April 30, 2013
Opening the curtains this morning… my spirits are finally lifted, there’s a chink of blue in the grey cloud that’s been hovering over us for months. Spring has finally arrived! Time to put away the cosy blankets and goose feather duvets. Say goodbye to the roaring log fires (I hope..). Winter it seems has passed and a season of light, freshness and warmth beckons. Time to spring clean!
Spring scents and colours awaken the senses, it’s the perfect time to refresh your home inside and out. Rejuvenate the dusty, dark corners that you’ve been hibernating in…
Charming without being fussy, stylish without being rich; interior design is accessible in the most ordinary of homes. We simply need to put our ‘throw away’ culture behind us and find innovative and exciting new ways to restore or re-order what we already have. Freshen up a room, create a different image. Time to de-clutter the hoardings of winter and create space for thought.
Instead of simply moving things around, re vamping the odd bit here and there, have you ever considered creating a completely new picture? …By this, I mean completely emptying a room, andslowly re-building the picture. A very daunting experience, I agree, but a lamp, ornament or well loved piece of furniture that has always ’lived there’ and has become insignificant, may look stunning in a different place or even a different room. Once the room is emptied, take time to walk around the rest of the house, noticing what you have in other rooms before you start to ‘build’. Begin with the larger items, looking at the shapes and dimensions, then stand back. What does the picture need now? Does it need colour or texture or both? Does it need reflective mirrors, sparkling glass or even a coloured bowl or a vase of flowers? Don’t be afraid to get the paint pot out if you like the shape and size of a table or chest of drawers…. I recently transformed a shabby wooden side table from my bedroom into a focal point by doing just that.
Don’t throw away the dingy rickety chair or the gloomy dresser you’ve had since goodness knows when. Bring them to life in a similar fashion. Paint them an uplifting cream or pale grey. At the moment I have been using Farrow & Ball ‘Skimming stone’ and ‘old white’, and had some amazing results. They seem to go with everything. Dress the chair with a cushion, thinking of the look you are trying to create. Is it simple and fresh, with pale linen or cotton pastel colours, or is it an eye-catching focal point in the room? A change of handles or knobs on a dresser can give it a new identity. I love the crystal knobs which are available in clear or fantastic bright colours. That simple transformation gives you a new piece of furniture, simply and cheaply, to place in your picture.
Look around your house, what can you find? An old wooden pallet top printed with the contents of its previous use? Could this remotely look stunning when hung on a wall? And what do you do with all the sunhats, baskets or even shells that you’ve collected from past holidays which just seem to clutter. Could they be rearranged or hung very simply on a wall to create a perfect composition? A stunning look with no expense – just the cost of a hat hook.
A room needs character, a personality. It should say something about you and what you are about. Pictures and personal memorabilia portray the person you are.
This chest of drawers above were once a dark and dreary wood, they looked too heavy for my bedroom. By painting them in Farrow & Ball ‘Skimming Stone’, it has been transformed and acts as a prop for my much loved candles.
Outside, Spring evolves. Echo the scent and colour of spring flowers; the beautiful pinks and pure whites of spring blossom. Room scent is one of the most forgotten parts when creating a desirable interior, yet is one which completely transforms. Our sense of smell is so powerful it enables us to connect with an emotion or recreate a past experience. The scent of a room is important to the way we ‘feel’, and the way we ‘feel’ is integral to creating a comfortable interior. Do you look forward to stepping into your kitchen to cook supper or enjoy a nice glass of wine? Do you feel cosy and content in your living room? Whether it’s the comfort of a deep musky fragrance or the fresh uplift of white jasmine and lavender, enhance your mood by bringing the scent of Spring indoors without robbing your garden. A simple vase of fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme or mint will fragrance the room naturally. Maybe add a few flowers or a single stem for colour. My favourites are roses, peonies and sweetpeas in any room! A basket filled with dried lavender instantly fills the room with it’s calming fragrance.
Looking at the lovely Eve Quarmby and Winifred Nicholson’s paintings of flowers, I am reminded that the simplest vase of flowers can transform a window sill. As nature evolves, let your style also evolve.