The objectives of this study were to determine the effects of far-off and close-up diets on prepartum metabolism, postpartum metabolism, and postpartum performance of multiparous Holstein cows. From dry-off to -25 d relative to expected parturition (far-off dry period), cows were fed a control diet to meet National Research Council (NRC) recommendations for net energy for lactation (NE(L)) at ad libitum intake (100NRC; n = 25) or a higher nutrient density diet, which was fed for either ad libitum intake to provide at least 150% of calculated NE(L) requirement (150NRC; n = 25) or at restricted intake to provide 80% of calculated NE(L) requirements (80NRC; n = 24). From -24 d relative to expected parturition until parturition (close-up period), cows were fed a diet that met or exceeded NRC nutrient recommendations at either ad libitum intake (n = 38) or restricted intake (n = 36) to provide 80% of the calculated NE(L) requirement. After parturition, all cows were fed a lactation diet and measurements were made through 56 d in milk (DIM). Prepartum metabolism was consistent with the plane of nutrition. During the first 10 DIM, far-off treatments had significant carryover effects on dry matter intake, energy balance, serum nonesterified fatty acid (NEFA) concentration, and serum beta-hydroxybutyrate concentration. Cows with the lower energy balance during the far-off period (100NRC and 80NRC) had higher dry matter intake and energy balance and lower serum NEFA and beta-hydroxybutyrate during the first 10 DIM. There were no effects of close-up diet and no interactions of far-off and close-up treatments. During the first 56 DIM, there were no residual effects of far-off or close-up diets on dry matter intake, milk yield or composition, body weight, body condition score, serum glucose and insulin concentrations, or muscle lipid concentration. Serum NEFA was higher for 150NRC than 80NRC; 100NRC was intermediate. Thus, the effects of far-off and close-up treatments on postpartum variables diminished as lactation progressed. Overfeeding during the far-off period had a greater negative impact on peripartum metabolism than did differences in close-up period nutrition.