Now that spring has finally arrived, I know many of us are looking for ways to freshen, brighten, and update all the rooms in our home without breaking the bank. So here are some great quick tips and projects for you to use throughout your home, perfect to bring in that charming touch of the warmer months, while keeping your personal touch.
Let in that light! Not only does this include taking down the heavy drapes, but also make an effort to keep your windows and reflective surfaces in your home (TV screens, mirrors, appliances) shiny and clean. You would be surprised at how much light is let in and reflected, and how much that can brighten your interior. By the way, one caveat for removing your heavy window coverings. If you have a south-facing window and live in a hot climate, you may want to consider leaving that window covered well. It will save on your cooling bills in the summer to block out that southern sun!
Put away your fleece throws and blankets for the season, and create throw pillow covers in lighter brighter colors and patterns. This is a very cost-effective way to update the seasons. Try purchasing flat sheets at spring white sales as fabric for an inexpensive way to coordinate the room.
Save clear glass jars and bottles, then gather them in groups of five or seven on windowsills, countertops, or shelving. Place one flower in each bottle. Roadside daisies work fine. Think of using this not just in the kitchen, but in the bed or bath, or even on your front porch.
Make a spring wreath to hang on your front door. Nothing adds such a welcoming touch to your home. It can be as easy as picking up a straw or grapevine wreath for a couple bucks at your local craft shop, then attach a pretty bow or wrap with a ribbon. You can stop right there for a simple look, or add silk flowers, nature items, or even a small handpainted wood plaque with your family name. Give your wreath a theme, such as seashore, cabin, or summer fun. (How about dollar store sand shovels or gardening tools?) A little wire and a glue gun go a long way. Don't forget to look at thrift shops and garage sales for old silk flower arrangements that can be recycled. Those removable plastic hooks from 3M are a great way to attach them to your door while still being able to safely remove them later.
Buy six packs of inexpensive shade annuals such as pansies, fuchsias, and impatiens. Pot up and set in a sunny window inside for some great, cheap color and life in your rooms. Three or five lined up across a windowsill make a great statement. Don't place these plants in a south facing window, as they will burn!
Seek scrap wood you can paint with rustic sayings. This is so easy to do since the idea is to look rustic and handpainted, yet boutiques are charging big bucks for something you could make for free. These can be used inside or out, any size, hung on the wall or leaned in front of your unused firebox, and personalized to your own family and beliefs. You can get some great quotes off the Internet, from Proverbs, or even from looking through those spring home accessories catalogs. Some of my favorites are "Bloom Where You Are Planted," "Count Your Garden By the Flowers, Never By the Leaves That Fall," and "Love, Laugh, Live." Okay, I could be here all day!
Clear away the clutter. You really want to do your spring cleaning to truly appreciate the bright, cheery feel of the season. Find ways to hide clutter if you don't have enough storage. Make floor length table covers and store things underneath. Use open top cardboard boxes to store items that can be slid under the beds and pulled out when you need to access the items. Use hooks inside cupboard doors and on the laundry room walls to give you places to hide all those utility items.
Press a few flowers between paper in a book for a week or two, then place them artfully in a dollar store frame as a terrific spring accent. Pansies are great for this. They hold their color well and dry quickly. Press a few leaves to use within your display. The thicker the leaf or flower, the harder and longer it will take to dry. If you don't want to remove your present wall art, just lean these floral accents on your mantel, on shelves, or even on your kitchen counter against your backsplash. Once again, for the best statements, use them in groups of odd numbers.
Hopefully, this will get you all started to bringing a bright comfort to your Spring home, especially useful on those Spring days when it seems winter has returned and you need that hope that the sun will return. Remember that it's not about what you can afford, but putting your heart and your creativity into making a comfortable, secure retreat for your family and friends. (And yourself!)
Kathleen Wilson is an author, national columnist for Country Women magazine, and editor of her free online ezine, The Budget Decorator. Visit her at www.TheBudgetDecorator.com for more free ideas and information on her ebooks and online workshops.
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