Afterglow: Tips to Brighten the Season Post-Holidays

Keep your spirits up even when the decorations come down

The lights are wound and the tree is down. The wrapping, stringing, decking and trimming have ceased.  And while the end of the holidays marks a time to reset and catch up, for many of us it also signifies the beginning of a long, often inhibiting season ahead. Indeed, the temperature and the snow come down right behind the decorations and lights, making it that much more important to keep your spirits up.

We checked in with our team for some tips how to brighten the season ahead.




Plan something special at home
Snowed in? John reminds us that date night doesn’t have to involve relocation.

Use a bartender’s recipe book and try some new cocktails to accompany something you cook together.
Turn up the thermostat and dress like it’s July.
Put on some Flamenco music and see where the night takes you.
Date night at home for winter HMR Designs
Create pockets of warmth and light
John also suggests buying simple bundles of fresh Dutch tulips, flopping them into glasses, jars and vases, and spreading them around your home.

Scatter tulips around your home to brighten the season says HMR Designs

You can also round up all of the assorted candles you own and put them together on a table for a more compelling, dramatic glow.
Assorted candles all in one place
In addition, John recommends stopping by the Gethsemene Garden Center. “Talk to the experts. Tell them about the light in your home so they can help you choose plants that will thrive.”

Some gorgeous flowering plants we recommend for winter, from left to right: Amaryllis, Hyacinth plants and Cyclamen.
Winter plants to keep you smiling recommended by HMR Designs

The takeaway(s): Adventures can happen anywhere. A little color and light can go a long way.



Winter can often make us feel like everything has frozen and died, so Casey reminds us to keep signs around that this is not the case. Her two suggestions? Blooming branches and bulbs.

“Buy blooming branches when they still look like sticks with knobby buds. They will bloom, and after the blooms fade, they’ll leaf out.”
HMR Designs tips to brighten the season with blooming branches

Casey also suggests buying bulbs that have a lovely spring time fragrance (such as hyacinth and jonquils) and add them to shallow water.  “Watch them grow and be reassured.”
Hyacinth bulbs to brighten winter HMR Designs

Not much of a botanist?  Call HMR. We’d love to arrange a bountiful vase of flowering quince or forsythia to accompany you in a cozy spot in your living or dining room.
HMR Designs says to buy blooming branches like quince or forsythia to brighten the season.

Finally, Casey also loves to add a bright spot of color to a table or room with a bowl vibrant tangerines or pears. Simple and multifunctional indeed.

Simple tips to brighten the season from HMR Designs

The takeaway: keeping the hope alive will keep your spirits up.


As we’re often stuck on the inside looking out, Allison recommends washing your windows for a simple boost. Brightening the view might just do the same for your spirits.
Winter window

She also lightens things up around the kitchen and bathroom with crisp, bright linens and small blooming plants,” I usually choose just simple whites and greens.There’s so much ‘pomp and circumstance’ for the holidays that (after) I crave a clean, unfussy room.”
Crisp white linens help brighten the season says HMR DesignsKeeping bright fabrics and small plants like these around reminds Allison of the promise of spring.
Tips for brightening the winter

The takeaway: Use the post-holiday quiet time to clear your home and your head.


So, as winter stretches out before us, don’t let the season weigh you down. Rather, lighten things up, and remember that simple, small additions to your home and routine can help make you more happily housebound for the months ahead.
Tulips for miles in the HMR Designs studio

Special thanks to John, Casey and Allison for their contributions.