Give Your Space a Spring Facelift

Give Your Space a Spring Facelift

As the spring sun warms the air, it is past time to put away the heavy colors and textures of winter. It’s brighter outside, so it should be brighter inside too. Here are a few tips to bring spring beauty into whatever space you want.

Clean up!

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Spring cleaning is essential! While it’s important to disinfect and tidy things, another necessary part of spring cleaning is paring down. Get rid of those gifts you didn’t really want, or that sweater you haven’t worn since 2016, or those tchotchkes you don’t even see anymore but constantly have to dust. My rules of thumb are these: Either you love it, or you need it, or both, or it goes; and, if you haven’t worn/used/read/played with/listened to/watched it in six months, you never will, so out it goes. It’s freeing to get rid of things you don’t love, need, or use. This freedom mimics the freedom you gain in the spring to go outside and enjoy yourself.

Use lighter colors and textures.

I’ll admit it, I love the dark colors of winter, especially maroon and emerald. But when it’s bright and sunny outside, those colors tend to look too heavy and darken a room. Another thing that darkens a room is the textures you use. Velvet and cable knits are some of my favorites, but they are thick and heavy. Try lace, or cotton, or linen, or just lighter weaves, when it comes to pillows and blankets and other things.

Add plants.

Flowers and plants bring life and color to a space. Depending on your resources and allergies (or lack thereof), you may choose fresh or silk flowers. Adding some form of plants or flowers makes your indoor space mimic the outdoors, which brings the outdoors inside.

Open windows.

Finally, it’s lovely enough outside to open the windows, so if you are stuck inside, you can still enjoy the fresh air. Feel the warmth of the sun-filled air, the coolness of the breeze. Smell the flowers giving up their sweetness. Listen to the birds and the dogs and the wind in the trees. Opening your space to these things is another way to bring the outdoors inside. Even just opening the blinds can help, by letting in more sunlight.

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Grace of Gray Gables

Grace of Gray Gables

My dream house would most likely be a light gray gabled one, perhaps with a dormer or two. I also like Tudors, Victorians, and Colonials. It would have white trim and a bright yellow door, and windows that let in natural light at almost every hour of the day. There would be a porch, either on the front of the house or the side of it, and it would have a bench swing.

The house would be on a big lot, one surrounded by trees, young and old. Maybe there would even be a small orchard, most likely of apple trees. I’d grow roses and tulips and peonies and hydrangea and anemone and daisies and cosmos and lilac, though in order to do that I’ll have to take a few lessons from my green-thumbed father.

The backyard would have a treehouse and a swing and a deck and plenty of green, flat space to play. Ideally there would be a creek at the back of the lot that bubbled cheerfully. Perhaps there’d even be a pool, for the heat of the summer.

Inside, on the first floor, a big white kitchen, a library/office, the master suite, a living room, and a formal dining room, and maybe even a family room with high ceilings. Upstairs, three bedrooms and a bathroom would take up the space. The living room, library, and den would each have a fireplace.

And there would be books, books everywhere, and flowers from the garden. There’d be art by lesser-known artists and prints by the greats. Toys would be kept in the finished basement with the laundry room. The walls would comprise a rainbow. The dining room would be pale orange, the living room light steely blue, the kitchen a light sage green, the den snowy white. The master would be sky blue, the girls’ room peach, the boys’ room green, and the guest room a bright, cheerful yellow. (The only thing missing is red.)

And, to complete the picture, a loving husband, three pairs of small feet, and a dog. And happiness, contentment, peace, fun, laughter, tears, and even sadness. Friends of ours and the kids’ in and out. A home. That’s my dream.