Well, here we are my dear friends, at the brink of spring! You have to admit, though, that until just recently we had a winter comparable to California's. I mean, really, did anyone even break out a winter coat? Regardless of the actual weather, it is time to invite another delightful new season in for a stay. Most certainly the signs of spring are arriving, things are beginning to peek up in our gardens, the trees are budding and the robins are everywhere. I've had to slow down my car more than once entering my neighborhood so as not to clip one of my spring friends!
This year, spring sprung into our glorious world with, of all things, a Target ad campaign for Threshold furnishings. In one of the most exhilarating visions of spring I've witnessed in a while, the TV commercial features a rendition of the classic Beatles song "Our House," offering the perfect invitation to butterflies and blossoms to come back. So, other than replaying the Target ad—or Beatles album!—over and over, what can we do to bring the joy of this exciting season into our homes? Let's explore just that on this spring Saturday. I hope you have a bundle of daffodils on your breakfast table to get you into the true spirit.
Start with a Clean Slate
Clearly the first thing we can do is spring cleaning! Yep, it's that time again. The dust bunnies have come in for the winter and it's time to scoop them up and send them out. Move all the furniture (within reason) away from the walls and get in there and clean, clean, clean. Mirrors tend to take on a sort of film during the winter and this is the perfect time to haul out the ladder and really shine those beauties to diamond-like quality. Same with the windows—let the glorious longer days come streaming in through pristine windows. Once you finish the dirty work, it's time for fragrance that says the world is in bloom.
Sprinkle Some Potpourri
The heavenly bouquet of Smell of Spring by Aromatique, my favorite potpourri, is the perfect scent. Every year, this beautiful potpourri has a new combination of preserved posies, it's always such a delight to see what new visions were fashioned for the current spring. Filling bowls with this fragrance makes for a lovely accessory, remember my cautions when using potpourri! Aromatique is easily found at Trio's and Dillard's in Wichita as well as at Walter's Flowers & Interiors in El Dorado.
Add a Floral Flourish
Nothing does more for a room than a collection of bulb plants ready to burst forward with their colorful blooms. Maybe tuck them into a wonderful wicker basket for your breakfast table. Hide the pots with reindeer moss, whose woodsy fragrance is as amazing as its rich green color. Save-on-crafts.com is a wonderful site for all sorts of natural products, so you might want to log on and take a look.
Page 2 of 3 - Splash on Some Color
A simple but very rewarding spring change is to purchase some fresh, bright, new cloth napkins and placemats. This practical little change can put such a smile on your face when you sit down to breakfast. Add some deliciously tinted water glasses or stemware for another touch of spring bling, a small thing that will keep you humming as you go out the door to face the world. (On a side note, I am a firm believer in using cloth napkins. For one thing, they are just plain prettier than paper napkins. For another, cloth napkins are one small step in saving our precious trees. So if you are not a devoted cloth napkin user, give it a try and you will find that dabbing the corners of your mouth becomes just one more little element of gracious living for you and your family!
Accessorize Your Sofa
Just as you cast aside your winter coat and tartan scarf, you can pack up your wool throws and plaid pillows. Switching out your decorative sofa and chair pillows each season is such an easy yet exciting change. Take a break and search online in pursuit of cream or white linen pillows adorned with, perhaps, lovely birds or flowers hand painted in just the exact color to showcase your new table lamp. While writing this piece, I poked around the Wal-Mart website and spotted some cheerful little spring pick-me-up pillows! While you're swapping out those pillows, pack up those heavy throws and replace them with some yummy spring hued ones. Try Pottery Barn, which has some lovely French striped throws as well as great finds on sale.
Along the same sofa-changing strategies, take a quick look at slipcovers, including the "drop cloth" styles at Pottery Barn and those on the Sure Fit website. Slipcovers were actually conceived before homes were air conditioned to keep body moisture off the upholstery. Since air conditioning has become a part of life now, slipcovers really have become wonderful room changers with their shabby chic appeal. Look for bright, airy colors for your sofa and even your chairs to reenergize your room for spring and summer.
Make Over Your Mantel
Complete—or kick off—your home's spring fling by redressing the fireplace mantel. Pick a pair of ivy topiaries, maybe, and a collection of crystal candlesticks. Or, try a collection of various carved wooden backyard birds—your own private bird sanctuary and no bird seed required! The key is to transform the warm cozy tones of winter into the bright cheerful sunshine colors of spring.
Nothing sums up this amazing time of year better then these words of scripture:
"See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of the doves is heard in our land. The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance." Song of Solomon 2:11-13
Page 3 of 3 - Have a lovely and blessed Easter, I will be here next week!
Jan Colvin has been a professional interior designer for over 25 years (Allied ASID). She accredits her mother Pat Robinson and Lucille Chase for her intense interest and love for design.
She has taught interior design at the college level and operated her private design business since 2001. Look for her new book soon!
Jan welcomes questions, which will be answered in her columns. Send your questions to: Fjan@jcolvininteriors.com