Spring Cleaning or Spring Fling?

home-exterior-design

Have a seasonal makeover at your house!

Spring in New England comes in fits and starts. As newspaper editor Doug Larson once wrote, “Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush.” Every winter has its spring and maybe ours is finally coming a little early. Who can ignore the urge—on one of those first warm days—to throw open the windows and let the breeze blow through?

After the initial jubilation, you’ll notice: dulled windows, dingy drapes, scuffed and scratched entryways and floors from wet boots and sandy grit. Then there’s that doormat that’s given up the ghost.

Your home’s exterior may still be dressed in winter drab, at least until spring shrubs bloom. So spruce up the main entrance which, as New Englanders know, may not have been used since Thanksgiving. So spring forward! Sweep the steps, get a new welcome mat, and think about a brilliant splash of color (Chinese lacquer red? Cobalt blue?) for the door. Polish the hardware—your front door’s “jewelry.”

While you’re inspired, tackle those windows. Take down the window dressings first, window-treatmentsespecially those heavy insulated drapery panels. The sheers underneath—if not shabby or faded—will let the sun shine in. Or consider something new and lighter for your windows through the warm weather months. Just have the drapes cleaned before putting them away for next November.

Take a good look at your screens too—if they need repair, act before black fly season!

Speaking of screens, did you spend any of those cold dark days of winter hatching plans for major home improvements? What about adding a three-season room or screened porch?

Maybe your cabin fever dream was about a kitchen re-do, creating a spa-like bathroom, or bumping out a back wall to create that open floor plan you always wanted. Now’s the time to collaborate with 3W’s designers to make your dreams come true.

This is the perfect time to put your tax refund (if you have one coming) to work for you on something longer-lasting than a weekend getaway or vacation.

Meanwhile, keep up the momentum

In a few hours you can clear away the detritus of winter:

  • Make room in the coat closet by clearing winter parkas, boots and gloves.
  • Tuck away the wool throws and ditch that balsam-scented candle that’s been out since the holidays.
  • Clean out your fireplace, but don’t leave it looking like a black hole. Put a big copper or brass pot or basket arrangement of flowers there.

3W furniture interior - CopyThen take a good look at your floors and walls. Do you have rugs that need to be cleaned? Once you roll them up, examine your hardwood or tile floors. Do they need to be refinished, or does the grout need cleaning or to be redone? Maybe you have carpet that needs a professional cleaning.

If your floors haven’t fallen victim to winter’s woes, you may prefer to show them off for the next 7 months. Bare floors visually open up your living space for a more expansive, less cluttered look.

Next, examine your walls: do they need a wall wake-up call? One of the quickest ways to brighten up a room is a fresh coat of paint. Crisp white trim is always in style.

For that fresh-as-a-daisy look, consider a spring palette of bright green and white, with a splash of pink or rose, and/or daffodil yellow.

One cool tip…

To create a fresh effect in minutes, swap out some accessories, and use slipcovers. Today’s designs are way more chic-looking and well-fitted than your grandmother’s slipcovers, and easily washed. Add some decorative, spring-themed throw pillows, and presto change-o, you’re done!

The slipcover idea is particularly practical if you have a pool or are on the water, and have to deal with wet family, guests, and pets frequently.

Give your bedrooms and bath a seasonal switcheroo with light-colored, lacy or floral-patterned linens, a new duvet cover or pretty comforter.

As it warms up, don’t neglect your outdoor living spaces when hauling out the deck furniture. Give that wicker a fresh coat of paint and sand the rust off your wrought iron.

There, you’re done! Now, while you’re enjoying the fruits of your labors with an ice-cold beverage on the patio, you can get back to dreaming about plans for that spa, new kitchen or bedroom re-do.

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