Oh dear, after the spice and life of Christmas, January can be a dismal month. But having a happy house can support you through back-to-work woes and the rigours of New Year resolutions. Here’s my homely prescription to cure the January blues…
1. Move the furniture around.
Chances are, you have had to shift a table or rearrange a bedroom to accommodate the flurry of guests and visitors at Christmas. Rather than simply moving them back to their previous positions, take the opportunity to rethink. Would the living room look cosier with the armchair nearer to the fire or by the window? Could you move a desk or table to the kitchen to make a workplace for you or a drawing area for the kids?
Considering how you want to live in your house, rather than where furniture should be, is the first step to feeling comfortable in your own space.
If that’s not good enough a reason, read how to reduce heating bills with furniture and layout.
2. Clear some clutter
I’m not advocating a major cleanup – who wants to do that in January? But there is something invigorating about tackling a corner of your home that’s been driving you mad for ages. For me, it’s the under-stairs cupboard. I know that sorting its jumble of sports equipment, cleaning kit and tool boxes will give me a lift like nothing else this January. Find your trouble spot and go for it. Dump what you don’t need and organise what you do – a few inexpensive hooks, racks and boxes could be all you need to tidy the clutter and find some inner peace.
Clutter can lead to a sad-looking home. To read further, click on the image below for low-cost ways to make your home look amazing.
3. Add some ‘hygge’
When it’s cold outside and the days are short and dark, what you need is a little ‘hygge’. This Danish word roughly translates as creating a warm, cosy atmosphere, the sense of comfort that comes from being surrounded by those you love, and sharing food and good times. Fill your home with candles and fairy lights, make sure there are throws to cuddle up in, hot chocolate or mulled wine (it’s not just for Christmas!) to warm you, bake some biscuits and invite friends over to play games and make plans for the year ahead.
Add some hygge to your home with our DIY ambience guide. Click the image below to see the full graphic.
4. Create a photo wall
If you have hundreds of digital photos stuck on your camera or computer, or a box of photos that you’ve been meaning to sort through, now is the time to do it. There are lots of online sites that will print your digital snaps quickly and easily, and you can pick up frames in the sales or charity shops (just take out the picture you don’t want and replace your own).
Use spray paint to give the frames a coordinated look, or keep a mismatch of style and colours for an eclectic look. Lay out your display on the floor first until you’re happy with the arrangement, then get hanging. A gallery of your favourite people or photos that remind you of special times, such as birthdays and holidays, is sure to lift your heart each time you pass it.
Read more on amazing wall art.
5. Bring in some plants
January homes can look cold and lifeless, especially after the exuberance of having a Christmas tree in the corner. You could buy cut flowers but why not take an endorphin-boosting walk and gather some foliage and berries to arrange in jars, tins and pots around the house? And add a pot of hyacinth or narcissi bulbs on the kitchen table. When the shoots start to poke up from the soil and finally burst into flower, it’s a scented, sunny foretaste of spring. Happy January!
Interested ion house plants? See if you can beat this terrarium.