At last, here comes the sun, and it’s time for interior design enthusiasts to spring into action! Here are five easy yet gloriously life-affirming ideas for transforming your home for the new season…
Much as we love huddling under blankets and all the cosy comforts of winter, the coming of spring really does lift the spirits, doesn’t it? There’s only so much hygge snugness and hot chocolate you can take… Time to throw those curtains wide and bring in some birdsong, greenery and, with any luck, sunshine.
Primavera, Sandro Botticelli, c1470s-1480s, Uffizi Gallery, Florence.
The coming of spring has inspired poets, musicians and artists since forever – and interior designers too. Now we’re not suggesting that you go full Botticelli’s Flora and prance around the house with flowers in your hair (although, why not?) but you can certainly shake off winter and bring spring into your home with a few deft, simple and largely budget-friendly touches. Here are five…
1. Clear the cobwebs – at your own pace
This is the time of year when motivational quotes appear telling us that spring cleaning is good for the soul, and that with a bit of elbow grease you can clear out all your emotional baggage as well as the spare room. But while some people love decluttering and giving every surface a jolly good scrub, for others the enthusiasm lasts about two minutes before, like the Mole in The Wind in the Willows, they are throwing down their dusters and crying “Hang spring cleaning!”...
If that’s you, then don’t feel bad – after all, even the queen of decluttering Marie Kondo recently admitted that after having her third child she has ‘kind of given up’ on tidying. And not everyone wants to live in a minimalist home – for proof, see Sarah Laming’s glorious relaxed maximalist house.
The important thing is to take spring cleaning at your own pace. If you do want some help, try Debora Robertson’s Declutter: The Get-Real Guide to Creating Calm from Chaos. It’s a practical and funny guide that will take you through some sensible steps to restoring domestic order.
2. Say it with flowers
Spring means flowers and bowlfuls of bulbs. This year, how about daffodils and hyacinths planted in vintage china? Instagrammer Sasha Wilkins is a good source of inspiration: planting narcissi, hyacinths and snowdrops in vintage tureens, dishes and bowls. The effect is gorgeous, so if your spring cleaning (or the charity shop) turns up some long-forgotten crockery then why not put it to good use?
Spring flowers in vintage china via @sashawilkins_
And for cut flowers, how about trying your nearest independent flower farm, where you may find more unusual varieties than in the supermarket? Flowers from the Farm has details of local growers across the UK.
3. Throw those curtains wide (or ditch them completely)
Spring is all about letting natural light in, and every extra minute at either end of the day is to be relished. Make the most of it by swapping heavy winter-weight curtains in sitting and dining rooms, designed to keep the dark out and the warmth in, for light voiles that will maximize natural light, and possibly even waft gently and cinematically in spring breezes.
A gloriously light and curtainless Hampstead apartment by Lonika Chande. Photo: Simon Brown
Incidentally, Scandinavians – who have to get through particularly long and dark winters – commonly go one step further and ditch the curtains completely in spring. You may not want to give your near neighbours a surprise view of your every waking hour, but if you have windows that are not overlooked you may be pleasantly surprised at the extra natural light that a curtainless window provides.
4. Accessorise with glass
A bit of rearranging and a few cleverly placed accessories can do wonders to freshen up your home. With all that natural light, glass is just the ticket. One or two additional mirrors about the place – sitting room and hallway perhaps – can make a big impact for a modest outlay. Place them opposite windows for maximum effect.
Look out for glass accessories that offer a hint of spring vibrancy. Ever come across uranium glass? Materials do not come greener or brighter, and although they’re highly collectible at the moment you can still find plenty of uranium glassware at affordable prices on online auction sites, at vintage markets and from specialist dealers.
And of course there are glass table lamps, which can make for stunning decorative objects as well as giving you some extra light. Pooky’s Raddle in green is made with two layers of blown glass: the inner a clear glass and the outer a deep olive green, so the contrast in colour is accentuated and the whole thing shimmers...
5. Change up your lampshades for spring greens (and other seasonal colours)
Replacing your lampshades is one of the quickest, easiest and most immediately effective ways to transform the whole feel of a room for a new season. They give you colour, texture and pattern.
If you are injecting some spring-like green into your colour schemes, go for strong and bright. A little can go a surprisingly long way. Spring is also associated with pastel shades of pink, yellow and blue; look for the softest, lightest hues where you need a quiet ambience, bedrooms for example, but be bolder elsewhere and go for more intensity....
The 35cm straight empire shade in green and blue roya hand-marbled paper Hand marbling is a centuries-old technique, involving paints and oils, and every piece of paper printed this way is unique, so each lampshade is a work of art in its own right.
The scallop is one of nature’s gifts to designers, including the Pooky team; we’ve combined its distinctive shape with softly pleated linen, shown here is the dusky blue version. It’s also available in frosted mint and marshmallow.
The Top and Tail empire shade; it’s made of white card, topped and tailed with a slender line of colour. It comes in a range of colourways, including classic green and sunshine yellow.
For textures, think light – silks, card, linen.
And for pattern you can’t get more springy than a floral theme. This is the English Meadow design in teal, part of our exclusive new lamspahde collection designed by Matthew Williamson. The pattern started life as a naive watercolour painting of tiny meadow flowers: the multi-coloured print worked well on a flat fabric but became even richer when pleated into its shade as it added more depth and layers.
And this is one of our tall tapered shades in Cosmo Hyacinth, from Sanderson’s Archive. The design, based on flowers and willowy stems dates from 1911; it’s so typical of the period but it looks as fresh today as it did over a century ago.
Pooky make beautiful lights for beautiful rooms. See our full collection of lamps, shades and more here - and browse our blog for more interior design inspiration.