Hello! I’m Elise Joseph, and I’m really excited to share some ideas for transitioning your home from the holidays to a fresh, new year. As a shop owner and consultant in Nashville, I strive to create and surround myself with beauty (any other Enneagram 4s out there?), and have spent a lot of time honing and fostering an intentional, welcoming space for my family and friends.
If you’re like me, the short, dark winter days can often feel challenging and melancholy. Our bodies (and our minds!) need some extra love and care during the colder months, and I think it’s important to find joy, comfort and warmth in the spaces that we call home. Here are a few thoughts on high impact, minimal investment updates that support our homes this season.
9 Mindful Ideas For Transitioning Your Home into a New Year
The glimmer of holiday lights and trees may be gone, but lighting can still feel magical. With the sun setting earlier, I find it important to have lots of lamps and install dimmers around the house. Warm golden light creates a more peaceful energy than the bright white (almost blue) bulbs. I love Edison bulbs and super low wattage. And if you have a fireplace, put it to use! Your space will glow from the inside out.
I gravitate towards warm and woodsy scents to get me through the colder months. Stock up on your favorite candles, incense, and oil diffusers, or make your own. There is nothing quite like simmering a stovetop scent like my mom did when I was a kid — try using cinnamon sticks, fresh ginger, vanilla, and rosemary sprigs.
We all love to wear layers this time of year, so why not also add layers to our homes? Think warm throws, down pillows, and wool rugs underfoot. Add some tonal texture to a sofa or chair with a sheepskin or knit pillow. Make sure your bed has soft layers and an extra blanket. Rest is so important and having a cozy place to relax, recharge, and dream sets the tone for brighter days.
Start the new year with a clean slate, and aim to minimize clutter, donate items that aren’t being used and create a more meaningful space. Things may have accumulated over the holiday season, so clear out what feels unnecessary and focus on what brings you joy. Channel your inner Marie Kondo, set some new intentions and restyle shelves using various sizes and shapes (think: books, candle holders, vases, framed photographs, a shell collection, and so on).
Dried and fresh blooms.
The trees and garland may be gone, but it’s the perfect time to incorporate some foraged branches, dried grasses, or fresh blooms into the home. I make a weekly routine of exploring my yard for some foliage or visit the local flower shop for a bouquet that makes me smile. Eucalyptus adds a subtle, refreshing smell, and even a new houseplant can help liven and brighten up a space. Winter means more time indoors, so be mindful to bring nature in.
I like to pull out old favorites and incorporate new books into an easily accessible place. Maybe they inspire a recipe idea (thank you, Alison Roman), evoke a memory, or stir up an interesting conversation. Add a fresh stack to the mantle or coffee table and get to re-exploring.
Find your nook.
This year, I’ve enjoyed creating a morning ritual with a floor cushion, some incense, and a short meditation. Even if it’s just a small corner, establish an intentional spot to nestle up with a good book, sip some herbal tea, or practice journaling. Take some time to turn inward to improve clarity and focus, and find a ritual that is meaningful to you.
All in favor of functional beauty—find a bowl that speaks to you (wooden, glass, ceramic) and fill it with seasonal fruits and vegetables. This can bring some much-needed color and life to a countertop or table.
So many of us can feel the isolation of winter, so why not continue celebrations into the new year? Invite some friends or family over, sip on some wintery drinks, or eat a hearty stew together. It doesn’t take much to lift the spirits and bring warmth into the home.
I hope these simple ideas can remind us to take care of ourselves and find beauty in the everyday. In the spirit of this list, I have shared a new collection of pre-loved vintage finds over at Duende. There is magic in these cold months, so let’s do what we can to savor the warm, grounded moments and carve out some time for physical, mental, and emotional nourishment. Cheers to a new decade!
Elise Joseph is a consultant and owner of Duende, her online collection of vintage finds. She is based in Nashville, Tennessee.
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Images edited with the Local Milk Instagram Preset Collection.