From the December/January 2009 Issue:

Warm Up Your Rooms After the Holidays

Once the holidays are over and the decorations are stored for another year, how can a homeowner visually warm up a room for the remainder of winter?

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enlarge | An elegantly draped table with family photos will help to dispel the post-holiday blues. Photo by David Van Scott
Joseph Tenaglia Jr. Joseph Design LLC in Wildwood Crest; 609-972-3477,

Make it personal! Refill those seemingly empty spaces with your favorite and most personal items, photos, furniture, artifacts, and other accessories that say something personal about you, that evoke a feeling of comfort, that allow you and urge others to tell a story or ask about its origin and background. This could be a favorite chair repositioned to become central in the room, a group of photos of special people in your life or places you’ve visited, a vase collected during your favorite vacation getaway, or even choice flowers or plants used as a central focus. Don’t be afraid to let your most personal side show; allow the warmth and openness of the holiday to carry over into the space throughout the year.

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enlarge | a cranberry-painted interior livens up a display cabinet from Habersham; Photo courtesy of Habersham

Suzette Donleavy Well-Designed Interiors in Shrewsbury; 732-758-9090,

Paint the back of a bookcase in an accent color from the room’s color palette. Add a strié technique in a slightly darker shade for dimension. Rearrange items in a new grouping, or move something from another space to the bookshelf for renewed interest. Not only do your favorite things create warmth in your home, but you now have a fresh look.

Cozy up a favorite chair with a new chenille throw and a beautiful footstool. Create a new place to read a book during long winter afternoons. Use an unexpected item, such as beautiful luggage, as an end table to keep a few favorite design magazines nearby.

Rearrange a tabletop. Replace holiday poinsettias with a potted ivy topiary from the local garden center. Continue by adding an unexpected accessory, a few favorite pieces from a collection, or a framed photo of a memorable moment from a holiday gathering.

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enlarge | Carry the good feelings of the holidays into January by hosting a dinner party using by displaying attention-getting decorative accents; Photo courtesy of Calder Interior

Nicholas Calder Calder Interiors in New York City; 212-861-9055,

To give a little sparkle and twist to an otherwise mundane time of year, fill a collection of simple, clear cylindrical vases of various sizes with water and add a small amount of food coloring to contrast with or complement the room. For more of a flirt, place a beautiful fish from your local pet store into a vase filled with water.

Carry the good feelings of the holidays into January by hosting a dinner party using a colorful table setting or by displaying attention-getting decorative accents.