When the gifts have been opened, the tree has been taken down and Christmas has passed, I start to crave simplicity and fresh inspiration in my home. There’s a moment every year after the decorations have been packed away where the house feels a little bare, but I like to look at this as my opportunity to approach our home with fresh eyes.
For me, the tools for this reset begin with the senses—sounds, smells, colors and textures. I love to put a good playlist on shuffle, burn a new candle and start looking for the places in my home where I can clear clutter, incorporate new colors and add life.
In the spirit of keeping things fresh, I’m also sharing two fun candle alternatives that my team came up with: a citrus simmer pot and a natural linen spray.
A simmer pot is essentially a stovetop potpourri. I love the ease of throwing these ingredients into a pot of water and letting it fill our house with clean scents all day long.
Citrus Simmer Pot Recipe
+ 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
+ 1 tbsp dried lavender
+ 2-3 lemon slices (or opt for using the peels alone)
+ A few drops lavender essential oil
+ A few drops rose essential oil
On the stovetop, bring a few cups of water to a simmer. Gently place the rosemary, lavender and lemon slices into the water. Add in drops of lavender and rose essential oil until fragrant. Turn the heat to low, and allow pot to simmer for a few hours. Make sure to check on the simmer pot about every 30 minutes and add more water to the mixture as needed.
Recipe Note: Do not leave pot on the stovetop unattended, and while it looks pretty enough to drink, resist the urge. This brew is for smelling, not sipping.
A linen spray like this one is nice to keep on hand. I love using it to refresh the linens in the spare bedroom when we’re expecting a guest, so the whole room smells fresh when they arrive. I also like to give the folded towels and throw blankets in my linen closet a quick spritz if they’ve been sitting for long periods of time. This natural linen spray has a light scent, and is completely customizable based on the essential oils you use to prepare it.
Linen Spray Recipes
Note: We recommend using amber colored glass spray bottles, which helps protect the aromatic and therapeutic properties of your essential oils. Additionally, we used these specific bottle sizes, but feel free to adjust our recipes to the bottle size you prefer or already have at home.
12 oz. Lemon Lavender Linen Spray
+ 12 oz. amber glass spray bottle
+ 10 drops of lemon essential oil
+ 10 drops of lavender essential oil
+ 2 Tbsp witch hazel (You could also use a pinch of Epsom salt or sea salt in place of the witch hazel if you prefer)
+ Filtered or distilled Water
4 oz. Rose Linen Spray
+ 4 oz. amber glass spray bottle
+ 7 drops of rose essential oil
+ 1 tsp of witch hazel (You could also use a pinch of Epsom salt or sea salt in place of the witch hazel if you prefer)
+ Filtered or distilled water
Begin by adding drops of essential oil directly into your bottle. Add witch hazel or salt (this step helps to emulsify the essential oils since oil and water don’t mix). Next, fill the rest of your bottle with room temperature filtered or distilled water.
Put the cap on the spray bottle and give it a good shake before use. Spray on bed sheets, pillows, towels, curtains, throws, furniture pieces (as you see fit based on your furniture’s specific care instructions), or pet beds.
A reset doesn’t mean you have to make any significant purchases. Instead, opt to embrace change in really simple ways. For example, adding freshly cut stems to a vase in your entryway, burning a fresh scented candle, incorporating a basket for your throw blankets in the living room, or using throw pillows to bring color to your sofa or bed. A little goes a long way! Maybe for you, embracing change looks more like tackling a space you’ve been avoiding in your home, like your hall closet, junk drawer, or pantry.
Whatever this process looks like for you, don’t overwhelm yourself by thinking of this as a complete overhaul of your home. Rather, look at this as your opportunity to slow down, reset and embrace the clean slate of a new season. I hope that whatever this fresh start looks like for you, that you will approach it with pause, purpose and intention. Happy January!
Click on the photo to listen to my playlist “At Home” on Magnolia’s Spotify!