Freshen Up This Spring – Cleaning and Designing Tips for 2012
Spring is just around the corner! We can feel the air getting a little warmer and the sun is brighter and staying around longer as each day passes. The grass is sprouting in gorgeous shades of greens and the flowers and trees are starting to bloom their wonderful spring hues. Along with all the beautiful scenes of spring come the swarms of allergens! This spring, be sure to follow these simple steps on how to fight the allergens and also how to create some refreshing designs in the process.
Spring cleaning and designing does not have to be loathsome chore that you dread. It also does not have to take up your entire weekend, when you would rather be enjoying the weather outside. Consider the spring cleaning as refreshing your space to have a more enjoyable and healthier time this year.
Here are some great tips from an article found on the Flip and Fix Network website.
1. Clean and De-clutter
Sometimes a good spring-cleaning can be enough to feel like redecorating. As you clean and de-clutter the layers of your home you can rethink and rearrange anything, from rugs to lamps.
Clean with green products, made without toxic chemicals, and cleaning can feel therapeutic for you and your home. Homemade mixtures of white vinegar with water work well to clean windows, mirrors, baseboards and all types of surfaces throughout your home. For furniture, try a mix of olive oil, lemon juice and water. Clean problem stains with some safe oxygen bleach.
2. Paint a Wall, Room or Baseboards
Painting just one wall or one room transforms how your home feels. Choose springtime colors like muted yellows, soft creams or any hues, which makes you feel happy.
Change the sense of design or proportion in a room by painting the ceiling, baseboards or moldings.
3. Let the Sunshine in with Windows and Natural Lighting
Let the bright light of spring be a natural source of your décor. Using the same rule of ‘less is more,’ windows become focal points in your room design.
Cleaning windows lets rooms breathe. Washing shades and drapes revives the shape and structure of your window dressing.
Try keeping shades lifted and taking down heavier curtains for the spring season. If your old shades are tired looking, replace them with sheer panels in white, cream or subtle hues. Or just frame your windows in lighter weight fabrics of muslin or soft voile. You don’t have to be a seamstress to drape fabric with finesse. Curtain clips help make it a cinch to hang lighter fabrics.
Rearrange chairs into seating arrangements around windows to take advantage of pretty views and breezes while sipping tea, socializing or just relaxing. Place a few books or magazines in reach for reading with the longer hours of natural light
4. Extend Home Outdoors
Open up the front of your home with a new welcome mat, some potted plants in fun containers or a spring wreath.
Turn the front or back porch into a charming gathering spot with some outdoor furniture and a wall hanging. Reupholster old furniture or seats with sturdy outdoor fabrics. If an eave covers your porch, decorate outdoors with some indoor chairs.
5. Celebrate with Flowers and Fruit
Welcome spring indoors with sprigs of blooms from nearby trees, bushes or available gardens. Bursts of color and fresh scents bring new life to your home and spirits.
Trade your wintry looking vases and containers for some in brighter colors or glass. For fun, keep a hint of winter by incorporating a few leftover pinecones to complement your vignette.
Fill a basket with bright seasonal fruits for the taking—grapefruit, lemons and oranges.
6. Throw Down New Pillows and Rugs
Pillows and rugs are always a quick way to reinvent rooms with spring accents.
Renew old throw pillows by wrapping them in fabrics of cheerful patterns and colors. Fasten your makeshift pillow covers with some well-placed stitching.
Clean up dirty old rugs or replace them with cotton, light wool, jute or bamboo ones.
7. Rethink Furniture
New slipcovers over old chairs transform your interior—from the living room to the office. Or reupholster a chair. Even if you don’t choose bright spring colors, the new fabrics will lighten up the feel of your rooms.
For a subtle element of surprise in your interior, insert a patterned lining into an existing lampshade, which shows through once you turn on the light.
Refurbish your furniture with Tung oil—an economical, natural and traditional substance for cleaning, protecting and finishing wood into a fine sheen.
8. Open Up the Kitchen
Clean with breathable cleaners like vinegar, natural soaps, lemon juice or oxygen bleach.
Add a white or bright colored table runner to your kitchen or dining table. While you’re at it, rediscover more vibrant kitchenware, glassware and dishes in the back of your cabinets. Repurpose a bowl into a container for decorative dishtowels or rethink an interesting glass into a vase.
9. Brighten the Bathroom
Revive your bathroom into a springtime spa, a place to retreat and reinvigorate after a long winter. Fill a colorful basket or container with healing bath salts, some essential oils and a few natural bristle body scrubbers.
Infuse the atmosphere with splashes of spring color—hang a new shower curtain with some complementary bright towels. Fill a vase with fresh flowers to refresh the senses.
10. Freshen Up the Bedroom
Fresh bedding is the quickest way to cheer up a bedroom. Trade your heavier duvet cover for a light colored one—or throw a complementary cotton blanket across the end of the bed. Stop looking at your exposed box spring, which the comforter will never cover. Instead of a conventional bed skirt, insert a flat sheet or a large piece of fabric over the top of the box spring, so it hangs down along the bottom of the bedding.
Add a few throw pillows in pastels, bright colors, or floral patterns—or re-cover the pillows you have with an attractive fabric. For a full bedding makeover, cover your headboard in a headboard slipcover.
Your closet, too, is part of the bedroom décor. Rearrange your clothing and shoes for easy access to reflect the season.
Enjoy the Simplicity of Spring Decorating
Some basic spring-cleaning, decluttering and rearranging will feel like you’ve redecorated. Bring in just a few elements of the outdoors with flowers, open windows and colorful accents from pillows to paint. Simple changes show well in any home—especially in spring.
- Even a few improvements as you clean and declutter for spring will make big impact.
- Enjoy the season by making small improvements with each day or spend a weekend deep cleaning everything from bedding to drapes.
- Clean with green products, made without toxic chemicals—or make your own with home ingredients like vinegar and lemon juice.
- Painting just one wall, one room or the baseboards transforms how your home appears.
- Using the rule of ‘less is more,’ windows become focal points in your room design in spring.
- Curtain clips help make it a cinch to hang lighter fabrics.
- Rearrange chairs or seats around windows to take advantage of views, breezes and more natural light.
- Trade your wintry looking vases and containers for some in brighter colors or glass.
- Renew old throw pillows by wrapping them in fabrics of cheerful patterns and colors.
- Refurbish your furniture with Tung oil—an economical, natural and traditional way to clean, protect and finish wood into a fine sheen.
- Rediscover more vibrant kitchenware, glassware and dishes in the back of your cabinets.
- Revive your bathroom into a springtime spa, with a basket of bath salts, oils and body scrubs.
Also be sure to vote for Rhonda Vandiver-White in the Top Female Executive Awards 2012!