Spring has SPRUNG…time for Spring Cleaning & Editing our Homes

White With A Hidden Ribbon Pop Of Red

Spring has officially SPRUNG.. that invigorating feeling of rejuvenation that brings with it the promise of “what is to come” and “what will be” is in the air.  Of course along with Spring comes (FINALLY) warm weather, happier attitudes and outlooks, a brighter more “salivatory” colour palette, outdoor entertaining and of course, a whole new interior design approach for your home.  By this I don’t mean we need to start sledgehammering down the walls….simply that we need to evaluate our homes and put away the heavy and the wintery and get our environments ready for warm weather, entertaining, outdoor living and adding an overall freshness.  There are many easy changes you can make to usher in this most wonderful of seasons.

Being Dutch, Spring always meant a total scrub and polish in our family home from bow to stern and top to bottom as well as an editing (putting away till the next winter) of heavier, more wintery fabrics, cushions and accessories. 

  Spring truly is the perfect time for a deep cleaning, hence the term “Spring Cleaning”.   Simply begin by de-cluttering your home and editing out all the more winter or heavier elements. Clean your windows inside and out and let the fresh air into your house.  Take all your glass vases, accessories, books and “Objects” down and clean every surface and each item.  THEN make a conscious decision as to which elements you will put back and then put the rest away until next Fall.  This editing process not only reinvigorates our homes, but our spirits and our outlook on life.  Start in your living and dining rooms and then work out to every room in the house.  YES… I know it is a lot of work…but trust me.  Make sure to make a conscious effort in the placement of all items you put back on the shelves…switch it up…try new arrangements and groupings.  The end result will be spectacular and allow you to then tweak your home in preparation for the Spring by adding a few new light and airy themed accessories (a huge hurricane of shells with a candle, an oversized floor vase with birch branches that touch the ceiling, a grouping of large sea shells and clear mouth blown glass).  The key is to create a fresh, uplifting and inviting interior design that speaks to you and your personality.  As soon as your finished cleaning go and buy a big bunch of fresh flowers (a splurge but such a delicious one).  I prefer a big grouping of one type of flower whether it is a big tub of Tulips (white or pink), a tall vase full of Casablanca Lillies (white with long stems), sassy daisies to add some casual whimsy (pink, yellow, orange) or countless other options…just make sure to get enough to make a big visual statement.  For those of you with a more “green” thumb, try a stunning potted Orchid and make it the focal point of your coffee table with your favourite Design books and a collection of clear glass and shells.

Don’t forget to change your throw pillows on couches and chairs and try a variety of pale silk cushions in sky blues, whites, creams, celery and sherbet tones.  For a more traditional space try an oversized floral print BUT shake it up with a sharper more modern colour palette that mixes intense vibrant colours with icier tones.  Besides the pillows, change out tablecloths, curtains,bedskirts, throws and your bedding.  Sheer or silky fabrics are the perfect choice and practically scream “summer.”

After you’ve scrubbed bow to stern, polished, edited and added some new accessories and flowers….cast your eye downward.  Maybe its time to put away your Persian or traditional carpets.  Why not roll them up and put them away till next fall?  Opt for sisal or cotton rugs in light, cool colors that accent your colour palette.  Either go neutral and ground the space with an outdoorsy effect or try a bold, fun and stunning coloured woven cotton rug that adds a modern sharpness. Remember….your furniture placement isn’t written in stone… SHAKE IT UP…move things around.  If the focal point of the living room is the fireplace, change it to the view of the garden.  Simply the act of moving your furniture can completely transform your home and make it feel new and exciting.

Of course with Spring and Summer soon upon us… make sure to bring the outside in.  Add elements of nature throughout your space such as large floor vases with tall branches (Birch are my favourite but dogwood, willow and others are wonderful), add vases with sand and candles, large hurricanes with shells and candles, mouth blown clear glass or pale summery toned glass… and my favourite, add outdoor garden architectural elements inside your home such as oversized potted urns, finials or architectural fragments. Add some bright, juicy, salivatory colour, a few plants, and presto! You’ll feel like your sitting out in the garden.

Spring is all about rejuvenation and optimism so make sure to add some wonderful clear and strong colours, light fabrics, and a good, deep “Dutch” clean.  Get to work and take some before and after photos and send them in. 

matthew-patrick-smyth-designer Elle Decor 5

  1. Wojciech piankaWojciech pianka04-18-2011

    Great article. Really gives new ideas to change up your place without going crazy over budget. Working with what you have can still give a fresh look feel. Thanks