Get Fresh This Spring

Freshen your home with a thorough spring-cleaning
Try these easy, low-cost ways to freshen up every room of your home for the new season.

Welcome Home

Welcome visitors to your home with a color palette and level of comfort that evokes a spring morning. In this entryway, flea-market finds, refashioned with crisp white paint, pop against the vibrant green walls. More green tones are added in the fabrics while natural materials, such as a woven basket and wood umbrella stand, provide texture and warmth.

Let the Sunshine In

Nothing will brighten your home so much as sparkling clean windows inside and out. Open windows to let in springtime breezes, and invite the outdoors in with unobstructed views into the garden. In this family room, bright white furnishings add another breath of fresh air. Even bringing in one eye-catching piece of white furniture, like the coffee table here, will give any room a springlike feel.

Spring for Sheers

Give your window on the world a new wardrobe. "Switch out heavy window treatments for light and airy sheers," says New York City designer John Loecke. These days, sheers don't have to be plain white, he adds: "There are many styles to choose from. Look for colors, die cuts, and stripes."

Up Against the Wall

During the cooler months the prevailing wisdom is to push furnishings together to form a cozy unit. Counter that philosophy when spring comes calling: Push groupings of furniture away from the center of the room to create a more open, expansive feeling to your space. Ground the furnishings with a rug or central coffee table. Light and pastel colors enhance the sense of spaciousness.

Floor Show

Banish heavy-patterned rugs from floors in favor of light-colored or natural-woven rugs or floorcloths. In this den, the natural-fiber rug complements the wall color and lightens the darker flooring for a softer and more casual look overall.

Give Them the Slip

Give your dark upholstered furnishings a springtime facelift with slipcovers in white or light colors. Slipcovers help prolong the life of expensive upholstery and can be easily removed and washed when soiled. During the months when family members and pets will be active outdoors (and hence more likely to plop down after a romp in the grass or dirt), keep those white covers in pristine condition by washing with bleach.

Pillow Power

Bright, fresh, and pretty pillows take furnishings up a notch in this guest bedroom. Chic patterns in blue and chartreuse play off colors found in the handmade duvet cover, enlivening the bed and the white chair for the spring season. The mix of botanicals, geometrics, and solids keeps the limited color palette lively.

Naturally Fresh

Make use of natural materials for furnishings and accessories as the weather warms. Pack away heavy woolen or chenille winter throws in favor of loosely woven cotton ones. Slim nesting tables offer solid wood surfaces with a small footprint. A cork vase and root-ball bowls create a textural mix.

Paint Punch

Springy yellow wakes up a wall in this living room with muted furnishings. Limit your use of a strong, saturated color like this to an accent wall. Painting the adjacent walls in a clean white will also keep the color from overwhelming a space. Bright, uplifting colors, such as aqua and pink, add vibrancy to the spring palette.

Accent on Paper

Give white walls a bright and breezy boost: Create a focal point in your living room with a wall papered in sunny yellow. Sinuous vines climb the wall, increasing its perceived height. Floral, fern, and bird motifs on walls and accessories further the feeling of a room bathed in springtime splendor.

Use Green

Vivid green reminiscent of springtime foliage engenders an atmosphere of growth and renewal. Liberally applied to walls and accessories, the color doesn't overwhelm thanks to broad swaths of crisp white. Breezy window coverings and open-framed outdoor furnishings further the springtime vibe.

Lighten Up

"Give dark wood furniture a light and airy look by painting it a warm and sunny hue," designer Loecke says. Here, a cocktail table gets a makeover with rich golden paint, while a coating of tomato red enlivens a wicker chair. Find great candidates for paint makeovers in your basement and attic or at thrift stores and tag sales.

Artful Walls

Brighten walls with cheery artwork created with basic materials and vivid color. A simple motif painted on an artist's canvas jazzes up this breakfast nook and encompasses the color scheme at the same time. Make more easy works of art with canvas stretchers, available at crafts stores, in various sizes covered with pretty papers or colorful fabrics. Choose a botanical print for an instant burst of springtime.

Think Beach

What could capture the pleasure of warm weather more completely than a walk on a beach? Bring that feeling indoors with a display of seaside collections such as these fabulous shells, starfish, and corals. In addition to creating a coastal vibe, the display suggests the color palette of sandy taupes, coral, and shell pink. Brilliant abstract artwork adds energy to the otherwise serene decor.

Bring the Outdoors In

Change the focus of a room from the fireplace in winter to a beautiful window view in spring, rearranging the furnishings as needed. In this family room all eyes are on the window seat where a creamy yellow and green color palette frames the view. The scheme provides a light touch but a mix of textures—chenille, linen, damask, and wool—adds dimension.

Spring for Fresh Flowers

Bring cheery cut flowers into every room. "Pick eye-popping, happy colors—oranges, yellows, pinks—colors that make you think of warm, sunny weather," designer Loecke says. "Place casual arrangements where you will notice them: your bedside table, the front hall, on the kitchen table."

Florals Everywhere

Embrace the floral trend throughout your home. "Celebrate warm weather with punchy floral patterns to add a splash of spring," Loecke says. "Cover your bed with blossoms or arrange accent pillows the way you would flowers in a bouquet. Floral doesn't have to be fussy. Pair daisies with dahlias in a variety of patterns for a fun look."

Renew the Dining Room

Swap out the heavy and cozy for the light and airy in your dining room for a whole new look. Exchange patterned tablecloths for colorful runners or placemats. White ironstone pieces on the table and on open shelves behind add to the casual atmosphere. Bring in some pretty glass in aqua and green and prop up artwork in plain white frames.

Bed Springs

Change your bedding to meet the new season, says designer Loecke. "Select a set in an unexpected color or pattern that contrasts with the color of your room," he says. "For example, if the room is blue, why not try white with yellow or orange? Look for something graphic and smile inducing."

Clean Up Your Act

Freshen your home with a thorough spring-cleaning to start the season right. Begin at the ceiling and work your way down to the floors and make sure every surface shines. If your color palette has a lot of white in it, make sure it's pristine: Clean the upholstery, dust all moldings and woodwork, and touch up any white that's not so bright.

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