When Tolstoy wrote these words in Anna Karenina, Konstantin Dmitrich Levin, or Levin for short, is admiring his farm and how the change in seasons is stirring new plans for the upcoming Spring months. While many of us do not live on farms like Levin, there was a romantic notion that the projects he envisioned were going to reflect the type of farmer he was going to be. In many respects, Tolstoy could have been writing about interior decorating. Historically, interior decorators considered Spring the perfect time to refresh a home. As Edith Weigle wrote in the Chicago Tribune, “Spring means new fabric, new combinations of colors, new wallpapers and tones of paints—new decorative schemes.” (Chicago Tribune, May 12, 1940). Weigle advised female readers that, “Ingenuity, plus good taste, plus the clever use of color, can make a room both livable and beautiful. [The] aim has been to create rooms that look good enough to live in, not merely to look at. This is the test of the decorator’s skill.” (Chicago Tribune, June 2, 1940)
We cocoon ourselves during the winter months in blankets, sweaters, and with cups of hot cocoa (or hot toddies), enjoying winter naps during the shorter days. But with Daylight Savings Time and the first day of Spring, we awaken from our slumber and like Levin, look at our homes and dream of updates and changes. Spring is indeed the time of plans and projects.
But which projects come first? Updating your home for longer and warmer days does not have to be extensive, but I find that there are three rooms/areas that can benefit most from an update.
As the days grow warmer, heavy comforters can feel stifling, so changing to cooler coverlets or quilts frees you from what seems like an oppressive duvet. I love using lighter colors and florals, while adding either matching sheets and/or contrasting prints. Even on the sunniest day, you’ll want to lounge just a little bit longer and enjoy some quiet time. If you are really feeling adventurous, new bedroom furniture an help you really embrace the change Spring brings. However, I encourage you not gravitate toward matching furniture sets. Have some fun! I love incorporating unique furniture, especially items you do not expect. This Spring, I’ve been using pieces with more florals and fauna because not only do they breathe new life into your décor, they also reflect a willingness to think outside the design box.
If there is one room inside that feels the brunt of winter, it is the living room. Over the past few months, we have become best friends with our couch, its pillows, and the wool blanket we wrapped ourselves in. At the end of the winter, the sagging cushions and tired winter colors are begging for a makeover. If a new couch is not in the budget, a slipcover can revive a couch and renew a living room and I like them because in a few minutes you have a blank canvas to create a new look. From there, you can use new throw pillows and blankets that gives your living room the Spring boost it needed. From there, new lighting and other accessories can complete the look.
Another way to revive a winter worn living room is to add a new chair in a bold color or pattern that creates a new focal point in the room. A bright color can bring spring indoors, but even if you want to remain neutral, you can use brightly color pillows and throws to brighten a dreary interior.
It’s hard sometimes to look outside during March because depending on where you are, there is little to no snow (and what is left is just a nasty gray), the grass is brown, and the bushes and trees look skeletal. As we look outside, we can begin to feel overwhelmed at the mess winter left behind. But like Levin, who was “like a tree in spring that knows not what form will be taken by the young shoots and twigs imprisoned in its swelling buds, hardly knew what undertakings he was going to begin upon,” (Chapter XIII, Anna Karenina) our patios and backyards also do not know what form or shape they will take as Spring progresses. But take a deep breath because I swear it is not that hard to create an outdoor room that you will enjoy in the upcoming months.
When we moved into our new home, the one thing I wanted outside was a pergola. Now we had ours custom made, but there are so many options that help define a section of your backyard as a space to gather and relax. Make sure you have help installing one, but in the end, pergolas are definitely worth the effort.
While I might argue a pergola is a must have, if your outdoor furniture has seen better days, Spring is the best time to plan for an upgrade. I love outdoor furniture that encourages relaxation and conversation. But sometimes, you just want some alone time, so having a chair for those moments of quiet reflection only encourages us to slow down more and smell the roses.
Once you have your main pieces chosen, the popularity of outdoor living means that there is a plethora of outdoor accessories that will bring a personal touch to the area. Rugs, lanterns, fountains, outdoor pillows, and planters will draw your guests outdoors to enjoy the longer days.
As the days grow longer and your thoughts turn to giving your home a makeover, do not be afraid to choose pieces that reflect your style. When you do, you will find that your confidence rises, and your home becomes a place of empowerment and inspiration.
(all products can be find on wayfair.com)