Mother Nature has really thrown the gamut at us this winter. We’ve endured the polar vortex, record-breaking low temperatures, bomb cyclones and enough snow days to make parents question the need for spring break.
But after what has seemed like the most endless winter, it’s almost here.
That’s not to say we won’t see snow in April — this is Michigan, after all — but Wednesday marks the first official day of spring so let’s embrace it.
To get our homes ready for spring, it’s time to sub out those heavy throw pillows and linens and opt for something lighter. Dust off your bookshelves. And if you do nothing else, just get some fresh flowers and put them in a vase. Talk about an immediate pick-me-up.
I reached out to local retailers, organizers and floral experts about the best ways to welcome spring into your home and what they like to do in their own spaces.
And while it makes sense to go lighter in spring as temperatures rise — lighter pillows, linens, or window treatments — spring is still one of those quirky in between times in Michigan. It could 60 degrees one day and plummet back to the 30s the next.
That’s why Steve Coval with Cristions, a luxury linens store in downtown Birmingham, suggests subbing out down comforters in the bedroom with coverlets. He says coverlets, a type of lightweight quilt for the bed, are a perfect solution for top of the bed accessories. They’ve taken the place of bedspreads.
“With today’s significant variation in the thickness of mattresses and bed heights, a ‘one size fits all’ bedspread isn’t possible,” says Coval. “As a result, bedding manufacturers have opted to produce coverlets rather than attempt to offer multiple drops in length for bedspreads. Today coverlets prevail over bedspreads and are generally shorter in width.”
Coval says coverlets can be broken down into a few construction styles.
“The two most popular being a quilted coverlet or a matelassé,” he says. “ A Matelassé is a single layer or ply of fabric; it typically has a texture that may mimic a quilted product, but it is not. While a quilted coverlet has an underside, the batten (or fill) and then the top side of the fabric. Although not necessary, many may opt for a light blanket to also use underneath the coverlet.”
Just add flowers
Laurie Bolach, the owner of Olive’s Bloombox on Livernois south of Nine Mile in Ferndale, calls spring the “Blossom Season.” She loves to bring spring into her own home with flowering branches.
“It’s always the first sign of the new season,” says Bolach.
Bolach also loves the vibrant colors of pansies and violas.
“Their bits of brightness planted in outdoor porch containers assures us that spring has arrived,” she says.
When it comes to cut florals, she says nothing is better than a hand-tied spring “pick me up bouquet” she calls it of peonies, ranunculus, hellebores, sweet peas and lilacs.
Bolac is offering several spring workshops that will highlight the beauty of the season, including an Adult Succulent Mosaic workshop on March 27, a kids’ Spring Break Terrarium workshop on April 4 and a Spring Wreath Workshop on April 12 (see www.olivesbloombox.com for details).
Shelly Shallcross, a local organizer and the owner of We Heart Organizing in Royal Oak, uses spring as an opportunity to really delve into the nooks and crannies of her home that may have gotten a little messy during the rush of the holidays and take time to purge and straighten.
She goes through baskets where she keeps serving dishes, vases, candles and paper products. With each basket, Shallcross looks at the content and asks herself what she truly needs, what she doesn’t use anymore and what she should keep.
As she does, she has a box for donations, a garbage bag and a recycling container.
“Sometimes I have a box full to donate and other times it’s just a few things,” said Shallcross, who will also be a presenter at next week’s sold-out Dish & Design event in Southfield. “I find that reconnecting with these areas and giving them a proper going-through once a year really centers me and contributes to the overall functionality of my home.”
For Siouxsan Miller, co-owner of Ferndale’s Green Daffodil, spring is a time to give her houseplants a little TLC. She gives them a shower to clean off their leaves along with plant food. She also re-pots them if necessary.
“I also like to switch some drapes in my house from the heavy winter ones to lightweight sheer one to let in the light,” says Miller.
So as spring finally takes root over the next few weeks — with possibly a few cold spells and even a little snow along the way — take heart. It doesn’t matter what’s happening outside our windows. We can usher the new season into our homes no matter what Mother Nature throws at us.
Swing into spring decor
Let there be light: Lighten up for the new season with lighter throw pillows and window treatments. For the bedroom, consider switching out your down comforter with something lighter like a coverlet.
Flower Power: What a difference fresh flowers can make. And a bouquet in water to your decor or even better, a flowering branch. Don't be afraid to snip one right off the tree in your backyard.
Clutter control: Spring is the perfect time to get your clutter under control. Tackle those areas you've avoided for awhile -- closets, pantries, under beds -- before summer arrives.