Spring has sprung, my friends, and it feels oh so good!! As I was walking home from the gym just this morning I saw the first traces of buds on a few trees and it honest-to-god made me smile :) Spring is magical no matter where you live, but it's particularly wonderful in New York (sorry, just another New Yorker guilty of bragging about how good this place is). It's been a long winter for us on this side of world, but we've officially made it. Bring on the beautiful flowers, the humid spring air and longer days!
If you know me, you know I'm not the girliest of gals, but there's something about the spring that rewires my brain. After a particularly harsh winter hibernation living in what felt like the same two sweatshirts and the same 3 pairs of leggings and staring at the same STUFF on my desk, I am SO ready for a purge and change up. Feminine as it may be, the spring has me in the mood for pastels, floral patterns and everything light, airy and breezy!
This weekend in my apartment we got rid of our "fall/winter" throw pillows, packed up our heavy throw blankets, and switched up candles that had been lingering since Christmas - it felt great and got me thinking about some other ways to refresh your space for spring without a ton of hassle.
01. TREAT YOUR WINDOW SILL LIKE A GARDEN
There's a reason "bringing the outdoors in" is the oldest trick in the books - it works! There's only so much you can readily and effortlessly change about your home, but this is one of them. Take advantage of the spring sunshine and turn your windowsill into a little garden - heck, head down to your local hardware store and grab some potted herbs while you're at it.
The other wonderful thing about adding flowers to your space is the variety they offer. Feeling particularly pretty for pink this week? Go for some peonies. If you're sick of them next week, no harm done, try a different color combo next time.
Not to mention, if you buy flowers you need something to put them in! Here are a few of my favorite vases right now:
02. SWAP OUT HEAVY CURTAINS FOR SHEERS
We've all spent enough time indoors this year. Taking down your heavy drapes is a great excuse to get them dry-cleaned, then fold them up nicely and tuck them away in a storage box until next winter. Now, I do recognize that privacy may be an issue here, especially if your view leaves your staring right into your neighbors living room and you know a little too much about their personal lives (see - not everything about New York City life is great :) ). It doesn't have to be in every room, but where it's possible, let a little more vitamin D in!
03. UPDATE YOUR THROW PILLOWS
Wave goodbye to dark colors and heavy fabrics like velvets. Instead, think lighter ones like linen. Here are some that I'm coveting right now:
04. INVEST IN NEW GLASSWARE
You're probably thinking that I mean fancy glassware - and while I do think that's a lovely idea (hello gorgeous champagne coups from Estelle Colored Glass!) - I'm really just talking about your everyday glasses. If you start your morning routine with a nice cup of coffee or tea, buy yourself one or two new mugs.
Switching out your drinking glasses can also make a big difference - try adding some color to your glassware collection so that opening your cupboards brings some joy. Speaking of joy, the next time you go to set your table, it will look that much nicer with your new glasses front and center.
05. DRESS UP YOUR TABLE
Ok, so maybe you've got yourself some new glassware, but what about getting yourself a nice new tablecloth? Every time you use it, it will feel like a special occasion. And you don't need guests over as an excuse to use it, just toss it on, grab a bouquet of some of your freshly added flowers, and you're all set!
I'm partial to linen, especially for the warmer weather: Here are a few that I'm loving:
06. RE-ARRANGE YOUR BOOKSHELVES
Another oldie, but a goodie. The best way to do this is to start by first taking everything off of the shelves (it's gotta get a little messy before it gets good, right) and laying all of your books and styling items out in front of you. The key to styling is to think in layers. I'm not going to go into a full on styling tutorial on here, because that could easily be a whole other post in and of itself, but here are some basics:
•Choose a color palette and stick with it
•Start with books - group them into small stacks and play with laying them vertically vs. horizontally
•Don't underestimate the importance of visual balance. Large sculptural pieces can stand alone, whereas smaller pieces should be grouped together, added to the top of a book stack, etc.
•Add artwork. Larger pieces can go at the back of the shelf with smaller items or books in front, while smaller framed pieces can either stand alone or be layered at the front of the shelf.
If you don't have a ton of styling items, OR if you simply have too many books, don't stress - even just color coordinating your books on the shelves is a nice touch.
Not into the colorful book look and want to achieve a neutral vibe? No problem, here are my two tips for that:
1) Always check under the cover - often times the hardcover of the book is a beautiful neutral and it's just the cover that's colorful.
2) Get yourself some nice brown or cream wrapping paper (extra points to you if it's recycled) and cover the outside of your books with that instead!
07. BUY A NEW WELCOME MAT
This is probably a hilarious idea if you're a homeowner, because you likely also then have a porch that you can decorate, but as an apartment owner or tenant, a welcome mat and a door wreath are the only levers we really have to pull when it comes to first impressions of your place. After a long winter of slush and sludge and muck, a new mat can go a long way to brighten your entrance!
Here are a few cute ones I'm digging:
08. TRY SOME FUN NEW DRAWER PULLS
They could be pulls for your kitchen cupboards, a dresser in your room, or a side table in your living room. This is such an easy and affordable way to make less expensive pieces of furniture look more fancy, or to liven up an old piece you're tiring of.
I've rounded up a couple of pulls that I love:
09. PAINT AN OLD PIECE OF FURNITURE
This goes hand in hand with swapping out pulls. If you've got sand paper + a paint brush and into a little DIY project, give this a go. I grew up painting my mum's outdoor furniture almost every spring, and I loved that each year I got to pick a new color if I wanted to.
As I said before, spring is synonymous with pastels for me (as I'm sure it is for most of us), so here are a few paint colors I'm really into for this season:
10. REPLACE YOUR LAMP SHADES
Perhaps less obvious than painting your furniture, or swapping out handles, but JUST as effective. There are some absolutely adorable lamp shades to be found on etsy if you look, so here are a few suggestions to get your started. And remember - if you're just swapping them out, they don't need to be permanent, so don't be afraid to be a little bold and try a pattern or a color you might not have considered before!