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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Spring into Summer

By Janet Davison

I love to see the first flowers of spring break through the still-damp soil. When the daffodils and tulips “pop” into the world, seemingly overnight, bringing with them a burst of color, I know that spring has sprung and summer won’t be far behind.

Ahhh… The pleasures of spring: cool breezes, fresh air, new life, green grass, flowers, birds, butterflies… Sweet, Sweet Spring! If it only lasted longer!

Here are some simple decorating tips that help bring the essence of spring indoors – and keep it there, even when the weather outdoors has moved into the hot months of summer.

· It starts with “Spring Cleaning”

Not only is “Spring Cleaning” a great way to bring a crisp sparkle to the home, but it is also a wonderful opportunity to create a clean canvas for a fresh, new look. The key word is “simplify” and the method is “de-clutter!”

o Safely pack beloved belongings that are out of season – for use another time

o Recycle old and unused items

o Think, “Less is Best!”

· Peel off the layers.

During the winter months, people dress in layers, to keep themselves warm. We do the same with decorating. The “extra layers” that added warmth to the home last fall need to now be put away.

o Roll up the rugs – to feel the coolness of the tile, linoleum and hardwood floors

o Store the heavy textured throws

o Remove the extra pillows on the sofa or replace them with a few white ones

o Consider taking down heavy draperies – leaving just the valances and blinds

· Use “Cool” Accessories

Cool down the home visually by decorating with items that are suggestive of water and ice.

o Place family photos in white frames

o Replace colored pillar candles with white ones

o Use clear glass vases – with translucent pebbles or marbles

o A water-blue color palette has a cooling effect --- especially when accompanied with white accents

o Invest in white bathroom accents – towels, shower curtain, accessories. Think of a luxurious spa and duplicate that mode.

· Summer Themes

Some people like to change decorating themes with the seasons. Beginners might want to start with a small room that is already furnished -- the bathroom.

Some popular summer themes include:

o The Beach Scene – using aqua blues, sand tones, sea shells and beach-type accessories

o Nature-Inspired Theme – including Birds, birdcages, bird baths and nests as accent pieces

o A Tropical Theme – palm trees, vibrant greens and blues

o Or – feature a favorite vacation spot

Bring the outdoors in.

Plants, live or otherwise, are great for decorating. Unlike any other item, greenery adds

warmth in the winter and coolness in the summer. Decorate with plants in abundance, year round.

o Replace the logs in the fireplace with plants – ferns look especially nice

o Place silk plants in the empty umbrella stand

o Add trees! With our Cozy Chic Design projects, we place trees in corners, in front of screens, beside arm chairs and behind sofas. When there is a need to add height in order to maintain good balance, we often use a tree.

o Fill vases with bouquets of fresh flowers

o A large bowl filled with apples or citrus fruits – makes a mouth-watering display for the kitchen counter or island

Bring the indoors out

Many homes have an outdoor living space—a place to visit with friends, watch the kids in the pool,

have a BBQ or enjoy summer entertaining. This is where bright fiesta colors – orange, red, and

yellow -- show off well. This year’s popular patterns include Bright Polka Dots, Multi-colored

Stripes and Green/Brown Leaf Designs.

o Add bright colorful pillows on the patio chairs

o Use serving pieces and dishes that are splashed with color

The most important part is to enjoy-- yourself, family, friends, these good times!

Pour yourself a tall glass of ice water; add a slice or two of cucumber, some mint, perhaps!

Drink in the freshness and stay cool, while you spring into summer!

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