It is the time when many people are feeling stuck inside and tired of their decor. We all agree it is freezing if you live in Eastern Canada! ...while you are snuggled in your
house there are lots of ways to brighten your home and your spirits and give a jumpstart to spring.
1. Scented candles...mmm they can scent the air with spring fragrance long before Mother Nature is in full bloom. Candles create such a warm and cozy atmosphere on a winter's night and smell scrumptious in a kitchen anytime!
2. Change some accessories. I just changed the arrangement on my diningroom table and buffet. Last week I found a great discount on some accessories at Clair de Lune in Cornwall
that are white and gold. As you can see, one is a bird which is a favourite decoration theme of mine. I like using white to brighten things up. You will notice that I have a silk orchid next to a
lucky bamboo plant...I like to combine silk with real plants. I mentioned decorating with orchids in this blog. I recently became interested in decorating with succulents and cactus, both real and faux. I bought a raindrop terrarium to hang in my master bedroom...just
waiting to find the best way to hang it incorporating a piece of painted barnboard.
I have a wall of cupboards in my studio filled with accessories that I change with the seasons or move from room to room and also use for staging of client's homes. Moving accessories or artwork gives them a whole new life. Bring out your brighter colours now to lighten up your home and your mood.
Have a look at Pier 1 Imports for inspiration...their latest flyer is full of fresh garden colours for inside the home...lots of green, white and light coloured wood.
3. Don't forget your bathroom...when is the last time you bought bright new towels, rug or a shower curtain? This is a great place to inject some colour! If your bathroom is neutral it is a perfect place to go bold.
4. Perhaps you have extra time and a creative streak...I recently bought chalk paint and put the first coat on a tired upholstered chair in the guest bedroom this weekend...on the fabric believe it or not! It is an interesting process and I am learning as I go. I have a number of pieces in mind and it gives creative opportunities to revive an old piece of furniture as well as brighten up some dark and boring pieces that need a lift.
5. Another creative and personal way to enhance and warm up your decor is to enlarge and frame some of your photographs. I have also purchased digital photographs that I
have had enlarged and framed. I have been happy with PosterJack for this process. They have lots of size and material options and will tell you how large you can make the print and still achieve
a clear picture. See this earlier blog post for an example of a client using their travel
photos for art. I generally like family pictures in hallways, family rooms and bedrooms, not in living and diningrooms. A beach scene with a chair, sunhat and sunglasses sounds wonderful
and cozy on this cold night.
6. Did you know that you actually feel warmer in a room when you use warm colours? If this is the effect you want, you can paint your walls in warm tones and/or use warm toned accessories. These include yellow, red or orange undertones,...even grey can be warmer or cooler. Just remember that the effect will be the same in summer! It is important to consider the orientation of the room...a southwest facing room is often better in a cooler tone, and I like to inject warmth into a north facing room with a warm colour.
7. Great lighting...it is important all year but especially in the wintertime, or if you are putting your house on the market this spring. It is a good time to assess your lamps and fixtures. Do they do a good job of providing the type of light you need? Task lighting, reading lighting, general room lighting or mood lighting can all be in the same space. Check out your light bulbs, some may be burnt out or just starting to darken and cast a yellow light if they are compact fluorescents (CFL). Do your home a favour and have all the same style of bulb in the same fixture. It may be time to convert some of your bulbs to LED. I had a Cornwall client who had halogen bulbs, which get hot, replaced with LED lights over her kitchen sink. She is thrilled with the clear, bright light and the energy efficiency and life span of LED lighting is amazing. I like the LED tape lights for under the kitchen cupboards as well
8. Add a fireplace...I added an electric fireplace on the wall in my bedroom. It adds both real and visual warmth to the decor. I did not have the space for a gas fireplace in my room and this is an inexpensive decorating tip that has lots of impact.
What are your favourite decorating tips for brightening up your home this time of year? Do you feel that you need to work on this to help you get through the winter and to help herald in spring?
If you need help with freshening up your home give me a call!
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