I know, I know, it’s only February and it’s still cold, grey and mostly fairly miserable out there, but March and the new spring season are slowly approaching.
Even if it seems quite far away right now, the first signs like snowdrops and daffodils are popping up, marking the end of winter. And the end of winter means changing things around in our homes, throwing open the windows (ok, just for a little while) to let some fresh air in, and throwing out (not literally!) heavy woollies. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by the prospect of overhauling your home, then here are some tips on how to make small changes that will get your rooms ready for the new season.
Colour your life
Whilst I’m not saying anybody should repaint their home because the seasons are changing (that would be a bit over the top), sometimes a fresh lick of paint can work magic. Whatever colour your walls currently are, if you’re looking for something new, why not go for a subtle ‘blush’ or a punchy and fresh green? Both colours will give your home the light spring feel you’re craving after a long winter.
See the light
Whilst we’ve been snuggling up at home with the central heating or wood burner on, the lights on from 4pm and candles to cheer us up, we might have missed the fact that it’s exactly this kind of cosy living that can make our homes feel a little dusty and stuffy. So, yes, it’s (at least to an extent) time for the dreaded spring clean. The things that usually make the biggest impact are cleaning all windows and washing curtains, cleaning open shelving (especially in the kitchen), dusting glassware and picture frames, getting rugs and sofas professionally cleaned. Exchange your thick winter duvet on your bed for a thinner one and – again – get it cleaned before storing it away. Don’t forget to freshen up your mattress. This can easily be done by sprinkling some bicarbonate of soda onto it, leaving it for an hour and then cleaning it up using a vacuum cleaner. All these things not only make your home look better, but smell fresher as well.
The little things
Next we can look at the smaller pieces. You know that woolly blanket you brought out at the beginning of October? Well, now’s the time to get it cleaned and then stash it away for the next six months. The same goes for velvet cushions, any faux-fur and other heavy, ‘wintery’ fabrics and accessories. You can replace these with lighter cotton, linen and – if you’re feeling flashy – even light and breezy silk.
Clear the clutter
Now it’s time to generally lighten up the décor. Doing a little bit of a de-clutter is never a bad idea and this time of the year lends itself particularly well to it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an advocate of throwing out everything and becoming a minimalist, but reviewing our possessions every now and then and giving away items we no longer need/want is not only good for our homes but also for our overall wellbeing. Too much clutter does impact our lives and lessening the burden will make your environment, as well as your mind, feel lighter.
Sights and scents
So, you’ve cleaned, exchanged the curtains and thrown out any unwanted items. In short, you’ve done all the hard work. Now it’s time for the fun stuff and to bring just a few things in – but not too many, don’t worry. A diffuser will get the air smelling fresh if you use oils like lemon, orange, eucalyptus or mint and immediately lift the mood in your home and make it feel spring-like. Next, flowers. They don’t need to be expensive, but the more the merrier. Daffodils, tulips, snowdrops – any flowers that spell ‘end of winter’ will do and you can literally place them on every available table, sideboard and surface to cheer up your home.
I hope these tips are helpful to you and might even make you feel like getting stuck in and refreshing your home right now!
Carole Poirot is a freelance photographer and stylist who lives and works in London. Originally from France, she has also lived in Germany and uses these influences to help inform her own style and advice. Her ideas are also published on her blog at mademoisellepoirot.com.