After a long winter, the first breath of spring is something you want to bring inside and hold onto. Here are some ways to capture that springtime feeling without redecorating or spending a lot of money.
Bring the Outdoors In
Begin by airing out every room in the house. If possible, hang out bedding as well, and consider having rugs and carpeting cleaned of winter dust. Keep the fresh air feeling with a natural scent like citrus or a spritz of almond extract mixed with witch hazel.
For a sparkling clear view, wash winter grime from windows and blinds and finish the frame with freshly laundered curtains or new sheers. Hang a mirror opposite a window to bring in more light and double the view.
Filling rooms with fresh flowers is great if your garden is already in full bloom and you don’t mind replenishing arrangement every few days, but opting for flowering branches is lower maintenance and less costly. Branches associated with spring include forsythia, pussy willows, lilacs, bridal wreath and blossoming fruit trees such as cherry, apple and plum. If you have adequate light, you can also plant bulbs in wide-mouthed vases, whimsical teapots and cups, or small brightly painted pots and line them up in a sunny window. Good candidates for indoor potting are crocus, narcissus, tulips, violets and primroses.
Alter the Color Palette
Swap out heavy, jewel-toned winter accent shades for a splash of bold and bright. If your luxurious chocolate-hued bedding seems suffocating, add an accent throw at the foot of the bed or turn back the spread to reveal sheets in robin’s egg blue or bright peony.
For a beige living room that looks pale and wimpy in spring sunlight, try adding accents in this season’s trending color, tangerine. Bathrooms also need spring brightening. Beige, cream, and white bathrooms perk up with yellows, leaf greens, and nautical blues. Make a gray bathroom come alive with shocking pink towels. As for that peach-pink bathroom from the seashell era, lose the shells and add towels in dove gray, or create a Versailles palette by adding pastel shades like sea glass, key lime and buttercup yellow.
For a room than nothing seems to go with, layer in the green and white. One of the reasons we love spring is the wide variety of greens on display, from buds so pale they’re nearly white to full summer green. Almost all greens work well together, and are irresistible with whites and creams.
For a kitchen spruce up, add some vintage-look towels printed with fruits or flowers in bright primary colors. Set out a brightly colored bowl of lemons and limes, and add scent by slicing up a lemon or two. Instead of throwing out eggshells, make a country egg basket. Using a large needle, cake tester or piercing tool, make a small hole in each end of the egg. Run the cake tester through the egg several times to break the yolk, then blow the egg out, gently rinse the shell and set aside. When you have enough to make a basket, dye in pale green or blue food coloring to make duck eggs, or in natural dye like yellow or red onion skins.
Let your rooms reflect the whimsical spirit of spring by going less formal and more casual. There may be a heavy piece of furniture you can switch with a lighter piece from another room, or an ornate wool area rug that can be replaced with a cottage style rug in cotton.
Flea markets and garage sales yield items are ripe for quick and inexpensive projects. Be on the lookout for baskets, vases, small tables and nightstands to spray paint in bright spring accent colors. Picture frames and inexpensive lampshades are also good finds. Picture frames can be spray painted or covered with washi tape in fresh, fun colors and patterns. Lampshades are ripe for stenciling or stamping. Try a large fern stamp randomly applied in three different greens, repeating each inking two to three times for a layered look.
Humans have a long tradition of going a little crazy in the spring, so get into the spirit and don’t be afraid to experiment. Mix patterns, colors and styles you’d never think of pairing in winter, such as floral with gingham, pink with yellow and orange, or a farmhouse table with a sleekly modern purple sideboard and Victorian crystal candlesticks. Anything you don’t like you can change, and you’ll find so much you do like you’ll be looking forward to winter’s end more than ever next year.