Email Answer: Gettin’ Springy With It

I hope you all got that Will Smith reference in the title. Or maybe I should hope that you missed it. Anyway, here’s Jennifer’s question:

Q: Hey guys. I’m so not in the mood to work this morning so I thought I’d ask you a question. With the seasons changing, what are some of your must haves for spring? Like, are there certain décor switches you make to get things feeling a little sunnier and fresher? Are there any tips you have or things people can do regardless of their color scheme or current décor that would instantly transform a room from winter to spring? Do you keep specific décor items on hand specifically for spring? Thanks! -Jennifer

There’s nothing better than when spring is finally in the air after a long cold winter. Heck, even when the weather is still on the chilly side and the grass hasn’t really greened up yet, it’s amazing what just a taste of almost-spring can do for the psyche. And when it comes to our decor, there’s nothing I like more than breathing a little fresh spring-like life into Casa Petersik. And there are tons of cheap and simple ways to do that- like a few vases of fresh flowers peppered around your home (you can even bringing in leafy or flowering branches from outside for a free spring pick-me-up).

Another easy spring switch is to introduce a few bright & happy pillows, throws, and even some lighter bedding (a cheerful spring-like duvet from Ikea can only set you back 12 or 14 bucks). And of course just putting away those heavy wool blankets and throwing open the windows to catch a warm breeze can really make your house feel fresher and lighter in a snap.

We don’t do anything that’s specifically Easter themed with bunnies or baskets full of that fake grass stuff, but we love the idea of introducing just two new punchy green, yellow or blue pillows (or any other happy spring color) in the place of more subtle or subdued pillows on your sofa or bed (and you can spend less than $14 for two of them at places like TJ Maxx and Home Goods). We also love the idea of a super cheap cake stand from Marshall’s or Target with a bunch of colorful lemons and limes (or oranges and bananas) on it in the kitchen to make your whole house feel like spring.

And beyond bringing in accessories in brighter and happier colors (like orange, yellow, lime, turquoise, fuschia, etc), crisp white accessories really feel springy – especially in the place of anything in the mocha, maroon, red, evergreen or burnt orange color family. So if you look around and see tabletop accessories in those tones, try switching them out for white lacquered boxes, clean white vases or even a green potted plant in a sleek white Ikea planter (they’re just $1!) for an instantly fresher display.

At the same token, any throws, pillows, bedding or even curtains in those deeper more wintery tones can be swapped out for something lighter and airier (and it doesn’t have to break the bank thanks to two-for-$9.99 white Ikea curtains and clearance duvets & shams from places like Marshall’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, and of course Ikea).

And there are so many more small spring-y things you can do to add some simple freshness and style to your casa in honor of the impending warmer weather, so here are a few more ideas:

1.  Bring home a ceramic bowl or two in a sunny springy color like lime, yellow, turquoise, orange, or fuschia and use ‘em to corral your keys on the kitchen counter or pop a candle inside of them to create instant spring votives.

2. Toss a colorful scarf over the back of your home office chair or hang it on a hook in your mudroom:

3. Switch out a black and white portrait for something colorful and fun (Etsy has tons of lovely handmade art for cheap- like this deliciously spring-like print that we snagged for $12.50 for the nursery).

4.  Fill a glass hurricanes or a clear cylinder vase with oranges & lemons or lemons & limes for an easy and festive springtime centerpiece:

5. Pick up three pretty white scalloped bowls (or loot your cabinets for something festive) and fill them with jelly beans. Set them out in a line down the center of your dining or coffee table for a sweet springy “runner” that look as good as it tastes.

6. Grab punchy patterned, floral or striped wrapping paper and use it to cover those ugly manilla folders on your home office desk. Heck you can even frame it as art or cover some cardboard shoe boxes for pretty storage bins that add to the spring ambiance.

7.  Paint an old lamp base in a bright glossy hue and top it with a crisp white shade (if you don’t have one on hand you can pick one up at a yard sale or thrift store and use high-gloss spray paint for the makeover).

8. A bold table runner (or two) can add so much color to your entire kitchen or dining area. Top them with simple white vases or bowls to keep things from feeling too crazy:

9. Find some inexpensive botanical prints (like this) and frame them in any space for an effortless dose of nature (bonus: you don’t even have to water them).

10. Little ceramic birds like these would add freshness to any console or side table:

11. Grab a canvas from an art store and some 99 cent paint to create a showstopping abstract art piece (like this) for above your sofa or bed.

12. Whip up an upholstered headboard in a fun punchy hue (lime green? coral? sky blue?). Here’s a step by step tutorial for you.

13. Paint the inside of any lamp shade a spring-like color so it subtly shines through when it’s on (soft pink always makes for a flattering glow).

14. Line your drawers for a fun dose of pattern and hue whenever you open them (here’s how).

15. Hit up the fabric store for a yard or two of fabric to make your own cheap and simple table runner.

16. Save old wine bottles, remove their labels (here’s how), grab a few vases in a second color and display them all en masse on a tray:

17. Keep all of your bedding the same but swap out your pillow cases for something bright (teal? lime? daffodil yellow? rose?) so you wake up happy and energized.

18. Grab some bright outdoor pillows and planters to punch up your porch or patio (we got all these from Home Depot on the cheap):

19. Toss a brightly colored tray on your coffee table or ottoman (filled with anything from hardcover books to glossy magazines) for a nice dose of cheerful saturation.

20. Soft colored blooms grouped in a similarly toned vase always looks chic without much arrangement effort at all:

21. Hang breezy white sheers or soft fluttery curtains on any window (again, they’re super cheap at Ikea or you could make your own)  for an instantly softer and lighter effect.

22. Take the paper covers off your hardcover books to reveal their colorful spines (we found that some of ours were coral, turquoise, lime green, and even pink paisley) and display them in a stack on an ottoman, side table, coffee table, or console table.

23. Cloth napkins in a bold hue look casual and fun on a dining table with some hand snipped leafy branches from outside (read: free) in a clear vase:

So those are just a few ideas to add a little spring sparkle just in time for warmer weather. From spray paint to wrapping paper and beyond, there’s no limit to the cheap-o changes that you can introduce for some festive flowers-are-blooming-and-birds-are-chirping ambiance. And we’d love to hear what you guys do to usher in the season of buds and bumble bees. Any spring decorating traditions or projects that you’re itching to take on? Do tell.

 

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Reader Redesign: Headboard Ambiance

When Karen sent us the DIY headboard that she whipped up, we couldn’t wait to share her amazing results. Here’s her letter:

I just wanted to show you how I used your tutorial to make a headboard for our bed. The only difference was that I used 1 X 2’s cut to size from my home improvement store (I attached them with L brackets which only cost me $5!). I did use designer fabric by Patricia Bravo but I got a great deal on that on Etsy so the whole project was really affordable. Thanks for the tips! As you see our Min Pin likes it too! -Karen

Didn’t Karen do a great job? We love that she used such a pretty pattern to add ambiance and interest to her bedroom. And the fact that she paired it with such lively and lovely pillows (which she picked up on the cheap thanks to Etsy) really is the icing on the cake. And while we’re on the subject of eye-pleasing arrangements, isn’t her pooch the ultimate accessory? He really makes that DIY headboard pop.

Psst- Looking to make your own homemade headboard. Here’s our super simple tutorial (seriously, if you can wrap a present you can upholster a headboard).

 

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