Spring cleaning may be a chore, but this time of year also offers the opportunity to get creative and make some minor changes in your surroundings to herald the coming of warmer weather, brighter days and a simpler lifestyle.
Julie Robinson of Julie Robinson Interiors likes the idea of bringing the colors of the season into your home. “Think pale turquoise, pale green, and colors that are earthy that you see in the spring. The beautiful colors of the ocean in the summer. Those are colors you might want to use to freshen up a space.” Repainting a wall can make a huge difference, but Ms. Robinson also suggests some smaller changes like buying new throw pillows in summery colors and fabrics or putting fresh looking slipcovers on your furniture.
Practical measures can also be attitude changers. “Take down drapes that might work great in the winter for insulation purposes, but because the sun is going to be higher you may not need them in the summer,” says Ms. Robinson. Take up some area rugs you use in the winter, she says, and leave a shiny floor. With wall-to-wall carpeting, Ms. Robinson says, “Have a rug cleaner come in and clean all of your carpets.”
Mary Rentschler of Rentschler Interiors likes to invite the spring indoors – literally. “Plant some spring flowers in a pot or plant some seeds and watch them grow,” says Ms. Rentschler. “I love seeing spring up close. Plant something fragrant in your path — anywhere inside or outside.” She adds, “Hyacinths are my latest obsession. I have some downstairs that I can even smell in my bedroom upstairs.”
You can also change the scent of your candles. “No more cinnamon and spice. Gardenia and fresher scents are great. I think smells are so much part of it. Go out and smell the earth. It’s really happening out there. A little raking can make you so happy.”
Another attitude changer Ms. Rentschler recommends: “Reorganize around your life. You may not be clustering around your fireplace so much.” She suggests you also start paying some attention to outdoor areas but warns that you don’t want to be too hasty about putting out porch furniture since pollen season is about to hit. You can, however, think now about addressing the things on your porch. “Freshen up chipped paint. Your porch furniture may need a facelift. Paint little tables — change the colors.”
Jane Chandler, owner of The Beach House in Vineyard Haven, loves to use candles to set a mood. She suggests that you change the color as well as the scent this time of year, along with making other little color changes in things like kitchen towels and entry rugs. The Beach House, as its name implies, is full of housewares in summery colors and imports from sunny locales.
Rearanging the way you display things can give fresh life to the things you love, according to Michael Hunter, curator of PIKNIK Art & Apparel in Edgartown. The long time New York City stylist says, “Re-hang your art. Switch it up and you’ll be amazed how much you rediscover what drew you to a particular piece of art to begin with. Move things around. We get used to the same painting in the same place and almost stop seeing it. By shifting things around you turn a corner and fall in love with your art all over again.”
Donaroma’s in Edgartown just made a shift of their own. They have reorganized the garden center to help show off what they do best. “We changed how we present our front counter,” says Mariko Kawaguchi, senior designer and horticulturist. “We opened up the long counter to give people display ideas. Just moving something that has been there — whether it’s furniture or things that are incidental to you — can give them new life. It can be a great psychological cleanup.”
One of the things featured on Donaroma’s new display area is a series of small vintage medicine bottles that can add a fresh, up-to-date look to a room. You can make a variety of arrangements with spring flowers and sprigs and find a use for some blooms that may be hidden out of sight in your yard. Like the random, uncultivated nature of spring flowers, these tiny arrangements can add a great cheerful look to a space. “Cluster them on your table. It’s just a great look,” says Ms. Kawaguchi. “It doesn’t have to be all matchy-matchy. It allows you to be free and have an informal look.”
You can also start thinking ahead by bringing some summer blooms into your home. Donaroma’s has a greenhouse full of flowering plants like hydrangeas and roses with forced blooms. Ms. Kawaguchi suggests enjoying these blossoms indoors right now and then planting them after any threat of frost.
Donaroma’s has started posting seasonal tips and info on new items like the vintage bottles on their Facebook page. Check in for ways to freshen up your look throughout the seasons.