Editorial By: Johanne Yakula | Photography By: Dr. Christopher Cooper (except †)
Buy yourself a new spring outfit!
1 – DECLUTTER
Yes, you have heard it again and again. To some people, clutter is cozy, but to others, clutter sucks away energy. When spring arrives, however, even the most die-hard clutter lover has to admit that an area cleared of extraneous objects has a fresh appeal.
Identify possible storage areas – be creative about it. Use attractive baskets or decorative “hat” boxes to hide those small dust collecting objects. Give things away or sell them. There are several books on beating the clutter monsters to inspire you to sift through your possessions. Evaluate which ones mean the most to you, and those that still reflect the “who” you are today.
Declutter, Hat boxes, antique suitcases and trunks, can all be used to provide extra storage space and will complement any decor.
2 – CHANGE ACCESSORIES
Remove anything that reminds you of winter – pillows or throws in dark colours, floral arrangements, crystal, silver, – anything that feels formal. Replace these with textiles in soft pastel shades or bright colours. Arrangements of daisies, tulips and other spring flowers will provide a lighter look. Store the crystal and silver in favour of painted metal candlesticks in shades of white and cream. Use different china that has a more “summery” look.
3 – REMOVE or REPLACE WINDOW TREATMENTS and RUGS
Victorians knew the power of a good spring cleaning, and removing one or more of the layers of their window treatments helped to bring fresh air into their homes. This applies to any window treatment even today. Keep the blinds but remove sheers, or replace solid side panels with lace for a brighter look. Clean rugs well then store away for the season, and leave the floors bare for a real summer look. Or, replace them with rugs in different, natural materials in lighter colours.
Replace Window Treatments
4 – HIDE the FIREPLACE
Hide your fireplace visually, not figuratively. Hide the opening with a seasonally inspired screen in white or cream, or place a summer arrangement in front of your fireplace. Keep mantle accessories to a minimum, and change their colours to coordinate with the screen or arrangement below.
5 – MOVE YOUR FURNITURE AROUND
If your upholstered furniture typically faces the fireplace, move it to face the windows instead. This is very effective especially if your window looks onto a beautiful yard or view. If this is not the case, simply moving things around will give you a fresh outlook.
6 – BUY FRESH FLOWERS
Buy fresh cut flowers until your own are ready from the garden. Nothing inspires spring like the brilliant colour of tulips, and daffodils. Or, buy new, good quality, silk flowers.
7 – CHANGE COLOURS
Painting your walls a different colour is one of the least expensive, high impact changes you can make. Painting old furniture a light colour can breathe new life in your seasonal decor too. Or, change your dark walnut or mahogany woods for pieces made of pine, maple or any other light coloured wood.
8 – CHANGE YOUR ARTWORK
Certain styles of frame favour either a formal or informal style. If feasible, change the frame of your favourite artwork. In some cases you can remove the frame altogether and leave the picture “bare” – as if the artist just painted it. You could also change the mat to a lighter colour.
Another alternative is to choose new artwork that is more in keeping with the season – pictures of gardens, porches, florals, botanicals etc. Put your other artwork in storage for the season. It will feel new all over again come September.
9 – CONSIDER SLIPCOVERS
Albeit expensive, slipcovers can totally transform the look of your room for the warmer summer months ahead. Another bonus is that they protect your furniture at a time when casual lifestyle behaviours can wreak havoc on your furniture.
10 – BUY YOURSELF A NEW SPRING OUTFIT
OK, it has nothing to do with your home, but why should you dress your home for the season and forget about yourself? Enjoy the season!