Creating fresh appeal

I always feel that the house seems rather flat once I’ve taken all the Christmas decorations down. Despite putting everything back in its usual place there seems to be huge gaps which now stand bare.

Changes don’t have to cost a fortune: some well placed ideas and advice from a designer who has ‘seen it all before’ can often save you money. If you need some inspirational ideas which won’t cost a fortune then read on.

Instead of taking the wreath off the front door and leaving it bare add something in its place – if you have a plain twig heart which was decorated with Christmas sparkle, remove the sparkle and add some fresh or faux flowers to brighten it up. A piece of plain ribbon will also add some colour.

If your Christmas tree added light and impact to your hallway and has now left a bare patch put a chair in its place. Choose an unusual antique chair or go for something a little more contemporary. Decorate this with a pretty cushion in a fabric to complement the rest of the hallway. If it’s the lights you miss  think about adding a standard lamp or hall table with a small lamp on it. If you are re-wiring at any time this year you can add your lamps onto your lighting system so that with the flick of a switch the lamps all come on.  This is an ideal system for bedrooms too.

Did you use sprays of foliage around pictures and mirrors? If they now look lost then think about adding picture lights to highlight them. For mirrors hang some pretty glass or crystal ornaments to reflect the light and add some sparkle without being too Christmasey.

Replace a Christmas tree with an indoor plant. Be careful how you choose as many indoor plants need far more light than you realize and are often too hot in a centrally heated house but, in the right place they can thrive. If you don’t think you’re green fingered then try keeping an orchid – they flower for weeks and weeks and grouped together in a single pot can be very impactful. I have them scattered around the house and put them into unusual containers found on my antique hunting trips – they look really pretty in old jelly moulds with their roots poking over the edge.