These cozy decorating ideas will keep your home feeling merry and bright without the mistletoe and holly.

By Mary Shannon Wells
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It's safe to say we all needed a little extra Christmas cheer in 2020. For many households, decorations went up earlier than years past to get family members in the holiday spirit. Since a switch didn't automatically make all of 2020's problems disappear when the clock struck midnight on New Year's Eve, we want to hold onto the warm feeling of the holidays as long as possible. However, Mama would have some strong opinions if we left Santa Claus and the whole Christmas village up past Epiphany. Per usual, SL Test Kitchen Pro and our go-to girl for entertaining advice Ivy Odom has some winter decorating ideas that will keep your home feeling merry and bright without the mistletoe and holly. Here are Ivy's tips for transitioning your décor from Christmas to winter:

1. Get rid of all the red.

"Red screams Christmas," says Ivy. Greenery is, well, evergreen. But red and green together is totally Christmas. Obviously, you can't remove big-ticket pieces (like Ivy's red rug) from your space. But Christmas decorations and tchotchkes in the hue need to go. Retire red décor like pillows and blankets to another room, and stow red stockings, bows, and nutcrackers away until the next holiday season. Get our guide for storing your holiday heirlooms here.

2. De-clutter.

We're guessing that de-cluttering is already on your January to-do list. If you're like Ivy, this task might not be the easiest. "I love a knick-knack," she says. "I love a lot of things…and it is time to get rid of some of those things." One way Ivy de-clutters is by reorganizing her living room bookshelves. In order to take the shelves from Christmas to winter, she decides to make the color palette as neutral as possible. How can you do that without spending money on new items? Take a design tip and turn your books inside out, so that the pages, not the spine, face your room. "Is it going to be impossible for me to find a book to read? Yes. But is it beautiful? Also, yes," Ivy says.

 3. Create a wintery centerpiece for your coffee table.

Not only will a wintry centerpiece look beautiful, it's an easy way to reuse Christmas greenery and keep clutter off your table in the new year. Crisp clear and white vases and white flowers bring a fresh look to greenery that once had a holiday feel. This centerpiece is totally customizable with the décor you already own. "As long as you keep to a neutral and add in white flowers and pops of greenery that are seasonal, you can't go wrong," Ivy says.

4. Add in neutral colors and elements of nature.

Neutral color palettes are timeless, but if you're like Ivy ,you might not be used to them. "For me, I am a sucker for some color," she says. "But in the wintertime, I can really appreciate a cozy, clean, crisp feel of a neutral color palette." You don't have to spend an arm and a leg to get a designer-worthy neutral look, either. Ivy repurposes neutral pillows and blankets from other parts of her house in the living room for a big-impact change that cost her nothing.

5. Add in baskets and natural elements.

"Baskets are so cozy," Ivy says. When stuffed with blankets and pillows, baskets add a certain warmth to your room that's perfect for the cold wintertime. "The key to winter decorating is just making everything feel cozy and nice and warm," she says. Birch logs and wood pieces bring in a rustic vibe from the wintery outdoors.

Hopefully these tips for transitioning your Christmas décor to winter décor can help your home have a crisp, fresh start to 2021 without losing the joy and warmth of the holiday season. Tag @southernlivingmag and @IvyOdom on Instagram to share your cozy, wintery décor with us!