Wandering through my local park a couple of days ago, I couldn’t remove the smile from my face.
The magnolia trees were in full magnificent bloom, the grass was strewn with purple and yellow crocus flowers, and the distinctive tang of wild garlic was carried on the breeze. With the sun beating down with surprising warmth and intensity (and yes, that didn’t seem to last long, but we live in hope for its rapid return), I was reminded of just how special those first signs of Spring could be, and the amazing impact it has on my emotions.
We moved into our new home just over a year ago, in January 2021. Those first few months, as they always tend to be following a relocation, were pretty hectic - boxes seemed to reveal more boxes, furniture was being built, rooms were being painted and planned and rearranged - and it felt as though Spring passed by without much appreciation.
We’ve now had the privilege of watching all of the seasons change in our home, and this year, I’m determined to make the most of Spring and all of its delightful treasures.
What’s fascinating about this time of year is just how impactful it can be on how we view and utilise our homes and spaces. Spring has always been a time of celebration - it’s a chance to welcome new life, start afresh, and wave goodbye to the huddled cosiness of winter as we rejoice in the reincarnation of the sun. It’s a time for reappraisal, refreshment, and plans for the year ahead… and I just can’t get enough of it!
Bring Spring Indoors
It’s impossible not to find yourself somewhat seduced by nature in the springtime. The grass is looking a little greener, the sky is showing its blue beauty… and if you’re anything like me, you just can’t resist bringing some of that natural wonder into your home to bring new colours, textures, and other sensory treats into each room.
Of course, the most straightforward way of achieving this is by keeping a steady rotation of fresh and seasonal flowers in your rooms, bunched up in vases and jugs on kitchen windowsills, dining tables, mantelpieces and anywhere else you fancy! I personally love those first flushes of daffodils - there’s something about their sunny colours and nodding heads that always lifts my spirits - but at this time of year, there’s a bountiful selection to choose from.
While I always feel that flowers of all colours and types bring an instant lift to any room, it’s fun to think of contrasting and harmonious colours, too. Head back to your colour wheels and think about how purple petals will pop against yellow, pinks will work with greens, and orange with blue, and use nature’s palette as a way to elevate each moment and living space in style.
A Period of Renewal
With the mercury steadily rising, springtime is all about bringing some fresh air into your home and using its purifying powers to bolster that mood of renewal and refreshment. Windows and doors start staying open a little longer each morning, and we all begin thinking about getting back out into the garden once again… no matter how green (or not) our thumbs might be.
It’s also a time in which we naturally think about spring cleaning - an almost primal instinct, and one which gives us the perfect opportunity to rethink the layout, style, and colour of each room as we throw ourselves into an ‘out with the old, in with the new mindset’.
From small changes and clear-outs - such as buying a bunch of new cushion covers, decluttering a bedroom or living space, or simply switching up a wardrobe - to more dramatic reimagining's of rooms, Spring really is the season of transformation.
In my house, we’ve been mulling over a few big changes for some time, and plans have finally been cemented for the coming months. We’ll be committing to making our house work for our needs and requirements a bit more effectively, which will involve knocking through the back and expanding our space. It’s an exciting time, and as the sun shines a little more brightly, I’m really looking forward to this next stage of our home’s identity.
Embracing a New Approach to Living
Of course, all of these changes and new ideas stem not merely from the change of season, but also from the dramatic shifts in how we’ve all been living across the past two years. The post-covid world is one we’re still all adapting to. Indeed, the global pandemic has influenced so many aspects of our daily existence, it feels as though none of us will really have a decent handle on how far-reaching those changes are for many, many years.
One factor is undeniable, however. COVID-19 meant we all spent a lot, lot more time indoors than we’re used to, and this has prompted some fascinating reappraisals into how we use our spaces and create moments of comfort and reassurance in our homes.
More of us are working from home than ever before, too, meaning our houses have taken on new identities and new purposes, which can and should be reflected by design. We’re making the most of our indoor spaces than ever, enhancing their ability to boost productivity, notions of safety and cosiness, and their ability to make us happy. As an interior designer, I can’t help but be utterly amazed at this renewed perspective and the possibilities it brings.
The pandemic sits against a backdrop of other transformations, too. As the climate crisis looms - and this Spring, beautiful as it is, will doubtlessly bring with it record-busting polar temperatures and extreme weather to some parts of the world - our thoughts turn to the positive changes we can adopt in our lives and homes. Eco-consciousness and greener practices have become increasingly commonplace, and these approaches are being reflected in interior design just as they are across every industry and sector of society.
I’d encourage any of you considering a Springtime redecoration to think about the ecological impact of your plans, and to embrace longer-term and more sustainable strategies. We spoke in a previous blog about eco-friendly paint - something I’m delighted to see in increasing demand - and to seek out local and sustainable alternatives when it comes to furnishings and fittings, too. There’s a real sense of satisfaction (and a hugely increased likelihood of long-lasting quality) from supporting local businesses and tradespeople, fitters, carpenters, furniture designers, and more, and our homes deserve to be filled with items made with love, passion, and a respect for the planet we all share.
Let’s make the most of this Spring, and invite its joyful colours and changes into our homes this year. We’ve waited a long time for its arrival, and we all deserve the pleasure and sense of renewal it brings.