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18th April, 2016

19 interior design tips for a spring makeover on a shoestring

19 interior design tips for a spring makeover on a shoestring

In spring we often want to reflect the warmer weather and lighter nights in the interior design of our property. We ask award-winning interior designers for their top tips to bring spring into your home without embarking on a full renovation.

1. Colour for the season

"I am a great believer in changing interiors to reflect the seasons,” Judith Todd from Homestyle4U reveals. “It gives a space a completely different feel. In the winter when the days are short and the weather is cold and dreary, I like an environment that is cosy and warm.

“On the other hand, in spring and summer we want interiors to be light and fresh. At these times, opt for colours such as duck egg blue, sage green or yellow and light fabrics including linen, cotton and voile. A neutral background means that it’s easy to change the look by changing accessories such as cushion covers, throws and even curtains."

2. Scatter cushions

Samantha Morphew from Morph Designs suggests getting creative with cushions. “To create the perfect space with a real spring vibe, add some vibrant colours through your soft furnishings and accessories. Adding colour is proven to brighten and enhance your interiors and the easiest way of doing this is by adding scatter cushions with a pop of colour.

“We recently used these Morph Designs velvet cushions to insert a little bit of sunshine into our clients home. It’s the perfect space to escape from it all, no matter if the spring weather is unsettled or not.”

3. Bring the outside in

Anna Ward has picked up on a trend to bring the outside into the home when the weather starts to pick up. “Foliage is very popular at the moment, and this is a really easy way to inject something really up to date and spring-like to your interiors. A bunch of different palm leaves, eucalyptus and banana leaves from the local florist will look great in a vase. Or invest in the long-term and buy a cluster of good quality faux plants to last far longer than a bunch of flowers.

“Cactuses and terrariums are fantastic for adding texture and shape to displays in a room. Plus, they’re really low maintenance too so you don’t have to be green fingered to get the look.”

4. Spring clean natural wood floors

If flooring has dulled over the winter days, it’s time for a spring clean. Richard Bond of Jamie Hempsall says: “Give floors a serious clean with a proprietary cleaning agent, then re-oil or re-polish dependent upon the original finish of the floor. The wood will rejuvenate before your eyes, allowing you to fall in love with it all over again.”

5. Freshen up the fireplace

“Open fireplaces can look rather empty when not in use, so place some fresh flowers or perhaps a vintage fire-screen in front to make it look less exposed,” suggests Jane Yates of Sweet Lime Interior Design. “Use lovely fresh flowers wherever you can in brightly coloured vases, and scented candles in summery scents of lemon, lime and rose to lift your mood.”

6. Mix expensive with affordable

Not all of your interior decorations have to be from designer names. Mix in some high street options when changing your interiors to reflect the seasons. "When shopping for products on a budget my favourite stores are The Range, Dunelm Mill and Ikea,” reveals Judith Todd of Homestyle4U.

“Choose carefully and you can find some fabulous items which don't have to cost the earth. I have recently picked up mirror table lamps and a wooden heart tray with three candles which I have used in a bathroom. My tip would be to mix budget buys with more expensive pieces to give a polished overall look."

7. A horticultural feel

“There are lots of ways to lighten your home up for spring, whatever your style and budget. You can really go to town with some fantastic botanical inspired prints, like these curtains from Designers Guild which we used in a home in Beckenham. The crisp greens and clearly defined patterns feel really fresh and clean,” confides Anna Ward of Furnished By Anna.

8. Refresh your paintwork

“No matter how clean you keep it, paint colour dulls and darkens with age,” Richard Bond of Jamie Hempsall points out. “If your paintwork is over two or three years old, invest in some good quality emulsion and repaint a room for an immediate uplift.”

“Quality brands such as Little Greene may cost more than some alternatives, but this is often because they have more pigment and require fewer coats to achieve a good colour. A little money invested in your paint product will help save time in the long run.”

9. Sparkle with metallic

“Metallic and glass accessories are lovely at any time of the year, reflecting firelight in the winter and bouncing lots of bright sunlight around the room in the spring and summer,” Jane Yates of Sweet Lime Interior Design points out. “Group them strategically around the room in small clusters near windows to really sparkle. Make sure you keep them shiny and dust free.”

10. Add a Feature Wall

“Create new interest in a plain scheme by adding a feature wall in textured or patterned wallpaper in a colour toning with your existing room. Remember to choose a pattern size that is not too large for the area,” advises Richard Bond of Jamie Hempsall.

11. Fresh sheets

Get that feeling of having fresh, clean sheets everyday by making a few changes to your bedding. “Changing your bed linen for the summer is also a really quick way to lighten things up,” explains Anna Ward. “Picking crisp whites or bright patterns will add so much freshness to a room. Kas – an Australian company – has some amazing designs that work fantastically for summery spaces.”

12. Give bulbs a clean

Richard Bond of Jamie Hempsall has an unusual idea to bring spring light into the home. “In spring, artificial light is still important and cleaning your light bulbs has an amazing impact. Safety is paramount, so unplug or switch off electricity before attempting this. Then take a slightly damp cloth and wipe down the bulbs in your light fittings. Wait to dry before turning back on.”

13. Bright and light

“As a designer, it’s key that a room works all year round but there is a definite shift towards brighter colours in the summer and making sure that your home reflects how you’re using it,” said Anna Ward of Furnished By Anna.

“There’s nothing worse than being sat in a really dark room on a lovely summers day. Orange is a colour that I think works really well with many schemes, and a pop of this coming through in some accessories like cushions or vases really cheers up a room.”

14. Re-upholster your headboard

Bedrooms don’t need all-new furniture to get a different feel to them. Try experimenting with a new headboard to make the whole bed feel new. “Not only is this a great pick-me-up, but a great way to introduce new textures or colours into your room,” says Richard Bond.

15. Understated spring

“Clever colour choices mean you can add a touch of spring to your room scheme without having to go for bold,” says Sarah Jane Nielsen. “Here, a splash of mustard yellow paint (Golden yellows are very much in evidence at this year's Interiors Show in Paris) creates an appealing feature wall, whilst a single cushion in a similar shade set atop crisp white linen, pulls the look together. As the nights draw in (perish the thought!), switch the bedding and cushions to warmer tones of Tobacco or autumn leaves and you have a room that captures the mood, whatever the season.”

16. Put away dark colours

Jane Yates of Sweet Lime Interior Design says: “I would suggest putting any woollen or heavy throws away and darker coloured rugs and replacing them with cotton or linen items. Use fresh green, blue or yellow cushions, whatever works with your existing décor, to give a lighter mood. Change dark coloured lampshades for white or cream ones.”

17. Upcycle for spring

Judith Todd from Homestyle4U recommends repurposing what you already have to reflect the change in season. “If you want to give your home a makeover on a shoestring then repurposing or up cycling an item is a great idea,” she explains.

“It’s cheaper than buying new, the item will be unique and it will meet your requirements exactly. Plus, it’s environmentally beneficial and you get a great feeling of satisfaction. It doesn’t have to be complicated either. Examples could include using an old curtain to create cushion covers, or getting creative with a paintbrush and changing the colour of some old bedside cabinets."

18. Cook up a Seasonal Storm

“Don't we all spend a lot of time in the kitchen?” says designer Sarah Jane Nielsen. “Ring the seasonal changes with a single bright pop of colour. If you've kept everything else neutral then a single piece in a vivid colour will create maximum impact, catch the eye and even better, shout spring at the top of its voice.”

“I selected a lime green table as the stand-out feature for this particular project in the Lake District. Just add a bowl of granny smiths, clementines and fruit smoothies with some healthy crudities and mixed salads, then the healthy lunch is on.”

19. Repaint your front door

Kerb appeal is always important, not just when you’re selling your home. “A freshly painted door makes a home look instantly loved and should help cheer you up every time you walk through it,” advises Richard Bond.

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