Hi, I'm Lily.

Creativity inspires the simplest things in my life. Here's hoping I can inspire you, too.

5 Valentine's Decor Tricks

In middle school, I had a beanie baby for every holiday. And those beanie babies are where the obession with celebrating holidays began.

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Valentine's Day was my favourite holiday because the beanie baby that sat on my desk every Feb 14 was of course pink. I'd usually bake some matching cupcakes to share with the class, because celebrations aren't as fun for just one. While my classmates probably considered me to be over the top, I gleamed with joy everytime I had a cute itty bitty bear to share the day's occasion with.

I've since cleansed myself of my beanie, though they for sure hold a special place in my heart forever. Now, I've swapped in DIY balloon garlands, festive napkins and seasonal floral arrangements.

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If you've caught some of my other living room theme posts, you'll notice my consistent bookcases and couch. Pretty much everything else is modular to fit the season. This post in particular will share my favourite tips to decorate without investing in a bunch of event decor that has to be stored 11 months out of the year.

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Cards are for more than greetings

Greeting cards are a great way to say things to loved ones, so I like to keep certain cards throughout the years to remember different times. But often when I’m perusing Homesense’s card section, I’ll pickup a few to use just for decor purposes. For instance, below are both received and cards bought for personal use. Some get framed, while others live there best life alone on the shelf so I can read and re-read their content.

TIP: If you have a card with 3D texture that you want to show off, frame it on the outside of the glass. This way neither the card nor the frame will get squished or ruined. Instead, it’ll look more like a custom framed piece.

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Reevaluate the existing

Maybe it’s candy, maybe it’s scraps of fabric from a never completed project. But I'm a yarn hoarder, and since I rarely actually finish a crochet afghan project, I have yarn in virtually every colour. Using what’s at your disposable doesn’t take up any extra storage space and breathes new life into things that hang out alone in dark cabinets.

Likewise can be said for cake plates (and many other items). They are so perfect, I refuse to keep them locked away in a cupboard only to be shown when guests arrive. They’re also great for adding height and dimension on shelves to create a more interesting display. Take a look around for colourful books, glass vases, or other items and get creative with what purpose they can serve for you today.

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Plantify

The sweeping trend of plants in Millennial homes has significantly increased in the last two years, my self included. And while I didn’t inherit a green thumb from my grandmother or mother, fake plants and floral arrangements are my jam.

While places like Urban Barn sell dream-like faux fig trees, the attached price tag isn’t always so lovely. The same can be said for professional floral arrangements. But I always like to look at lower-cost alternatives, like Dollarama, where I got this cute pom-pom tree (below).

TIP: If you have a staple item, like the tree below, it can live in your decor year round and be dressed up in seasonal colours. Here, I’ve wrapped a piece of bright tulle around the trunk to make it feminine and pink for Valentine’s. Stay tuned for what Easter might bring!

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On the flip side of the longevity spectrum, I love trendy fresh flowers and frequent my favourite florist in Toronto, the Greenery Patch. Their space in St. Lawrence Market is tucked into the lower corner of the building but budding with the beauty of fresh blooms. Exploring floral design is a great way to bring bold colour and fresh fragrance into the room, especially when the windows are closed for the entire season.

Cold Canadian winters can bring on things like Seasonal Affective Disorder (depression linked in the change in seasons) or other mental disruptors, making it important to consider self love. For me, these tropical flowers have truly made a positive impact on my mental health every time I’ve seen/smelled them. Making them well worth the $45 spent creating this enormous arrangement.

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Borrow from yourself or upcycle

I love switching up pillowcases to create an impact on my beautiful blue couch, making it a low-lift switch for any season. In a post-Marie Kondo tidying fury, I had tossed this soft pink turtleneck sweater in to a donation pile and after some thought reconsidered its place in my life as a pillow covering. Zero cost to make and it reduces the environmental impact by upcycling instead of buying a new cushion cover.

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Steal from other seasons

Now, I don’t condone stealing, but sometimes other seasons have great decor that shouldn’t be confined to a single part of the year. My pink Peep pillow (above) for instance, is just so cute I had to include it with the pink pillows on my couch. Throwing caution the the season police, there she sits, often with the cats, masquerading as Valentine’s decor.

All these tips can apply to any holiday decor around your house, throughout the year. So even if you’re not a "holiday decorator” maybe you’ll think again about adding some seasonal inspiration using things already in your house. If you do, tag me on Instagram @lilymuffinsblog so I can see your spin on any holiday this year.

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