It’s springtime, and along with a Marie Kondo-esque urge to cut clutter and clear out the cobwebs from every corner of our houses, it’s also the time of year when many of us feel a strong desire to freshen up our spaces. It doesn’t take a major renovation to give your rooms a springtime wake-up. We’ve talked to interior designers throughout the South who offer up fun, functional and beautiful ideas to breathe new life into your spaces by making a few simple but impactful changes. And better yet? These ideas can all be completed in a weekend and without breaking the bank.
Easy Ideas for a Springtime Spruce-up
Lyn Mabry of Living Spaces by Lyn
Suggestions: Painting furniture, changing artwork, stair rail refresh
Lyn Mabry of Louisville’s Living Spaces by Lyn suggests getting started by walking into a room with an eye for impact. “I’d have to say, look at the room and see what’s missing,” she says. “Your goal is not, ‘You’ve got a weekend – let’s do something.’ Your goal is, ‘This room could use something. How can I make an impact myself on this room?’” She offers three suggestions for projects that offer both bangs for the buck and major refresh potential.
“The first thing that comes to mind is painting furniture,” Lyn says. “It just makes a difference, and painted furniture is charming – especially an old piece that maybe belonged to your grandmother, and the finish is ruined but you love the piece. Or maybe it’s in the garage and you need something in your front foyer.” Painting furniture, she adds, is a great way to add a punch of color. Or, you can add sleekness and style to a room by painting a piece black. As Lyn says, “Black is the new neutral.”
Next on Lyn’s list is an artwork refresh. “Changing artwork makes such an impact on a space,” she says. “You can gather pieces of art you already have, and maybe paint a frame or two.” A gallery wall is a great way to display assorted pieces and tie them all together for maximum impact. “Maybe it’s a mirror and a couple of pieces of art, and maybe the only thing that connects them is the black frame or the gold frame or the bronze frame,” Lyn adds. “The art is not the same, but the frame is, so you can put a lot of disconnected things together.” Whether at the end of a hallway, on a blank wall in the dining room, up the stairs or over a large couch, gallery walls offer visual impact and endless potential.
Third and finally, Lyn suggests a stair-rail refresh. If your home has a wood staircase, especially one near the front entry, a fresh coat of paint can make the whole space feel brand new. Lyn suggests painting the wood handrail and base rail a flat black while painting the spindles white. The contrast offers a pretty punch, and the color scheme is both classic and chic. “Wood is sort of out,” she says. “I’m sure it’ll come back, but right now, it just makes stairs look old-fashioned. If you paint it black, it just pops – and it highlights the architectural detail of that staircase in such a good way.”
Ginny Maguire of AG Designs
Suggestions: Fresh paint, rearrange furniture, new throw pillows, cut flowers
Says Ginny Maguire of Birmingham’s AG Designs, a fresh coat of paint can make all the difference in any room. For example, Ginny recently put this idea into action in her own foyer.
“It’s a small space, so I did it myself,” she says. “I used a really fun, fresh color from Benjamin Moore called Opalescence. It’s a really pretty, light-light-light kind of aqua. It’s just a fun, spring-y color, and I have it paired with a piece of artwork my brother-in-law made that uses fun pastels.” Her trade secret? Paint the walls, ceiling and trim all in the same hue to create a jewel box effect. “It’s just a little fun right when you walk in the house,” she says. “But really, you could do it anywhere in the house. Pick a room, and you can do it in one weekend. And a new shade can brighten anything up.”
As for another quick-hit change that makes a big impact, Ginny suggests rearranging the furniture in a room. “Rearranging the furniture you already own can make a huge difference,” she says. “Just trial and error. Move things around, move them back. It’s not that hard to move a sofa and some chairs just to have a new arrangement.”
Another change that’s inexpensive but oh-so-fun is adding new, seasonal throw pillows in a space. It’s a small touch that makes a big impact. “Fresh, light, spring colors can really brighten everything up and make a huge difference,” Ginny says.
And for one more idea (and bonus – it’s free), Ginny recommends looking to the yard. “Nothing says spring like flowers,” Ginny adds. “Once for a photo shoot, I went into the front yard and clipped some cherry blossoms. My client loved it — it made a huge difference, and it didn’t cost anything at all.”
Bethany King of Sara Ray Interior Design
Suggestions: Declutter and deep clean, new pillows/rugs/throws, new hardware/fixtures
Interior designer Bethany King of Nashville’s Sara Ray Interior Design recommends starting by channeling your inner Konmari and kick off your refresh by decluttering and cleaning. “What better time to do this than springtime?” she says. “By spring cleaning your home, you have a better idea of what you already have and can figure out what you want to update and replace. Deep cleaning your spaces gives you a nice, fresh starting point and a blank canvas to work with.”
Next, she suggests choosing two areas of your home you frequent the most – often the living room or master bedroom. “By focusing on just one or two areas, you’ll be able to create a concentrated finished look, resulting in a larger impact,” she says. And when it comes to deciding what to change, styling a room is all about finding balance and communicating your personality. “Switching out pillows and throw blankets is an easy way to layer texture and bring in color,” Bethany says. “A new rug can make a huge impact by grounding the space. And window treatments don’t have to break the bank – there are ready-made drapery panel options available. To achieve a custom look, be sure they’re long enough — you want them to ‘kiss’ the floor.” Lighting also makes a huge impact on space, she adds. A new, standout lamp literally brightens up any room!
As for small projects that make a big impact, Bethany suggests changing out your kitchen hardware and installing a new faucet. Other ideas are to paint a bedroom, put up a bold wallpaper in the powder room or change out your bed linens. “We’re loving linen sheets in soft pastel hues for spring,” she says. And for one more quick-fix idea? “Paint the front door for a fresh look when you walk into your home.”
Finally, Bethany recommends spiffing up your outdoor living spaces for use as the weather warms up. “Clean outdoor furniture and cushions,” she says. “If any of your cushions need to be recovered or replaced, now is the time to do it to have them ready by summer.”
Selena McAdams of Spruce
Suggestions: New textiles/linens/pillows, paint your headboard
Last but not least, interior designer Selena McAdams of Memphis’ Spruce recommends approaching springtime projects with a fresh eye aimed at giving your space new life – basically setting up your interiors to bloom in a way that perfectly complements the springtime buds outdoors.
New textiles are a favorite way Selena breathes new life into a space. When winter is finally past and your yard is experiencing a refresh in color and life, bring that same element to the rooms in your home, from your living spaces to your bedrooms and beyond. “Purge those old, tired pillows and bring in some fresh ones,” she suggests. “And treat yourself to some new, crisp bed linens.”
If you feel like picking up a paintbrush, one project she recommends is both fast and easy to tackle. “If you’re a weekend warrior, paint your old wood headboard,” she says. It’s a way to update a dated piece of furniture and make it on-trend, and it has the added bonus of infusing color and style into any bedroom.
It doesn’t necessarily take tools and paint — or even much time — to make a big impact in a space and give your home a springtime refresh. Selena suggests looking at your house to approach the new season the same way you might look into your closet to approach a fun night out. In other words, get it party-ready. “Dress your house up like it’s getting a night out,” she says. “Clean off those countertops and dress it up with some flowers!”
And finally, there’s a reason we all talk so much about spring cleaning. Now is a great time to purge, organize and streamline your space. It can not only make a big impact on your home but also on the way you feel. Says Selena, “Tackle an organizational project that is front and center, like your favorite bookshelf — and clean off that desk for a sense of accomplishment!”
Here’s to fresh new spaces!