Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press • April 1, 2017
When I was growing up in Virginia, it meant that you could open the windows, flag down the ice cream man, go barefoot and stay outside an hour later. My mother always gave the house a “spring” cleaning and then we always rearranged the living room furniture. She said that the change was almost like having a new room. And she was right.
As a Fort Myers interior decorator, I spend a lot of time helping my clients rearrange their homes. And eliminating what no longer gives them pleasure. Things change in our homes. Our tastes and what we need. It’s good to shake things up a little and spring is the perfect time.
Today, life is a little more complicated than it was during my childhood. I do get to wear flip flops all year and my favorite chair is one within a few feet of the Gulf of Mexico. But even in Southwest Florida where we typically go from winter (such as it is) straight into summer, with a few cool and breezy days in between, it’s still human nature to mark the change of seasons.
So, do a little inventory of your home and make a list of a few easy changes you can do for the season. Some of my favorite ways to acknowledge this subtle shift may help. And many will not cost anything and almost all are very affordable.
Spring is the perfect time as you refresh and renew your home. Eliminate anything that bothers you. A mini downsize of your "stuff" is healthy and don't be afraid to open up some space.
Clear out the cobwebs.
Literally. Give your home a deep cleaning. Including the windows. And speaking of windows…
Open the windows.
Yes, some fresh air. Let all of the bad chemicals and cooking fumes out and some fresh air in. We live in air conditioning without fresh air and everything builds up inside to one big unhealthy trapped batch of air. Open the windows and let it out!
Paint baseboards and window sills.
One of my favorite spring rituals. This gets rid of scuff marks and gives your home a sparkly, clean feeling.
Paint the front door.
If you don’t do anything else, do this one. And paint both sides of the door. In a bright lacquer! There are so many yummy spring colors. A few of my Benjamin Moore favorites: Sundance, Wild Berry, Peony, Spring Breeze, Fruit Shake, Spring Valley and the totally delicious Lip Gloss. And although black is not what you typically think about for spring, 10 Downing Street (love the name!) in a high gloss is beautiful. I can’t decide so check them all out at www.benjaminmoore.com.
Keep it simple.
You don’t need a big decorating budget to make some changes for spring. Switch out some of your accessories and artwork for a big change. Restyle your sofa (yes, restyle your sofa). New pillows in cotton and linen spring palettes, a new rug in front of the sofa. Big change.
Add a wall covering.
Go a little beyond paint and try this in a powder room or to the back of a bookcase. Try a small space with some of the outrageously beautiful new coverings and it won’t break the bank. Check out a few choices: www.thibautdesign.com.
Set a pretty table.
Think about an inexpensive, colorful set of dishes. Napkins, table cloth and centerpiece. There is not any better (and fun) way to bring spring into your home than a new table setting.
Clear off your countertops.
Rule: if it’s not pretty, put it away.
If this is on your to-do list for a room in your home, try this: paint the room a pretty neutral white and paint the ceiling a color. Like a beautiful blue. Fresh and pretty.
Style your coffee table.
This is one of my favorites. Pick up a few pretty art books (or anything colorful), add a couple of objects that mean something to you, pottery, a plant and voila. New table.
Add fresh flowers to every room.
This is my favorite. Because it will not only add color to a room but it just makes you feel food. Invest in a few new vases and be creative about what you purchase. My favorites: turquoise and green bottles. I like to buy large bouquets and break them into bunches of solid colors and arrange them throughout the house. And don't wait until house guests arrive. Do it for yourself.
Say goodbye to a few things.
Nothing lifts your spirits like eliminating a few things that have just been hanging around for so long that you have forgotten about them. But they weigh you down. Like these:
· Anything plaid, Tuscan or avocado green.
· Bean bag chairs. There are better options.
· Fake plants. They are dust-collecting, fake, plastic.
· Cheap mirror lights with big bulbs. These are easily and affordably replaced.
· Sponge painting. Enough said.
· Wallpaper borders.
· Off-white switch plate covers that came with the house. Time to change!
Happy spring! Whatever changes you make, enjoy your home. There are only 38 weeks until Christmas!
Wrenda Goodwyn is a Southwest Florida interior decorator, A.S.I.D. associate and certified gold member of the Interior Redecorators Network. She has helped homeowners throughout Southwest Florida with timeless, affordable ways to create beautiful spaces and to solve decorating problems. Her article appears the first Saturday of each month. For more information visit her website at spectacularspaces.com. Call her at 949-1808 or e-mail email@example.com. For more decorating tips, articles and photos, visit spectacularspaces.com/blog