Friday, January 15, 2016

A Beautiful Home after the Holidays

Winter in Virginia, it doesn't last but three months, but to me, it feels like a lifetime!
In January I'm ready to put away the Christmas tree and pack up the ornaments, but it's still cold outside and the house feels a little bit warmer decorated with the glow of the glistening tree...

So what do we do now?  It's not yet Spring, but the holidays are over and our homes feel a bit drab.
Now is the perfect time to start cleaning, organizing and getting rid of things you've held on to for far too long!  I have begun this daunting task and it's actually helped keep away the winter blues!

Here are my top 3 tips to decorate your home during the freezing cold months of January and February.

1) Plants, Greens, Fresh Flowers, Oh My!!!
Start with your front door and work your way in!  Boxwoods are beautiful for anytime of year and any type of plant life in your home makes the space inside feel alive and refreshing!  This is perfect for a time of year when things outside feel a bit dark, dreary and cold!  I've paired my preserved boxwood wreath with an antique, classic fox hunting horn to add a little sophistication!
Prune back the indoor, potted roses you have, even if they're not in bloom, the greens will be pretty on their own.  We watered an orchid one of our friends gave us last Spring, weekly, it hadn't had a bloom on it in at least 6 months, but just last week a new bud burst and we have a new addition to the house!
You can also pick up a bunch of mixed green stems and florals at any marketplace you'd shop for groceries, if you're feeling like your place could use a little more life, pick up a bouquet, get it home, in water and then set it in a pretty vase where you're sure not to miss it!  This can be on an entry table to greet you and your guests on the way in, as a centerpiece in your dining room, or as an ornament presiding peacefully on your coffee table, somewhere you're sure to be while you're at home.

2) Colorful Art, and Textiles, but don't be afraid to add a little White!
Year round I collect art from local artists and antique stores, whenever something stands out to me, and I believe I have the perfect spot for it, I grab it, since it is impossible I'll ever spot the same thing twice!  Originality, I seek it out!  Art is a great way to bring color and inspiration to any space!  If you have art on the walls and it isn't reaching into your heart, you may want to find something that does, your home is your sanctuary, it should be everything you are, a place you can seek shelter and internal salvation from the whirling world around you!  Be good to it;) 

Curtains, pillows and throws are also a great way to warm up a space!  If you feel your pillows have lived their life and you're ready for an upgrade, switching these things out will thank your bank account while giving new life to the sofa you've had for years;)
Throws are my favorite, I couldn't resist this knit snow colored throw with gold sequence running through it!  It added just the pop of glitz and glam that I wanted and incorporated a bit of white at the same time!

Pops of white can easily balance out a room with a lot of color already in it, my home is filled with every color of the rainbow, the white really stands out and brings with it a feel of calm, classic and clean!
In my dining room I continued with boxwoods, adding them to my centerpiece as well as my sideboard.  They are dressed in white terracotta pots and looked lovely on antique lace runners.   

Any preserved boxwood needs to be misted with water once a month to keep it green, it will turn brown if left unattended.  I added white porcelain cake plates to the boxwood on the sideboard to bring even more beauty to the room!
Plus, I love decorating with what I actually use quite often.
In fact, I've never really understood the saying, "This is just for show".
Our homes are an extension of ourselves, they are places to be used, they are not museums or model homes to be "seen" and not heard.
Of course this is just my very humble opinion.  There is taking care of your belongings so that you can enjoy them for years to come, the key word here being- Enjoy!  And then there is collecting and holding on to things that have no real life, that are never used and that just sit out for show or stay locked behind glass until they no longer really exist:/
Since I have no children of my own yet, my pretties are my babies, I take care of them, introduce them to friends and family, incorporate them into the day's activities, give them a bath and tuck them in at night, they are seen, heard, admired and loved, by myself especially! 

3) Move the furniture around and completely shop your House!
Nothing can feel better than a new perspective and you can start with how you've positioned your home!  Once I took my Christmas tree down I had so much new space!  I added a chair and end table where the tree once stood for more entertaining inside than going out!  During these next several weeks (Oh March 20th, you can't come soon enough!) you'll probably have more friends and family coming over for dinner, games, movies, cozying up by the roaring fire (if you're lucky enough to have a real fireplace) and just hanging in instead of going out!  Frankly, because it will be too darn cold to leave the warmth of the home!!!
Look into your closets or your seasonal totes!  Maybe something got put away and it's time to bring it back out, it doesn't have to be Easter Eggs and Bunnies so soon, rather soft smelling candles, a floral painted tray, or some antique books that have been sleeping in the home office for a little while.  Bring them out, dust them off and place them into a new setting or configuration.  Less is more and trust me, a little goes a long way!
And if you do spot that new piece that just calls out to you and you do decide to bring it on home, like these plates at Anthropologie...have your addition be reaction to something you've purged.
January and February is the best time for you to "shop your home", you have several weeks ahead of you with nothing but cold days, and early nights, clean out your space, if you haven't worn it, used it or looked at it in 2 years, chances are, you'll continue not to notice it, so get rid of it!
The Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity and the Goodwill are great places to start!  If you have a local charity or church that will take donations, by all means, relocate your gently used items to them but let them go!  Too often we become hostages to the things we own, and our things can multiple very quickly, they can even begin to weigh us down.  Let go of the useless, and keep your world as stress-free and unencumbered as possible:)  

Live Happy in January and February, and the whole Year through!
From Me to You<3

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