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Evolving to a Winter House: Season to Season Transformations

by | Dec 28, 2010 | Decorating Inspiration, Fall Decorating, Seasonal Decorating & Entertaining, Winter Decorating

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Evolving to a Winter House: Season to Season Transformations


Many of you are already taking your Christmas decorations down. I haven’t taken my down yet, but then again, I didn’t put that many up so I’m fine with seeing the twinkling lights for the rest of the week. And even when I do take the trees down, the “winter” influence on my house will remain for awhile longer.

As I’ve shared before, I like my home to naturally “evolve” from season to season. A Christmas inspired room gives way to a winter inspired room, and the winter inspired room will gradually evolve into a spring inspired room, etc. I enjoy having a home that gracefully evolves with the seasons because it keeps me feeling creative and connected to my home all year round.

My rooms never feel exactly the same in one season as they did a few weeks earlier.  I’m not talking major changes like needing to repaint a room or buy new furniture, simple rearranging is really all it takes to completely transform your home for a season. And if you aren’t happy with it, you can tweak it a bit until you are. Nothing has to be permanently in one place unless you LOVE it there.

Evolving to a Winter House: Season to Season Transformations


This year I removed my blue coffee table at Christmas because it just felt out of place to me once the holiday decor came out — it just didn’t make me as happy as it did in the summer.

Evolving to a Winter House: Season to Season Transformations


For the holidays, I put two slip covered ottomans in the blue coffee table’s place. The ottomans were already in the house, I just moved them together near the sofa. It just feels more cozy and wintry to me to see the ottomans. But I am positive as spring and summer rolls around, I’ll bring that blue table back out and it will make me happy all over again in the summer months. I’ll change around accessories, lamps and pillows and everything will feel fresh and new again. It doesn’t take much time and I love the process.

I can even change color schemes throughout my home each season with a few updates to my accessories! You can see by scrolling through this post how different things looked around my house as the seasoned evolved. All together, the rooms feel wrong and disjointed. But within the context of the season, each room fits with the rest of the house. No major changes required to get a different look or feel! Seeing the seasonal changes all in one place on this post makes me a little seasick, actually. Heh he heh.

Evolving to a Winter House: Season to Season Transformations


This past summer I used a striped rug and yellow accessories in my family room to bring on a more summery feel. An easy update that was just as easy to change back in the fall. I keep the rug on a shelf in the garage and it is ready to come out again in the spring!

Evolving to a Winter House: Season to Season Transformations


Obviously having two complete sets of furniture … one for “winter” and one for  “summer,” would be a bit much, but many of us have a piece or two that is easy to move around and could spend some time in a basement or garage or even a different room for a short season without taking up excessive space. But if storage space is a premium, stick with changing around accessories only. Most of my changes are done by trading places with accessories in other rooms.

Evolving to a Winter House: Season to Season Transformations


Evolving to a Winter House: Season to Season Transformations


I changed my Fall mantel to a more wintry look — it looks completely different in the winter than it did in the fall. The framed faux bamboo mirror took the place of the green shutter, which will likely return this spring! The wreath got a dusting of winter snow and my accessories were also updated from the warmer colors of fall to the more silvery tones of winter.

If the metals or colors feel too cold to me once my Christmas decor is taken away later this week, which I suspect they might since I LOVE color, I can bring in other textures and colors until I am happy with how my home feels again. Soon my home will evolve right into spring!

If I feel something doesn’t feel right about my home in any season, I can remove something or add something to it at any time. Feeling the freedom to evolve and change your home is kind of like the freedom when you first realize you are a grown up —  if you want to eat cookies for dinner you can! If you want to change things around your home each season, you totally can.

Making regular changes is a simple way to fall in love –and stay in love — with your home.

I’ve moved enough to know that moving to a new home is a more exhausting (and expensive) way to get something new and fun to work on. Changing things within the home I have helps me to feel content, I don’t need to go buy something new — not a new house and not new furniture! I can use what I have in new ways and find new creative expressions for what I already own.

There is no right or wrong way to decorate, it is all in what you enjoy and what makes you happy and content at home!

There are some seasons I am content with how things look and I just want to leave things as they are, and that is OK too. Once you find the right combination and style for you, you might not feel a need for much change at all.

Do you enjoy having your home evolve or do you like to have one set way your decor looks most of the year?

{my daughter is doing great after her surgery, thanks so much for all the prayers and well wishes!}


  1. Estela

    Thank you for all these great ideas! I always have a hard time transitioning my decor from season to season. It always ends up looking the same.

    p.s. so glad your daughter is doing well :)

  2. Melissa Newell

    We also do this with our home. Leaving the outside elements of Winter (pine cones, plain wrethes etc) in the home..changing out candle colors, throw blankets and a few other things. I am keeping up my snowmen this time for the winter, here and there.

    • Sharon

      Hey! I collect and decorate with snowmen too! I like them because I can leave them out all winter.

  3. Claire Rose

    Love the great seasonal transitioning tips-Wish I had read this back in October!!My Christmas decorations overtook my home and I ended up taking it all down the 26th! Don’t get me wrong-I loved it when I was in the midst of the fa la la but I was getting short of breath as I would walk through the overly decorated parts of my house! I can breathe-now I can think about using some of your great tips-less is more!! Thanks and happy new year to you!

  4. Mary Joy


    I love how you do that. I am working on it. I have decorations that I put up in each room that go with the next holiday that is coming up. After the Christmas decorations come down (we keep them up through the Epiphany) I will add little touches that start preparing us for Valentine’s Day. Then touches that speak of St. Patrick’s Day…etc… We have small children in the house and they love it. It makes me smile to see them as I walk from room to room too. :D And that’s what’s important right? That we enjoy our own spaces?

    My mom used to do it years ago and its taken me several years to have little things for each holiday coming up…I move to the seasonal decor in May.

    Love your room!!!! Its gorgeous! Also happy your daughter is feeling better!


    Mary Joy

  5. Deanna

    I decorate this way, as well. Even my Christmas stuff is mostly greenery and lights – easy to take the tree down and leave the rest for a few more weeks.

    Easy Peasy!

  6. Kathy

    I switch things up quite a bit, Melissa. Some rooms stay the way they are, like our master bedroom because I have kept it clutter free and somewhat simplified in recent years and I find it much less stressful at night when we are getting ready for bed. My tabletops I’m always fussing with and sometimes I’ll do like you said and move something from one room to another. It can look like a brand new item in another room!

  7. hersheys moma

    Oh, I love to change my look with each season and I think fall is my favorite… I’m just getting ready to put out the snowmen! Happy rearranging(:

  8. Talysa

    I am an evolver for sure. Throw pillows…tea kettles…rugs…I love to change them all up from season to season. BUT I am horrible at keeping them stored in a neat and tidy fashion. ;-)

  9. Karen

    I love the changes. As subtle as each of the changes are they convey, beautifully, the season. Thank you.

  10. Just B

    Beautiful transitions, Melissa! You’re so right, it doesn’t take much to change the look and feel of a room, simply by switching out colors, textures and accessories. And working with what you already have is a great place to start. Shop your home before you hit the stores! Here’s my dining room buffet in all four seasons.

  11. Missy June

    I try to do the same thing. For me, my colorful Christmas gives way to peaceful winter whites with natural elements of pinecones (love that tray you showed us!). I try to bring freshness to gloomy days with real paperwhites and will soon plant “spring bulbs” of hiacynths and tulips to slowly morph into spring decor – more birds, nests, etc.!

    • Missy June

      PS – Last night I changed my table centerpiece to simlulate the tray on your ottoman. I placed 3 white candles, fresh trimmed evergreen from our back yard and a couple of pinecones on silver tray. Thank you for the idea!

  12. Diane

    Lovely inspiration. Your home looks perfect at each season. Funny….as you wrote about wanting to add color…I thought about the pillow with the red birds…and in my mind’s eye I could picture your wreath with a red bird perching in it, the silvery baubles replaced with pinecones and a snow flake and a few candles lit for winter warmth….and the rest (including the snowflake garland) remaining….for the month.

    Me…I’ll take down the trees on or after New Years and some of the obviously Christmas decor…but I’ll leave up the candles in the windows with their garlands…edited a bit for winter. (I can’t bear to have the house void of all the lights at one time.) And then everything will begin a gradual new life as we approach Valentine’s Day. Though we have a few more months of snow…at that time I begin a transformation toward spring…bit by bit.

    As far as room rearrangement…It took me a few years to discover what really worked. I’m content with it for the most part. But, occasionally, l will move a desk or table or secretary and exchange artwork to create some freshness. And usually that is because I need the surface to create a moment I have in my mind.

    Blessings on you and your speedily recovering daughter!

  13. SimplyLKJ

    Great post! My main pieces stay throughout the seasons, but I do love to change the accessories and smaller pieces. Glad to hear your daughter is doing well.

  14. Debbie

    Hi there,
    I popped over from Michelle’s Trash to Treasure post today to see your room transformations! I really enjoyed your fresh ideas for each season…and… I’ve even been pondering making a nice soft slip cover for our sage green chenille sofa… We love it during the fall and winter months in New England but we are beach people who live near Cape cod and I’ve always thought it would be easier to ease into the next season with a basic creamy colored slip covered sofa! That being said, we are still in Christmas/Winter mode… come take a peak at our open house if you have a minute! I’ll be back to visit you again…
    Happy New Year and Happy Decorating!

  15. cindy

    I change things out from season to season and like you, I feel free to change things whenever I really want to. If it does not feel right, it gets changed. It’s really as easy as you say.
    Thanks for all of your great ideas over the last year.
    Hugs, Cindy

  16. Marilyn Holeman

    Hi Melissa, I think I read this post three or four times this morning! It really speaks to me about the way I want my home to be. Thanks so much for sharing. I’m glad your daughter is doing well. Have a blessed New Year!

  17. Minnesotamom

    Even though I haven’t had a whole lot of time to help my house evolve season to season in recent years (read: small children), I love using little touches–pillows, throws, candles, accessories–to make that transition.

  18. Heather E Transue

    This is such a beautifully written post. I love how you took an art (interior design) and almost scientifically dissected it. I love seeing the same angle photograph taken at the different seasons in your home. The personality you have created for it each time is breathtaking!
    Thank you,

  19. Lisa~

    I;m with you 100%. I love to make changes for the seasons. My husband says, “My wife would have a storage building full of Christmas furniture if she could,” and he’s right! Good job showing that small things make a big difference. Lisa~

  20. Jane

    I change things out for every season, because I got a new rug or because it’s Thursday……I love to change things around.
    It doesn’t matter the occasion to me!
    I have been following you for a long time and now have you linked on my site.
    You are so creative!
    Happy New Year!

  21. Irene

    I like changing things around 4 times a year, but in our current place, that kept things very limited. I usually just change the furniture around.

  22. Robyn

    I would love to change things around more often; however, rarely do I get around to it. Maybe that should go on my 2011 goals list.

  23. Stacey

    I am loving my silver from Christmas and may pull it all out from the decorations for a fun winter theme.

    Thanks for starting my wheels turning!

  24. Ban Clothing

    I love how you change the mantle in fall and winter. Totally suits the mood and the room. It’s tricky to change certain aspects while leaving the majority of the furniture. You do it with ease.

  25. Glenda Childers

    I enjoyed your joy of your home . . . in every season.


  26. Linda

    So many great tips, thank you! I’m looking forward to applying some of these in the coming seasons. Yippee!

  27. Pearl Maple

    Fabulous ideas, particularly like, tweeking often, little changes to inspire and move with the times is easy enough for us all to consider.

  28. Melissa

    I really like all of the great ideas. I am kind of all or nothing it seems here of late. I will have to try a couple of them and see how it works out!

  29. Alicia

    You are so right you don’t have to do major changes like painting to get a whole new look in a room.With little or no money you make a room look a little or a whole lot different. You have done a beautiful job, Your room always looks so inviting.

  30. Arlene

    I love to change things up every season as well….I just purchased an inexpensive white ironstone vase to keep my pens and pencils in! It just looked so pretty and wintry to me. Thanks for your encouraging blog…I can always find something to inspire me here!

  31. Carmen

    I’m so glad to hear that your daughter is doing well. :)

    I always change my home from season to season and I guess I find it odd to not do it. ;)

  32. teresa

    Beautiful….You are always a head of the game when it comes to ideas…great post.

  33. Phaedra

    I love the many subtle changes you make throughout the year but yet staying true to the original design. It’s almost as if you have a template and then just make accessory changes. That is brilliant! : ) I have learned that is the best way to go instead of changing the whole theme each time you decorate and I really love your color palette. It looks polished and inviting at the same time without being too fussy. Great job and I look forward to seeing what you do in 2011.

  34. Missy G

    Please come to Utah and decorate my home for me!!! :o)

    I LoVe your blog!!

  35. Teresa Brady

    I love your small subtle changes that really make such a difference. Your blog is inspiring.

  36. Mary Ann

    Don’t you think it helps that you have a white backdrop? I like to change pillows and add throw blankets…but now you have me thinking about moving around furniture. Always fun to “play.”
    Happy New year.
    Mary Ann

  37. Laurie

    I enjoyed seeing how you change things up with the seasons, and I also do this, saving a few things in boxes and bringing them out seasonally, or just moving things from room to room. This year, after taking down the tree and the Christmas decorations, I am mostly using white or soft yellow candles, pinecones and creamware to accent a few spots around our main rooms.

    I am always “inspired” by your posts! Thank you for sharing your home and ideas with us.

  38. Kayla

    I love the natural wintry look in your home! Beautiful.

  39. Kimberly

    I checked your blog for ideas for winter! Thank you!! I love snow with little green candle trees,pine cones!

  40. Mrs.S

    I adore your house and style very much. So cozy and inviting. Thanks so much for featuring my powder room in your inspired findings!

  41. katie

    My husband hates this…because it means we have tons of throw pillows and I’ve never met a man that likes throw pillows- but for me, the easiest way to change the feel of a living room from season to season is with the throw pillows and blankets. Rich warm reds, tans and browns in the winter and fall, airy blues, whites and linens in the spring and summer. Its easy, inexpensive, and quick- and keeps me loving my room from season to season.

  42. Laine

    Great post! I loved all the pictures. I think I need to finally subscribe to your blog! =)

  43. lucy

    i do this too, it’s so much fun tweaking when the new season rolls around! my whole house is mostly nuetral so it’s easy to do:)

  44. Michele

    Where did you get your sofa slipcover (assuming that it IS a slipcover)! It is so cute and comfy looking! I have an older sofa that is still very sound just has very dated FLORAL fabric! Thanks for all your GREAT ideas. Michele

  45. Kary Ross

    I was going to respond just as Michele did about your sofa slipcover. I have a great couch and chair that needs slipcovered. I was thinking of learning how to actually make one. Any ideas for DIY slipcovers. I’ve Googled but haven’t had any luck finding a good site. Love all your “musings” and your photos are so helpful! Kary


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