log organizing ideas around a fireplace

In the winter months, focus on creating cozy in the rooms you spend the most time in. By the fireplace, neatly store wood in a large basket or stack the wood and logs so you can easily create a fire anytime of the day to get warm and cozy.

  • Instead of simply placing the kindling sticks on top of the pile of logs, place them vertically in a large vase, crock, or basket.

More Use What You Have Winter Decorating Ideas and Tips

Take a stroll through your house with open eyes to gather up a few items:

  • Do what inspires you and what feels good in your home. There are no rules you have to follow to decorate your home for winter. Truly, it’s about doing what makes you feel energized and refreshed for a new year.
  • Remove all labels you have for your items. For instance, just because something was made for a bathroom, doesn’t mean it won’t look fabulous in your living room. Look around for objects that may look better placed elsewhere. A mirrored bathroom tray that holds toiletries, can take on a whole new look when it is placed on your coffee table and filled with candles.
  • Paint it! Don’t be afraid to change an item. Maybe a yellow chair that was once in your kitchen can be painted navy blue and used as a desk chair in a child’s room.
  • Use the items in a different way. For instance, a pitcher becomes a vase, a large frame for a photo can be come a tray to serve steamy mugs of hot chocolate on a cold wintery afternoon.
  • Treat all your senses. Diffuse lemon, orange, and peppermint essential oils so the rooms in your home smell fresh and clean.
Modern decorating for fall
  • A stack of books becomes a way to raise a short lamp.
  • Layer lots of velvet pillows and fur throws to cozy up with.
  • Large scale: Move a piece of furniture from one room to another to come up with a new furniture arrangement for a room. This sofa was previously backed up against a wall. Move it out into the room and bring in a console table from another room to place behind the sofa to provide a surface to place a lamp, books and favorite decorative accessories.

Decorating Resource: Console Table | Slipcover | How I Tweaked Slipcover 

  • Small scale: Break up  a matching set of lamps. Use one in your living room and the other on a side table in a bedroom.
  • Think big… Swap area rugs from room to room. Do the same with window treatments and wall art. Nothing is off limits

Just start experimenting. It doesn’t cost a dime to do so.

Think of the use what you have decorating process as simply moving items from room to room to give them a new life.  You may end up liking them even better in their new place than where you originally had them.

Decorating Resource: Gooseneck Lamp

Winter Decorating Ideas: Easy Ways to Add Color

When a room is looking stark in January or anytime of the year, try these no-paint needed decorating ideas to add a pop of color to the rooms in your home without much time or effort.

Colorful Kitchen Counter Decorating ideas
  • Place a few oranges on your kitchen counter.  Their happy color will help you forget that is cold and drab outside.
 Kitchen Counter Decorating ideas
  • Buy some fresh herbs at the grocery store and place them by your sink.

Using produce to decorate a room serves a double purpose.  You get to enjoy eating your displays or use them to season your meals while getting a little visual color therapy for your eyes.

craft room with white desk and peonies
  • Buy a bunch of fresh flowers at the grocery store and place on your desk, kitchen table or where you will be able to enjoy them all day long.
Lined dresser drawer with blue and white gift wrap
  • Line drawers with colorful patterned gift wrap or wall paper in your bedroom dresser…
How to line drawers with fabric or paper

…as well as the drawers in your kitchen. Seeing the unexpected pops of color will have you forgetting that it is Winter outside the house.

Learn How To:  The Easy Trick on How to Line a Drawer

Start refreshing your rooms one at a time and before you know it, the rooms in your home will look comfy, cozy and pretty for the winter months all the way until spring.

Have you taken down your holiday decor yet? How did you refresh the space? Do you have any winter decorating ideas to share?

Winter decorating ideas after the holidays. When you don't know how to decorate your mantel and home, try this decorating method to get your home refreshed and decorated in no time. Mid winter decorating ideas.

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  1. Amelia Jackson says:

    Such a stunning mantel! And I loved the reminder that we can shop our homes for decor. We just got our floors refinished and before my husband and I put our furniture back I desperately wanted to find ways to switch up the living room a bit. Your post inspired me to grab a sofa from our upstairs loft and bring it down to the living room, and now it feels so fresh and new! Thanks for the inspo!

  2. Pearl Water says:

    Wow! your blog is really very beautiful and the images are catchy.

  3. Nice Blog! I like to keep things impartial and pull in a lot of common components for texture. Wreaths and door hangings are an incredible method to celebrate every season.

  4. Householdair says:

    I was just looking to ways to redesign my home after Christmas and this post came up. Thanks for sharing these awesome ideas. Looking forward to seeing the transformation!

  5. marilyn Holeman says:

    Hi Diane, I loved this post, and love that it’s “recycled!” Your ideas are always inspiring, and have me looking around my house with a fresh eye. I hope you have a great winter, and will look forward to more posts from you. Happy New Year!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Marilyn :-) and for reading all these years. It makes me happy that I can keep inspiring you. XO Happy New Year!

  6. Happy New Year! Am in sync with your redecorating process and ideas…but must ask what’s happened to your two leather recliners (Esp. since their cozy comfort has been noted previously)? They’re substantial pieces and not easily moved and/or stashed away… Maybe you’ve addressed this “elimination” and I’ve missed it? Again, TKS for all of the tips!

    Addendum: You mentioned a few posts back (re new cooktop) how much you’re enjoying it and how easy it is to clean. I just exchanged my 40 yo standard “coil” electric range for a smooth, ceramic top range this past summer – and frankly, find it a bear to (keep) clean. Before, I could just use my all purpose cleaner and woosh – the enamel top would sparkle. Now, EACH TIME I cook, it’s a multi-step process, first to ensure there’s no exudate (grease splatters/water spots) remaining, and then going through the entire polishing process (which requires some real “oomph” to it. I figure I must e doing something wrong, as cleaning a range tio shouldn’t be so hard. So, when you mentioned liking a ceramic top and how easy you found it to clean, I’ve got to ask…What’s your secret, please? (I feel really dumb about this, but checking out this generally on the ‘net has shown others are experiencing the same thing!). Will appreciate any suggestions you have!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi – Sorry to confuse you. You haven’t missed any posts. The post about Winter Decorating is an older post that I brought to the front of my blog. I have so many posts and many get lost and never seen again. Many bloggers repost posts for newer readers to see. I have only done this a few times, but felt this post was worth bringing forward, even though some of my furniture have changed.

      The two leather recliners are still in the room, I am sitting in one as I am writing this. They are the best – comfy and cozy. I plan to write a post about them soon…. something like Why Everyone Needs a Recliner or Two in Their Home.. :-)

      To clean my cooktop, I use Ceramic Cooktop Cleaner. Do you use this? It is what makes cleaning on a regular basis easy. I have used many different brands, all work as long as it says on the label “Cooktop Cleaner” or “Ceramic Cooktop Cleaner”. It can be purchased in the cleaning products aisle at the grocery store. The one I am using now is called: Cerama Bryte. Years ago when we got our first ceramic cooktop, it came with the sample bottle of the cleaner. If yours didn’t come with it, and you are using detergent and water, I can understand why you would be frustrated. Also, always shake the bottle well, before using.

      I wipe it clean with a wet and soapy paper towel. Then dry it. It has to be applied to a dry cooktop and you only need a small amount. I rub it in with a damp paper towel and then buff to remove stuck on food. If there are spots that won’t come off, (once a plastic bread bag melted on one of the burners) I keep a sharp razor blade scraper in a nearby drawer. I only use this for tough spots. Don’t use it on a dry cooktop or you may scratch it. First wet the cooktop and then use the razor blade to remove the baked on food. Apply the ceramic cooktop cleaner and wipe with a damp cloth.

  7. Very nice, I did this for Christmas this year and repurposed items I already owned. I still spent to much :p. Your tips for winter are helpful, thank you.

  8. Farhan Saeed says:

    You have shared a very helpful topic here. Thanks for the awesome ideas. I have been searching for the tips as I wanted to redecorate my living room. Now I have got the clear ideas to decor my bedroom & living room. Bundle of thanks to you.

  9. I love to decorate for holidays but my house looks so empty when I take the decorations down. I’m already sad that the holidays are over and then looking at my plain house makes it worse. I love how you talk about looking at a post-holiday home as a blank canvas. Interior decorating is one of my favorite hobbies and now I can look at a post-holiday home as an opportunity. Unfortunately, as a college-student, I do not have a lot of items laying around the house that I can use as decoration. What is your advice on cheap or DIY decorations to create a cute white-on-white themed home?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Katie –

      This is a great question and one that I think I will write a post about. For now, here are a few ideas:

      Your best bet for decorating with a small budget is thrift stores. Go to them each week to find white items from vases, pitchers, frames and more for a few dollars. For paint and fabric – ask at the paint counter at the home improvement store if they have any Oops paint in a white shade. These mistake custom colors usually are half price or less.

      Get apps on your phone for craft and fabric stores like Michaels and JoAnn’s Fabrics. They always have coupons for 40%. I never buy anything at these stores without using one of these coupons.

      Use spray paint – you can buy white (off-brand) very inexpensively at Walmart. It only comes in a few colors. I used it all the time when I worked in retail display to change the color of the props we used to decorate the store to black or white. It works just fine and I actually prefer it sometimes over the more expensive brand names.

      Tell your family and friends if they are getting rid of anything, to ask you first before they give it away. You can change the color of anything with paint.

      Go on a nature walk to find things from branches, rocks and pinecones. All can be spray painted or even left as is to add to your decor.

      I hope this gets you thinking. Look for a post soon, I may even write it tonight, as I think it will help a lot of readers who have small budgets to use towards decorating.

    2. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Again Katie – In my post today I answered your question in detail. I hope you find some inspiration and ideas to get you started on your way to decorating your home. The post is titled: Tried & True Decorating Ideas on a Really Small Budget.

  10. I love your ideas about “ shopping your home”. The last place I want to be in January is shopping in a store. But! I just ordered online a TV stand with an electric fireplace for our living room. I was able to find a small cute one at half price.

    1. I love these simple white and green decorating ideas! I just did the same in my l room and d room, and they look great and I did not spend any $$! Thank you!!

  11. Love your white couch sllipcover. When can I purchase it?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Nora –

      The white tie-on slipcover on the sofa in the post is from Pottery Barn, but they no longer sell them. They do sell the same one here: Mine is the color: White

      It is a one-piece tie on slipcover that I tweaked so my sofa would look more like an upholstered sofa.

      You can read more about how I made it look more like a fitted slipcover in this post:

      and the tutorial in this post:

  12. Miss my new twinkle lights! Might put them back up. Will go outside and clip some greenery. Great idea.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Alison – I miss them too. So does Ed. I think he was sadder than I was when we took the tree down. I love the twinkle lights. Nice thing about them, they look nice anytime of year. I am thinking about putting a few strands outside on the deck to make it feel magical in the summer when we eat outside at night. Hope you are staying warm. Brrrrrr… it is cold outside.

  13. Those chairs! Do you know where I can find a pair, too?

  14. I love your decorating style – so natural, cozy, and cheerful. Would you mind sharing where you purchased the black gooseneck lamp? So beautiful!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Mary –

      Here is a link to the lamp you asked about. It comes in a two different metals. Silver and Bronze. Here is the link:

  15. Nawm D. Gerr says:

    Your white with the natural elements looks so nice after all the excesses of the holidays. So inspiring!

  16. Hello! I too love a white room. So many different things you can do. I really like your idea using the logs as part of your decor. I never change my mantle, but your blog has inspired me to do something different. I look forward to getting to spend more time with you on your site.

  17. Jassi Gill says:

    I Love your idea with the greenery. I have been looking for an idea how to decorate after all the holidays. Thanks for sharing with us.

  18. Love to used greenery to decor home as well. I furnished my home with a company called Furnishr, and they used succulent to decor my room, create a relaxed and comfy vibes.

  19. Lovely. The white pitchers with greenery and the candles, looks so clean and elegant. Do my eyes deceive me or is one of those pitchers Le Creuset? :-)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Cjay – You have good eye ;-) Yes, the one pitcher is a Le Creuset. I found it at a thrift store about 4 years ago for $5.

      1. Oh man! I love their stuff. I have it in red. I’ll be on the lookout for white now.
        Your home is lovely.

  20. Just lovely, Diane! Your gorgeous lounge looks beautiful even in its raw state. I couldn’t quite bear to go entirely back to basics, so I’ve dressed the OneandSeventy mantel with a handmade winter wreath and some ‘snowballs’. There may also be a couple of pre-lit houses and, of course, the obligatory candles knocking around. However, stripping it (almost) back did give us a chance for some (very early) spring cleaning, which has been very refreshing.

  21. Hi Diane,
    Love the clean lines with the vivid green. I think it’s the green that did it for me. Anytime you can decorate without spending a dime is always a good thing. Can’t wait to see what you do with the walls.

  22. Julie Blanner says:

    The pitchers and candles are so pretty!

  23. Thanks for sharing very nice post

  24. Hi Diane,

    Greetings from very very chilly Minnesota! Today’s post feels so calm and serene. I’m looking out the window to beautiful blue sky but a blanket of snow and ice on my windows…today I have a little bit of southern living envy.

    Keep the ideas coming…love watching you in action.

  25. Your house is just simply beautiful and serene. I just painted a bedroom white and I love it! I tend to have light neutrals but there is something about white that calms me. I so enjoy your posts.

  26. Bridgette says:

    What do you use to diffuse the oil in the room?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Bridgette – I have a few different diffusers. One came with the oils when I first started using them. Here is a link to a few nice diffusers that don’t cost too much. If you don’t see any you like, just search for Essential Oil diffuser and a ton will show up. Most require water so they disperse the oil into the air.

  27. Simply lovely and I personally LOVE the all neutrals :-)

    I’m SO eager to get my Christmas decor down and put away (AND get the house super-cleaned!) but I’ve been sidelined as I’m taking care of some family member’s health issue.

    I too am very eager to get a clean slate to start again for the new year. I like to use animal print pillows and darker bronze accents in my pale neutrals LR for the rest of the winter months. I’ll get to it all…..eventually ;-)

  28. I so enjoyed this post. It was calming. Crazy word choice, I know. But, it was. I love to recharge from ‘scratch’ and you have inspired me to do so! Thanks!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Linda – I love that you found my post calming. :-) It is exactly what we need after the holiday season. Enjoy recharging. XO

  29. Thank you for lifting my mood with fun articles during the winter doldrums!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Katie – You are welcome… and thanks for being one of my readers. XO

  30. Oh YES, honey, YES! How peaceful and calm your mantel looks… and so very chic too!! I took all my Christmas decor down and set the tree out at the curb on Christmas night! I was OVER it.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Francy – It is a good feeling isn’t it… a fresh start. Enjoy your peace and calm.

  31. Liz Feldman says:

    Hi, feel such a nag but last year you did a template for a wonderful calander, monthly with a wonderful font at the top.

    Have you done it again this year and I missed it.

    The space on myoffice wall divider is so blank and I can’t find one I like more.

    Liz : Kensington : South Africa

  32. Betty Baker says:

    Oh you have given me the inspiration to carry on tomorrow.My tree,mantle and a very large village are all in their respective boxes,in the middle of my living room. I have very large cabinets out on my Patio where they go , but I am too tired right now to do that, it is also freezing cold and we had more snow today here in Ontario. I love everything you have done to your beautiful new home. Happy New Year.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Betty – Boxes all packed, you are further along than many. Braving the cold to stow it away…brrrrr. I think my boxes would be in the middle of my living room too. :-) I hope you get a window of opportunity soon.

  33. I feel like I must find some white vases and greenery immediately!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Nicole – Over the years I bought most of mine at Home Goods, TJMaxx and Marshalls. They seem to always have them for about $12 a piece. Happy decorating.

  34. Hi Diane! Just looking at yourwhite pitchers with the greenery gave me a breath of fresh air. Such a beautiful way to brighten and soften a room during winter. I was just going through my craft cabinets today and found a couple of dinner plate size slices of wood my husband cut for me when we had to have a tree taken out last Spring. I forgot they were there. How cute your slice of wood looks as a little pedestal for one of the pitchers! I’m always “stuck” after Christmas, wondering what in the world I can do to cozy up and brighten up the house after Christmas until the first of Spring. Thanks for you ever present, ever inspirational creativity!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Judy – It is always hard to figure out how to decorate come January. Shopping your house for something new can be rewarding, especially when you find something perfect to use that you forgot about like the wood slices you found. :-)

  35. Melissa Leach says:

    Your mantel is beautiful, simple yet vibrant with the greens.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Melissa. Fast and easy…the best kind of decorating, especially after spending months on my kitchen makeover. :-)

  36. I love decorating for Christmas, we do so a day or two after Thanksgiving depending on guests, but I am ready to pack it all away by New Years. Looking forward to taking some version of your approach for winter decorating, thanks for your blog and the inspiration!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Alta – I wanted to have mine all packed up by New Years Day this year, too, but Ed was traveling a lot between Thanksgiving and Christmas and wanted to keep our tree up until Monday. It does feel good now to have it all packed away. :-)

  37. Mary Frasher says:

    I am a Christmas nut! And I love everything about the holidays. But I also like taking down everything and doing a nice cleaning which I just finished. Everything looks so crisp and clean. I just recently moved from New York to Florida, and it’s been fun to use objects in other rooms. It’s amazing how different they look. I so enjoy your blog and look forward to reading about your creative ideas.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Mary – I bet it was fun setting up your your Christmas decorations in your new house. I bet you also are enjoying the nice temps and no snow. :-) Thanks for reading.

  38. Everything looks so clean and fresh!
    Just how I like it!!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Nancy – Me too. :-) I will let the rest of the room evolve over the next few weeks, but will still keep things clutter free.

  39. Romeogirl says:

    We take everything down on New Year’s Day. I’m enjoying the blank slate while I work up the energy to do a thorough cleaning. Then I’ll start to putter around.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Romeogirl – I agree, the cleaning part is no fun, but it sure does make the house feel good once it is done. Enjoy your puttering time.

  40. I had a total knee replacement the day before Thanksgiving, and while I’m doing exceptionally well and progressing earlier than I even hoped for, I’m not able to take down my tree yet! All the decoration storage boxes are too high….I know better than to take a chance on climbing yet…sigh, so I’m still seeing SOME holiday stuff in my house! It’s okay tho… tree was beautiful this year! Hahaha
    Love your fresh and clean look Diane.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sharon – I am so happy to hear that you are progressing well after having a knee replacement. You are smart to just sit back and enjoy the decor until you are able to move about freely. My tree this year was the freshest we ever had. Usually when I remove the ornaments and lights from the tree a million needles come off along with them. This year, hardly any needles came off and it still smelled like pine. Take care. I hope your knee is 100% soon.

  41. Gail Vernali says:

    Just lovely, if I could just climb into your brain for a bit then look around my new to me lake home iI would be a happy lady. I really like the white on white with splashes of greenery. I always feel so stressed decorating my home, thinking how I need to go buy new “stuff” but I’m learning so much from your blog. Thank you!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Gail – It makes me so happy to hear that my posts are inspiring you. Your home is beautiful…light and bright and comfy cozy. I love the fact that your creativity and amazing skill is on display all around your house in your beautiful quilts. That is the best kind of decorating. :-)

  42. Love you idea with the greenery. I will have to get fake ones as I don’t have any live ones. Enjoy your site. I been looking for a idea how to decorate after all the holidays. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jonita – It makes me so happy that you found inspiration in my idea. It is always hard to figure out what to do after the holidays, too early for spring, yet we want comfy cozy without all the fuss.