Published on 03/15/19

Give indoor and outdoor spaces a fresh look for spring

By Keishon Thomas

Spring is in the air! For me, that also means it is time to update my home. Research has shown that we spend 90 percent of our time indoors, so let’s make our homes as comfortable and beautiful as possible. 

University of Georgia Cooperative Extension provides the following helpful hints to create wonderful spaces for our homes this season.

Accent pieces are important. A few carefully placed pillows, wall art or an area rug can make a huge difference to a space. Ensure that the accent pieces coordinate with other colors in the space. Most of all, make sure you love the accent pieces.

For example, recently I was in a local store looking at accent pillows. One pillow had “Blessed” in nice, contemporary, bold letters. The pillow spoke to me. The message, design and color were a good fit for my space. Now I smile when I see it every day.

Do not overlook window treatments. Window treatments can serve a dual purpose. First, they can help keep the space cool. Window treatments, such as blinds or curtains, can block sunlight to make our homes cooler. 

Second, they can be a component of your design. Rooms with window treatments tend to look more pulled together. If you are using curtains, for instance, they can be solid, have designs or include pictures. There are tons of options for blinds, as well. Be mindful that you may have to special order window treatments if your windows are not a standard size. You are the designer, so above all, make sure you love it. 

Incorporate those wonderful photographs. I am sure most of you are like me and have tons of photographs. Use those photographs as a design element. Several local stores make canvases and prints for a nominal fee. There are also websites where you can order your favorite prints on glass or plastic. Decorative picture frames can help to make our beloved pictures works of art.

If you are interested in giving bedrooms a facelift, think about comforter sets in colors you love or adding an area rug and, of course, window treatments. Consider updating the pillows on your bed. One trick I always use is a solid pillowcase on a new pillow and using it as an accent piece. A few small changes can make a room look almost new.

Now take a look at your outdoor spaces. Outdoor furniture comes in a variety of colors and styles. Once you have that in place, you can plan your design from there. A few carefully placed accent tables, wall art and decorative citronella candles or torches can tie an outdoor space together.

Plants, flowers and design. I have grown to like plants and flowers, but I love decorative planters and flower pots. Vary the size and color of your planters. Place them in indoor and outdoor spaces. Try a new flower or plant that strikes your fancy. I must admit that my family went through a lot of trial and error. We lost a few plants in the process, but it did teach me what I can grow successfully, the difference between annuals (grows during one growing season or year) and perennials (grows more than two years and are generally dormant during fall and winter), watering schedules and, above all, that I have something of a green thumb. Who knew?

In closing, have fun with your design. Mix and match colors and textures. You never know where you will find something to add to your design. It’s a work in progress, so be on the lookout for inspiration.   

Keishon Thomas is the University of Georgia Extension family and consumer sciences agent in Bibb County.

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