Lighten and brighten.
• Perk up any room in an instant with a coat of paint in a soft, creamy white (we like White Dove by Benjamin Moore). “Fresh paint is the easiest and most inexpensive way to transform a space; it changes everything,” says designer Hilde Leiaghat.
• Trade heavy draperies for sheer, cotton panels to usher in sunlight, or, if you’re a bit daring, leave windows bare.
• If you’re not up to altering your walls or window treatments, change your lightbulbs instead. Three-way varieties make the most of spring’s longer days by letting you reduce artificial light (and your energy consumption, too).
Take a fresh approach.
• For a pristine feel, pull up wool rugs to reveal wood or stone floors. For a softer look, replace them with cotton or sisal rugs in neutral colors.
• Lighten dark furniture with slipcovers in durable fabrics. “White denim slipcovers wash up like new, so they are great for families with children or pets,” says designer Trini Bryant.
• Don’t forget the bedroom when sprucing up for spring. Crisp linen bedding, freshly washed with lavender-scent softener and topped with a lightweight coverlet in a delicate print or pastel, will make anyone feel pampered.
Awaken the senses.
• Invite the beauty of nature indoors with fresh flowers. Loosely displayed in a crystal vase or a simple Mason jar, they are a guaranteed pick-me-up—for you and your room.
• Think beyond the bulb when incorporating plants into your home. Designer Sandra Lynn likes to place pots of fresh-cut herbs around the kitchen and breakfast room for a burst of flavorful fragrance.
• Purchase candles in sweet spring scents. A cluster of candles in soothing pastels makes an aromatic and eye-catching centerpiece.
Accessorize like an expert.
• Mirrors give the illusion of space and light, making them the ideal springtime adornment for your walls.
• “The best way to add color to a room is with pillows in a soft or bright color palette,” says designer Tracey Rapisardi. The colors making designing hearts flutter this season? Aqua, hot pink, apple green, and, of course, classic pastels. “Pairing two colors will give you a sophisticated look,” Tracey says, while mixing in more will satisfy your need for fun.
• Swap multiple, miniature trinkets for a few larger ones to give even the smallest space an airy, expansive aura.
Change your perspective.
• Spring is all about renewal, so give new life to old items by using them in unique ways. Transform a coffee can into a vase with a coat of paint, or cover boxes with fabric to make display pieces that double as storage containers.
• Rearrange furniture to freshen a room’s look. Even switching around a few small pieces can have major impact.
• Give new meaning to “spring fling” by tossing out anything that doesn’t fall into the “beautiful” or “useful” category.
ALSO: Something Old, Something New (slide show)