Spring color

Start with an accent wall and add more color with pillows and an area rug.

The new season is often synonymous with spring cleaning. Instead of approaching this as a chore, why not take the time to freshen up your home in other ways. Enjoy picking and playing with the following ideas to create your happy home!

1. EMBRACE COLOR. Color is key. Don’t be afraid to express yourself with color anywhere and everywhere. See how much you can handle living with and make sure you “love” the color. Start slowly with an accent wall or pillow. Then you can add an area rug or chair. Keep going and have fun.

2. THE PILLOW TRICK. You’ve probably heard about the pillow trick. Sometimes it only takes one fabulous pillow to make the difference – especially if you can match it to a piece of furniture that you paint the same color.

3. THE REAL ENTRY TO YOUR HOME IS OUTSIDE. The “outside” entry is what people see first. Buy a large new mat that coordinates with your door, if possible. Position the mat like a runner so people step on it several times, which helps clean their shoes. Make sure your doorbell is clean so people will feel good about ringing your bell.

4. TREAT YOURSELF TO FLOWERS. Buy flowers when you go to the supermarket. It only takes one stem in a small vase that you love. Place it somewhere just for you – by the kitchen sink for when you do the dishes or by your bathroom sink for when you brush your teeth. If you buy a bouquet, you can separate the flowers and place them anywhere.

5. HAVE A PRETTY PANTRY. Imagine a pretty pantry. Build custom height shelves for your food to customize for small- and large-size items and store your food items in visually pleasing containers. You’ll have more space, visibility and organization. Paint the walls and shelves complementary colors you enjoy. Give the pantry door and handle its own style. Create a sense of organized pleasure.

6. CREATE YOUR OWN SANCTUARY. If you don’t have one yet, create a special and private place just for you where you can do anything you want, like read or meditate, and where you will feel comfortable and relaxed – a place where you feel nurtured and secure. A place no one else can touch or use. Even if it’s a chair or pillow on the floor with a lamp or candle – it is yours.

7. GIVE YOUR CHILD A TIDY ROOM. If you struggle to keep a child’s room tidy, involve the child in creating space for their needs. By providing a place for everything, they will learn to put things away. Decorative storage pieces can be purchased inexpensively and don’t forget to utilize space under the bed for storage bins. Install ready-made units to organize the closet that will grow with the child’s needs.

8. SPLURGE ON ONE THING AND WORK AROUND IT. All decor doesn’t have to be expensive. Buy one item that is very special to you and decorate from there. Make it the room’s focus and add pieces that blend or contrast but do not detract. Let your special choice be your inspiration.

9. SEE WHAT YOU HAVE WITH DIFFERENT EYES. Change the seat at which you eat all your meals today. Look around and see your room from a different perspective. Is there anything you see that you would like to change or that you didn’t see before?

10. “REFRESH,” NOT REPLACE. To replace what we have in our home can be expensive so just “refresh.” Refresh means use it differently. Refresh is moving something in the same room or to another room, eliminating something, using it differently and rearranging your accessories or wall art. Let your imagination flow and do the unexpected. JN

Barbara Kaplan of Scottsdale is an interior designer specializing in mindful living. For more information, visit barbarakaplan.com or call 480-998-5088.