Simple Spring Spruce-Ups!
If you want to give your home and your interior design schemes in particular a bit of a spring clean freshen up for the onset of the brighter season then here’s a few simple, inexpensive or even cost free tips on how to do it.
Ditch the Drab & Dreary
Wherever you can, remove dark items that can potentially absorb valuable light. Consider everything possible, from curtains to removable pieces of furniture and pictures. Dark colours absorb light and light colours reflect it. Heavyweight fabrics such as velvet or chenille, particularly if they are in dark or deep colours can easily be replaced with lightweight fabric or sheers in bright, cheerful, light, colours on simple headings for curtains and window dressings. One of the quickest and easiest ways to transform the look of a room, for any season, is to change the curtains/drapes. It can have as much, if not more, impact as repainting but with less effort. We don’t need to worry too much about keeping the warmth in during the summer months either, so go for crisp, clean looking printed cottons or light reflecting finishes such as satin or faux silk to complement your seasonal colour scheme.
Cushions are very easily changed and co-ordinated as are rugs and accessories, such as ornaments and lamps. Replace these items with lighter shades and hues or colours that are in vogue for the season. For rugs, consider the possibility of a bold floral motif to add spring/summer pattern and colour all in one go. Be seasonal with your accessories. If you’ve got an open fireplace for example, why not fill it with an impressive palm or fern, or place a large glass vase filled with glass balls, pebbles or white fairy lights there, whilst the fireplace isn’t being used?
Don’t throw your old items out though, as they can be reintroduced as the season changes again and we feel the need for comfort and warmth again.
Break out the Paintbrush
A lick of bright, fresh summery emulsion is often the quickest and easiest way to lift a room and, the most noticeable. In addition to that it’s quickly and easily reversible for the new season’s colour scheme or if you make a ‘mistake’. If you are cautious about colour, then consider a single feature wall in your fresh, new, colour if you don’t have the confidence to change the whole room. The effect is just as dramatic and will still make an impact. Either way keep the colours light, bright and cheerful and if you’re really wary, then stick to pastels and you won’t go far wrong for a Spring interior. Good base and accent colours are lemon yellows, yellowish greens such as chartreuse, or pale blues such as cornflower and sky blue. This Spring in particular pastel earth shades such as stone, beige , linen and pale grey are making great base colour to which you can add complementary pastels or pops of bright colour from the new season’s colour palette.
Nurture Some Nature
Spring flowers are synonymous with the onset of the brighter season and an infallible way of bringing a breath of fresh air and an injection of colour indoors. Scented blooms add a wonderful spring fragrance but will need replacing weekly to keep them fresh, so if low cost and low maintenance is more your thing then bring in some fresh, green, houseplants and invest in a plug-in fragrance infuser for a quick cheat. The motion sensor ones are particularly effective and last longer too.
Nothing brightens and freshens quite like white does, so add it wherever you can. Too much white can be cold and clinical if you over do it, but on the whole white has an expansive effect. It lifts and lightens either as a block colour or as an accent. Broad white frames around pictures or mirrors for example, will cheer up a dark or dull wall and can be used very effectively to break up an expanse of dark block colour. Another easy way to punctuate a dark room is to add pieces of white furniture or to paint tired old ones to give them a bright new lease of life. For drapes, lightweight or sheer , white curtains or a cheerful print on a white background will instantly transform your windows and optimise the amount of light filtering into the room.
Ring the Changes
Embrace the season with materials, textures and furnishings that empathise with the lighter, brighter days of Spring. Where possible, replace heavy, upholstered pieces of furniture with light woods, wicker or wrought iron. Often the largest, most expensive piece of furniture that it’s not practical to change or replace seasonally is your sofa. Clever accessorising with lightweight throws and colour coordinated scatter cushions can effectively masque the ‘bulk’ of such a large piece of furniture and masque any worn or tired areas into the bargain. Similarly, simple slip over chair covers can transform the look of dark or heavy dining chairs and a simple runner across the table or a crisp, white, table cloth will further freshen the look.
Reflect the Colours of the Season
Mirrors are a great way of adding light and space to any colour scheme. Often, even without re-decorating, adding a mirror can be the ideal way to brighten a room. Try replacing a large picture or collection of prints with a decent sized mirror. Place it where it will reflect light from the window to best effect and it will behave almost as though you have added another window by giving the illusion of a much bigger, wider space as well as maximising light. Mirrored glass furniture and accessories will give the same effect of expanse and light as well as adding interesting patterns and reflections both day and night.
As the days of Spring get longer and lighter, consequently the mornings get brighter. So, even if you have gone to every length possible to lighten and brighten your home, you might not relish the bright spring and summer sunlight streaming through your windows at the crack of dawn. If this is the case, then keep your bedroom scheme light and fresh, but invest in some blackout linings that will provide both heat and light protection for the warmer seasons, without compromising on stylish decor, or keep the bright morning sunlight out with a blackout blind discreetly mounted behind lightweight curtains.