If you are suffering from the inevitable post-Christmas slump, and you've found yourself perusing the internet for some home holiday projects to beat the blues, then we have a treat for you.
If you've got a few hours to spare away from your day-to-day duties this season, it could just be the perfect time to tackle those projects and home improvements that you may have been putting off all year.
We've turned to the experts for inspiration on what DIY projects to take on during your downtime.
7 holiday projects to beat the post-Christmas blues
When we say post-Christmas 'DIY projects' at H&G, we are really not entertaining the idea of ripping out an old bathroom, stripping paint, or unblocking drains. No, we are talking about giving your home a much-needed rejuvenation after the holidays with smart updates that any of us could turn our hands to.
Below, we've highlighted our favorite holiday projects to do once the guests have left. Each one is easy but impactful – and above all, beautiful. So, if you have time on your hands and are in need of inspiration, keep scrolling...
1. Curate a gallery wall with your favorite art or family photographs
The way art is displayed can have a transformative impact on a space. Beautiful gallery wall ideas are popular in design schemes, but some are taking compositions a step further and including interesting brackets for further interest.
‘Being a small space, this living room needed a sense of intimacy,’ says interior designer and antique dealer Max Rollitt. ‘Paneling adds architectural texture and creates shadow and depth to a room. There’s no need to be frightened of hanging on paneling; the geometry of it will tempt you to center where you place things on each panel, but don’t be afraid to span a panel or style – or, indeed, cover up large areas. It’s only architecture. Likewise, brackets are an architectural element, but they can make for an interesting way to display things.’
2. Hang a tapestry
Hanging tapestries as art is a great way to introduce texture, color, and warmth into a space. They are also brilliant sound absorbers, which can help with acoustics in a noisy room. A wonderful option if you have young family members staying over post-Christmas.
‘We sourced this beautiful antique tapestry in Paris and it serves as the focal point of this room,’ says Katie Lion of Kitesgrove. ‘The tones informed our choice of the inky blue paint we used on the wall; it offsets the tapestry beautifully and stops it from feeling too traditional.’
3. Create an art installation on shelves
Use the post-holiday period to decorate shelves and curate beautiful arrangments. Shelves can act as art installations in their own right, without parting with thousands of pounds in the process. Displaying objects of the same kind creates a meaningful and significant statement, but the items don’t need to be high art – the act of putting them together on display using a strong color scheme to create a coherent thread will have the required visual impact.
Here, a series of pots of the same size have been used to support each of the shelves above with great effect. It’s a classic approach of Kit Kemp, founder and creative director of Firmdale Hotels and Kit Kemp Design Studio. ‘Combining color, vintage fabrics, and a geometric rug was a fabulous way to refresh this living room,’ says Kit.
4. Press everlasting blooms
If you are looking for something simple, why not learn how to press flowers to make a beautiful decorative display in your home?
Drying flowers is such a wonderful way to preserve garden blooms – or even a cherished bouquet – and enable you to display them in your home,' says Melanie Griffiths, editor of Period Living. 'While pressing flowers in a book or flower press is an age-old craft that has been practiced for centuries, if you want to use them in an arrangement then they need to keep their shape.'
There are several ways to dry flowers, and the best method will depend on the type of flower you’re working with. For example, flowers with small and robust heads, such as hydrangeas, lavender, and gypsophila, respond well to being air dried, as their lower moisture content enables them to be successfully dried out over a longer period. Meanwhile, larger, denser flowers with multiple petal layers, such as roses, tulips, and chrysanthemums, are good candidates for drying with heat.
Unfortunately, you may find that not all flowers dry well, but it’s fun to experiment with different varieties.
5. Enliven your scheme by painting a door frame
Creative paint ideas and paint tricks can bring a unique beauty to a home, and the more creative they are, the better. Kit Kemp is highly regarded for her use of color, showcased in the various Firmdale hotels she designs. If you’re unsure about where to begin with color in the home, Kit has plenty of ideas and recommends a door frame as one of the easiest places you can start.
‘It’s the perfect canvas for applying a fun addition of color or even just a soft complementing hue to the rest of the room,’ she explains. ‘Door frames are the borders between one room and the next, from a cozy drawing room to a bright kitchen, so why not have something that frames the room beyond and is a fun and colorful addition in itself?’
In this energetic space, designed by Nicole Harding, founder of Nicole Harding & Co. the designer also painted the entire door for a welcome shock of color.
6. Evoke an element of surprise by painting inside a cabinet
Punchy color can have a big impact, especially with tucked behind closed doors.
‘Painting the interior of glazed wall cabinets is a really effective way to add a touch of personality to your kitchen,’ says Jayne Everett, creative director, of Naked Kitchens.
If you really want to celebrate your favorite color, go for clear glass and let the color sing. The breezy blue used here only accounts for 10% of the kitchen’s overall color palette but its eye-level placement and vibrancy ensure the color goes much further.
'Painting the inside of a cabinet is simple, and can be finished in one afternoon, too. Plus, no color is too bright or out of bounds,’ adds Jayne.
7. Add decorative trim to cushions, sofas and curtains
If you have a sewing machine, adding trim to the soft furnishings in your home is always a good idea. It is a misconception that trimmings and tassels are only for traditional homes. In a contemporary scheme, a plain cushion in a muted palette will look fantastic trimmed with a cut ruche in matt cotton, whereas, in a more classic scheme, you would probably opt for a colorful cut ruche in a silkier finish.
'We love a ‘more is more’ approach to our schemes, and trimmings are brilliant vehicles for this,' says Lucy Barlow, co-founder, of Barlow & Barlow. 'A bullion fringe on an ottoman, for example, adds a luxurious level of finish, as does a braid on the leading edge of a curtain.'
'I always tell clients to be braver than they would naturally. I think that a bit of bravery in interiors always makes people happy.'
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Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.
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