Freshen Up Your Home With These Spring Decorating Ideas
Go Beyond Spring Cleaning This Year
Spring Cleaning is that annual rite where you banish the dark and dirt of winter and open your house to spring. We tend to do this by freshening up: deep cleaning nooks and crannies and baseboards, culling old and unused items from kitchen cabinets and closets, opening the windows and beating the rugs, cushions, curtains and bedding until any mustiness or damp has been banished.
It feels good to engage in spring cleaning, and I always enjoy my home so much more after I have cleaned it from top to bottom. But since spring cleaning is as much a metaphor for rebirth and freshness as it is a dirt-scrubbing drudgery, I like to bring creative, whimsical touches into my house that give it a stylistic refresh as well as a cleaning refresh.
Let There Be Light
After a long, dreary winter, it's natural to want to fill your house with spring sunshine, whether there's any actual sun to let in or not. Here are some easy ideas to freshen and lighten up your home.
- Buy new white towels. No matter how good you are at laundry, over time, white towels turn dingy. You can easily restock your linen closet with the help of inexpensive online retailers like Target.com or Garnet Hill.com or Lands End.com, or look for a Pottery Barn deal. New towels are fluffier and brighter and more appealing than old towels, and go a long way to making your home feel cleaner.
- Use lightweight fabrics and lighter or brighter colors. I have a winter duvet and a spring bedspread, and I always love the promise of long, warm days that comes with putting my seersucker blanket cover on my bed. I also replace the heavy silk damask throw pillows on my sofa with a lighter linen print. These kinds of fabric swaps can be made in almost every room, from the dishtowels in your kitchen to the tablecloth or placemats in your dining room to slipcovers or different throw pillows in your living room.
- Touch up baseboards with fresh paint. Repainting your trim is a small chore that brings big bang for the buck. We seldom notice how tired those baseboards and picture railings can become until we slap on a coat of bright white paint. It's amazing what a difference this small move can make.
- Change your lightbulbs to cool white. These automatically change the light in a room, making it that much more crisp.
Bring In Color!
Spring is all about an explosion of colors: riots of flowers bloom in dazzling yellows and purples and pinks. Birds return in all their bright plumage. Trees bud in a sharp new green. Echo that riot of colors in your house, and feel your mood lighten.
- Swap in bright throw pillows. Pillows are an easy and inexpensive way to bring color into your house. Target has inexpensive throw pillowcases, as do other online retailers like Garnet Hill.
- Bring in fresh flowers — or a stylish fake springtime arrangement. I admit it, I am a sucker for fake flower arrangements. The orchid in my dining room is made of silk and that cheery vase of yellow roses on a side table in my living room are also fake. Fresh cut flowers brighten any room and send a clear signal that spring has arrived. They also introduce welcome color. If you can afford to have fresh cut flower arrangements all the time, and don't mind keeping the arrangement fresh, go for it. But artificial flowers do the trick, too. Gumps.com has a wide selection of fake botanicals and fake floral arrangements.
- Repaint a room — or just an accent wall. Paint is the best easy and cheap way to upgrade your home decor, and talk about fresh! The smell of new paint will make you think of fresh starts. A sunny yellow can lighten any room, and works particularly well in small spaces. Alternatively, paint an accent wall in a bold spring color.
- Sew new Roman Shades in a cheery spring fabric. Id you are handy with a sewing machine, Roman Shades are easy to make. Fabric is an easy way to bring new color and style into any space.
- Put up a wall decal. These removable stickers can create any scene you'd like on your walls, instantly transforming your space. Try cherry blossoms for a spring oasis.
Don't forget the sense of smell
Spring is about colors and sounds, and it's also very much about smells. It may not be practical to leave the windows open where you live, letting in the actual smell of newly-mown grass and earthy promise. Here are some ideas of how to bring the smell of spring inside.
- Fresh cut flowers, particularly stargazer lilies. I know I proclaimed my love for fake flower arrangements, but they really do fall short when it comes to infusing my house with the scent of flowers. I love to have stargazer lilies in addition to the fakes because the hot pink and bright white are a cheery combination, and also because the heady smell of just one stargazer lily can fill a entire house. Other flowers also smell delicious; talk to your florist about which have the strongest, longest-lasting scents.
- Scented candles. Candle-making has become a refined art, and it is easy to find long-lasting candles in any scent profile you desire. Some may have a generic name like "spring rain," but you can also buy candles with specific spring scents like lilac, fresh grass or hyacinth.
- Clean deep. Use those soaps on your floors, upholstery, furniture so that they smell clean as well as look clean.