Even though spring doesn’t officially arrive until next week, the advent of Daylight Savings Time and sunshine extending into the evening hours make it feel like warm days are just around the corner. There is no better time to refresh your home with easy fixes and additions.
And it doesn’t take much money or time to establish your home as a retreat. Many times, people think they either don’t have the budget or the time to invest in their surroundings. But all you need is a little time each day and a trip to your local nursery or hardware store to make a significant change and freshen your home.
Nancy Holst, an interior design and owner of Holst Interiors, points out your home should be your place to recharge and escape the stresses of daily life. And contrary to popular belief, it won’t take much time or money. What is really required is a commitment for change.
“We have such crazy busy lives right now, with everything that we try to get done during the day,” said Holst. “We think of our home as a refuge and a place to relax. If your house is dusty and you have books all over the place, it doesn’t give your eye a place to rest. If you get rid of the clutter around the places where you spend time with your family, it’s going to make you feel better and you’ll be more productive.”
So Holst recommends these five easy home decor tips to welcome the greening of the grass and budding of shrubs and trees
De-cluttering has become the popular catch phrase for eliminating those non-essential items in your house. Commit to the process by starting out in one room, one drawer or shelf at a time. If you break it down like this, it will only take a month or two, and you’ll feel a whole lot better.
“Many people observe Lent by ‘giving up’ something — I like to advocate ‘taking out’ something,” said Holst. “Take 40 things out of the house. Keep a bag going. Look through closets, go through drawers and throw out a cookbook you don’t use anymore. It makes us feel good to have clean spaces. Keep in the back of your mind that you’ll commit to decluttering.”
Once your space has been cleaned up, you’ll be ready for the following fresh ideas.
Your front door should make a statement and be a welcoming point to your family and friends. Adding some color, putting out a new welcome mat and hanging a spring wreath are terrific symbols of spring.
Holst suggests getting a start on the planting season by finding some pansies at your local nursery and planting them in pots by the front door. There still may be some nights where the temps dip below 32 degrees but hearty flowers like these can withstand cooler temps.
“I love white pansies in pots,” said Holst. “They look elegant and clean, and are perfect for spring. They look wonderful by the front door and will make you happy when you drive by and pull up to your house.”
If white doesn’t suit you, find a color that signifies clean lines, happiness and is a reflection of you!
“Fresh plants can go a long way in freshening up your home,” said Holst. “They create a healthy environment. Grouping together two or three pots with ivy and ferns is an inexpensive way to add some happiness to your home. They only have to be watered once or twice a week, and they freshen up your home.”
Large, colorful plants can be purchased for under $20 and can be great accents by a fireplace and corner areas. And best of all, there are many that don’t require much attention.
Most every home has photos of family and friends. But when was the last time you actually changed out the pictures? It’s fine to see you have memories of your now teeangers as toddlers but how about having some current portraits?
“We tend to forget about the frames and photos in our homes,” offered Holst. “Switch out photos so they reflect more recent memories. People take many photos but most of the time, they stay on the phones and never make their way into a frame.”
Take the time to get some of your favorites printed to at least 8 x 10 size (it really doesn’t take long) and display them! Likewise, consider buying some new frames and try to find some that reflect the accent colors of the room.
Examine the paint colors in your home. Is it time for a change? Invest in a painter or take on a DIY project. New paint on the walls is an easy and relatively inexpensive way to dramatically upgrade your surroundings. Home design trends call for “colorless colors” and simple lines.
“So many popular design ideas start with clean lines, neutral colors, layering textures and throwing in a splash of color,” she explained. “Pick a good neutral color and use that as a basic palette and build color into that. Pillows on your couch or chairs are easy and inexpensive to switch out with the seasons. And it’s also a good idea to clean up your outdoor cushions and pillows.”