When the long cold winter is over, we all share the hope that summer will soon be here. The great Russian author, Leo Tolstoy once said, “Spring is the time of plans and projects”. How true that is, and one of the perennial projects of spring is opening up the doors and windows and letting the warmer weather inspire you to freshen up your home’s décor.
If you’re ready to get your summer decorating project started, here are some tips that will help you to bring the feeling of summer into your home:
When the fall weather starts to cool down, we usually bring out the blankets and covers so that we can keep warm on those cold snowy nights. When spring arrives, we don’t need all of those heavy blankets, quilts, and spreads. Instead, we swap them out for lighter duvets to match the warmer weather, and we replace our flannel sheets with light, soft cotton sheets. If you don’t want to completely change the look of your bedding but just want to add some texture, dimension, or interest, invest in a few different throw blankets that you can swap in and out as you see fit.
- Blanket Boxes
While you’re changing out your bed linens, coverlets, blankets, and duvets, you might want to add a blanket box. These versatile storage chests make it simpler for you to store your excess seasonal linens, and the next time you need to swap out your bedding, it’s right there.
Psychologists will tell you that colours have a strong effect on our moods. Colours can make us feel happy or sad, and they can make us feel hungry or relaxed. Happy colours are bright warm colours like yellow, orange, pink, and red.
While you’re lightening up the weight of the covers, it’s a good time to lighten up the colour scheme in your bedroom with brightly coloured linens, towels, and curtains. You can also bring those lighter colours into the rest of the home with accessories such as throw pillows, flowers, artwork, and even colourful stacks of books.
If you notice that the walls in your home are beginning to fade, spring is a great time to brighten things up with a fresh coat of paint. Try colours and combinations you’ve never done before, like painting an accent wall or combining paint with wallpaper. If you don’t want to paint the entire room, why not just use paint to touch up your skirting boards and window sills, or paint them with an accent colour?
Another way to brighten your home is with lighting, and the easiest way to do this is to open the doors and windows to bring in more natural light. Natural light is good for the body as well as the soul, and it will make your rooms appear more spacious. Exposure to bright natural light in the mornings triggers a biological response in our bodies that has the following results:
- Stimulates production of serotonin, which lifts our moods
- Increases production of cortisol, which boosts our energy levels
- Releases alpha-amylase, an important digestive enzyme
- Aids in the expression of melatonin, which is necessary to have a healthy evening hormone cycle.
With all these benefits of natural light, you might think that you need to stay outside all day, but the body can experience all of these health benefits with exposure to sunlight for as little as 20 minutes per day.
Adding mirrors will also make your rooms look lighter, brighter, and larger. In addition to the natural light, you may want to invest in light bulbs that emit light across the whole colour spectrum, as they closely mimic the look of natural daylight.
Another way to freshen up your home is with scents. Of our five senses, smell is the strongest, and the one most tied to memory and emotions. That’s one of the reasons that scented candles are so very popular. According to psychologists, 75% of all emotions generated every day are due to smell. Scent affects mood, concentration, memory recall, and emotions, and exposure to pleasant smells can improve your mood dramatically. Certain scents can lead to stress reduction, self-confidence, sleep enhancement, as well as physical and cognitive performance. Because we’re all different though, there are very few scents which we all love.
Spring scents are green scents. We associate freshness, happiness, and blooming flowers with this time of year. Add pleasant scents to your home with candles, air fresheners, incense, or potpourri. Classic spring scents include bergamot, lemon, and mandarin, and romantic floral notes like iris, jasmine and rose.
Take a look at your furniture. How did it fare over the winter? You can freshen up your furniture by painting individual pieces or reupholstering in a bright new fabric. If you need to replace some furniture, spring is a great time to do it, as merchants typically offer special spring pricing on sofas, recliners, coffee tables, bookcases, and more.
While you’re surveying the furniture in your home, take a look at your TV stand or entertainment centre. New stands are available in a number of different styles, materials, and colours. They include plain TV stands with perhaps a shelf for accessories like media players or gaming consoles. You can also find a selection of cabinetry that works with your TV. These would be more like corner units or hutches that will house your TV but also provide additional storage options.
- Dining Room
Freshen up the look here by painting or refinishing your dining room furniture. For the simplest project, you can replace the fabric on the chair bottoms, or you could paint the chairs a different colour than the table. Another way to brighten up the room would be with flowers or artwork.
If your dining room furniture has seen its best days, you can replace it with new furniture. Dining room tables come in many styles, colours, and materials, and can dramatically change the look of your dining room. Available in wood for a traditional look, or metal for a more sleek and modern look, here are some of your options for dining room table types:
- Extended tables-This is perfect for one who enjoys entertaining. They come in regular dining room table sizes with the ability to enlarge the table to accommodate your guests.
- Fixed tables-Ideal for a smaller dining room, these are the classic tables that will fit just the right number of diners. They allow you to have a peaceful area for meals while remaining practical in size.
- Round or oval tables-Nothing encourages dinner conversation more than a round or oval dining table. These tables help you to break with tradition in your dining room and give you a cosy dining experience without taking up too much space.
Another idea for simple spring freshening-up ideas would be to swap out art pieces. Choose pieces that match your colour palette but give enough of an impact to make the room look new as you transition to a new season. Think lighter colours, florals, etc. to brighten the space. If this is your first time switching up artwork, start small. There is no need to change every single piece of artwork you own. Instead, focus on smaller pieces like artwork on your built-ins or console.
Adding a wall hanging is a great way to break up the monotony of a blank wall, and the options here are virtually endless. If you want to use your craft skills, stretch a brightly coloured fabric over canvas stretchers from an art supply shop. If you’re feeling particularly artistic, you can even paint a decorative mural on the wall.
- Your Garden
Now that you’ve freshened up the inside of your home, let’s talk about the outside. Taking care of some chores in the garden before growing season is fully here will save you a lot of time later. Here’s a checklist of jobs to tackle as early as March:
- Prune away dead and damaged branches-when the first buds of spring arrive, it’s easy to see those parts of your trees and shrubs that need to be tended to. Sometimes the damage will be just on the ends of the branches, so you should prune them back to an area that still appears to be healthy.
- For flowering varieties, prune summer bloomers before the buds swell, but for spring bloomers, prune them after they flower.
- Cut back and divide perennials as needed-Prune your flowering perennials to a height of 4 or 5 inches and any ornamental grasses to 2 to 3 inches to allow new growth to shoot up. If your perennials are too crowded, dig them up and separate them into clumps for replanting in more sparse areas.
- Clean up your beds-Rake out fallen leaves and dead foliage, then pull up spent annuals. Once the danger of frost has passed, you can remove old mulch and replace it with new once you’re done with your spring planting. If you have any heaved plants, push them back into place and damp them down with your foot, or replant them with a shovel. While you’re working around your beds, spring is a good time to spread some fertilizer around your plantings.
- Check your fences-take a look at your fence or fences and see if they need tending to. If you have a wooden fence, take care to replace any rotted pieces or sections. If your fence is painted, give it a fresh coat for spring.
- Neaten up hardscape surfaces-rake gravel that has escaped from paths back into place and add more gravel to any hollow spaces that may have been created over the winter. Refill joints between flagstones by sweeping in new sand or stone dust. Water it to set it, let it dry, then water it again. If you have any algae spots on your paths, clear them off with a low pressure washer to eliminate any slippery spots.
Spring is a time of new growth, renewal, and it brings the first hints of summer. When spring arrives, we all seem to have an added spring in our step and a better attitude toward life in general. It’s the perfect time to brighten up your home and garden with new bedding, wall treatments, window coverings, furniture and accessories. Use these tips to bring a fresh new look to your home and garden.
If you need any assistance with spring decorating ideas, you can consult the design experts at Carters Furniture. We have trained associates who can advise you on all things related to home furnishings.
Here at Carters Furniture , we pride ourselves on the vast selection of furniture that we offer, along with our outstanding customer service. Our highly trained staff can provide you with the right advice and information so that you can make the most of your furniture purchase. Because of the special relationships we have with our suppliers, we are able to source furniture from all over the globe, as well as products that are manufactured locally, and we can offer the lowest prices on all of the products we sell. We have 2 large showrooms full of the most stylish, practical, and high quality furniture and bedding, and our stores are open seven days a week to serve you.
If you’d like more information about the products and services we offer, visit our website or call us at 01562 540862 (Carters Furniture Store) or 01562 66396 (Carters Bed City). Even better, stop by either of our locations to see for yourself. We look forward to serving you!