Bring in spring with an update to your room decor

Update Your Decor for Spring

by Shaunna Privratsky

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Winter can be harsh and dreary, but spring arrives with warmth and light. Brighten your mood by transforming your home to greet the season. These affordable updates will refresh your rooms without ruining your budget.

Tap into the vibrant colors of nature with new pillows, paint, or a few accents. Try the pale green of new leaves, sunny yellow daffodils, a riot of colorful tulips, or delicate pink cherry blossoms. Choose a color that makes you happy. A couple of gallons of paint for less than $30 will add some zing to boring white or cream walls.

Lighten up your drapes. Try soft sheers or roman shades or just leave your windows bare to let in the glorious sunlight. If you need privacy or light control at night, inexpensive roller shades are unobtrusive and roll all the way up when not in use. Look for them in hardware or home improvement stores, where they cut them to custom fit your windows. Or hang two white sheets from a rod with ring clips. There's no sewing needed.

Slipcover your heavy, dark furniture for an easy, breezy update. Watch for sales on ready-made slipcovers, or sew your own out of sheets. This will also cut down on wear and tear on your furniture.

Throw a new area rug over the dingy carpet. A natural or jute rug will go with any decor and give a fresh look to tired floors. Make sure at least some of the furniture is touching the edges, so the rug doesn't have that "floating island" look.

Change out your old or outdated lampshades. Try a classic or modern shape, throw in a black or red shade to spice things up, and coordinate your shades with the bases. Most discount stores sell shades separately, or you can pick up a batch at thrift stores for pennies on the dollar.

Switch out all your switch plates and electrical covers. The average cost per room is under $3. White is always fresh, and cream is widely available as well. Look for specialty and designer colors at home improvement stores like Lowes.

Stir up some spring breezes with a new ceiling fan. There is a huge variety to fit every decor and budget. Don't forget to check the clearance section and watch for sales.

Add some springy botanical prints for some chic wall art. Look for pictures in magazines or newspapers and frame them yourself for an instant new look. Affordable picture frames are a staple at garage sales and thrift stores. Paint them all the same color for a uniform look.

Bring in the outdoors by starting an herb garden on your windowsill. Grow mint, fresh dill, parsley, or cilantro. Start with seeds or small plants from a garden center and watch them grow. Use the herbs to wake up your taste buds.

Nothing says spring like fresh flowers. As soon as the weather permits, plant a flower garden or use fun containers around the house like wheelbarrows, teapots, old crocks, wagons, or baskets hanging from vintage bikes.

Visit the grocery store for inexpensive bouquets to liven up any room. Find vases at second hand stores or use large clear jars with a pretty ribbon tied around the top. For added impact, group three or more vases together.

Bring in the smells of spring with candles in light airy scents. Botanicals, rain shower, clean linen, and sea spray aromas add a breath of freshness to stuffy rooms. Or open the windows on a sunny day.

Declutter and do some spring-cleaning to leave your home sparkling. Get rid of unwanted items with a garage sale or on eBay. Rearrange the furniture for a new flow to your rooms and a fresh look. Swap pieces from different rooms and use them in totally new ways. For example, bring in a porch chair with a comfy cushion for some new seating in the family room, add a garden bench to the dining room for more casual get-togethers, or use a large ottoman instead of a coffee table.

Even if winter is still hanging on with gray skies and blustery winds, bring spring into your home with these refreshing ideas and affordable updates.

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