5 Tricks to Transition Your Home Back to Cozy, Winter Mode After Christmas — 'You Don't Have to Lose the Festive Magic!'

Just because Christmas day is over doesn't mean we have to take the decorations down quite yet. Here are five tips to seamlessly transition your festive home into a celebratory winter display

A winter dining room
(Image credit: Studio McGee)

And just like that, it's all over. The Christmas fog has lifted and, the pile of washing up and that mountain of discarded wrapping paper has been cleared. But what's left in the wake of the annual Christmas hysteria all feels a bit, well, sad. Suddenly, looking at our Christmas trees that once sparkled with the magic of what was all to come feels a little bit lackluster without the gifts underneath (not to mention the fact it's probably shedding its pines at this point too).

But we've still got the whole of winter ahead of us, and while we might not have the joy of Christmas to look forward to, it's still a magical time of year. It's a time of hunkering down, embracing the warmth of the home, and getting cozy, so we discourage you from getting rid of the Christmas decorating just yet. Instead, why not try and give your home a little wintry makeover? I've spoken to the interior designers and decor pros to find out how.

1. Get rid of anything overly Christmassy

A winter living room with garland above fireplace

(Image credit: Madeline Harper Photography. Design: ATX Interior Design)

First up, you need to conduct a bit of a Christmas audit. Get rid of any decorations or ornaments that have any hint of Santa or turkey, and keep only the bits and pieces that call to winter and the season. This means it's time for your tree to go. Unfortunately, nothing says Christmas like a giant Christmas tree, so recycle that responsibly (perhaps keeping some branches if you have a fresh tree, but more to come on that later).

Investing in an ornament story box might just be the best thing you can do for your Christmas clear-up. You can find great Christmas ornament storage boxes for a bargain price, and they're so worth investing in - just making that post-Christmas tidy slightly more manageable.

2. Embrace textural elements

A Christmas bed spread with added texture

(Image credit: west elm)

To give your home a winter makeover and get rid of any nods to Christmas, it's time to up the ante with texture. 'Textural elements always pull the room together, such as a soft faux fur throw or knit weighted blanket that serve as a neutral palette to further enhance your colors and create a cozy living room,' says Shoshanna Shapiro, principal designer at Sho and Co.

'Inversely, one can use the textual elements as the main color anchors while using neutral accents as a way to balance out each space or create a fusion from room to room,' says Shoshanna.

According to Cheryl Eisen, founder of IMG, texture helps transform your home from a holiday haven to a winter sanctuary where every element conspires to convey not just comfort, but the timeless allure of a crisp winter day.

'Once the holidays are over, I’m quick to store away the festive decor and transition to a luxe and cozy winter motif,' says Cheryl. 'A luxurious faux fur throw blanket draped on a bed or sofa adds a tactile element of cozy elegance that goes beyond knits or quilts typically used during the holidays.'

3. Ditch the wreaths but keep the greenery

A wardrobe with evergreen firs

(Image credit: Robin Stubbert . Design: Objekts)

I have enjoyed the trend for wreaths in the home this year. Instead of saving them just for front doors, wreaths have been embraced and used inside to add greenery to pretty much anything. But there is no denying their Chrsitmassy connotations. So get rid of your wreaths, but keep the greenery and garlands for over your fireplace.

There is something wintry about evergreen branches, and they call to winter but not necessarily Christmas, making them still relevant decor all through January. Use your spare surfaces to create a wintry display of greenery that speaks to the joys of the season. Think about additional elements of greenery too - Tablescapes decorated with sprigs, pinecones, beautifully laid out logs, and fir branches will make a warm and welcoming touch.

4. Alter the palette to something less twee

A Christmas color palette of blues and burgundies

(Image credit: Kaitlin Green. Design Emily Henderson)

We all know that traditional Christmas color schemes typically consist of reds, golds, and bright verdant greens, so take these colors out of the equation and you'll start to feel a little less Christmassy. Untie those red ribbons, get rid of any ornamental bells with a golden glow, and opt for different colors. I like a palette of icy blues and greens mixed with white for a celebration of winter, as seen here by Studio McGee.

For designer Marie Flanigan, it's all about the jewel tones. 'I think of my Christmas and winter color palettes as one and the same,' she says. 'This keeps my home’s transition from Christmas to winter seamless and relatively easy. This time of year, I love to incorporate more saturated colors through the use of additional layers and accent pieces.

'I often swap throw pillows and blankets for options with beautifully, muted gem tones like evergreen, rust, copper, and burgundy. These small touches create a cozy holiday ambiance that can carry you through all of winter.'

5. Embrace lighting

A well-lit dining table with taper candles

(Image credit: west elm)

Lighting the home is always important, but it's extra crucial this time of year. The nights draw in quickly, and we rely on our homes to be cozy, warm, and welcoming spaces. We rely on these rooms to become safe spaces and provide rest from the cold and dark outside. The problem is with a lack of natural light is that we have to supplement more than ever.

Layered living room lighting is key to beautiful interiors throughout the year, but in winter, it can go so far as to lift the spirit. So enlist the help of more table lamps or string lights over the banister, it might still have a twinkly, festive feel, but it certainly doesn't say Christmas.

Remember to light your home with tealights and taper candles in every room. They look best on the dining table, beckoning guests over to eat, as well as on a mantelpiece above a roaring fire. Keep your home well-lit and you'll feel warmth throughout the long winter months.

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Oonagh Turner
Livingetc content editor and design expert

Oonagh is a content editor at Livingetc.com and an expert at spotting the interior trends that are making waves in the design world. Writing a mix of everything and everything from home tours to news, long-form features to design idea pieces on the website, as well as frequently featured in the monthly print magazine, she's the go-to for design advice in the home. Previously, she worked on a London property title, producing long-read interiors features, style pages and conducting interviews with a range of famous faces from the UK interiors scene, from Kit Kemp to Robert Kime. In doing so, she has developed a keen interest in London's historical architecture and the city's distinct tastemakers paving the way in the world of interiors.