Decorating with seasonal accents
The changing seasons can be a perfect inspiration for keeping your home looking current. As Toronto designer Jacqueline Glass explains, you don't need to spend a lot of time or cash to add a bit of seasonal dash. Here are a few of her favourite fresheners.
Stock up on scented candles as soon as the weather starts to turn cool; look for spicy scents such as "Baked Goods" from Pier One.
A vintage wicker basket, which Jacqueline fills with bread and herbs in the summer, can be used to hold freshly picked apples in the fall; she puts it on her dining room table as a centrepiece, and lets friends and family help themselves.
Return dark-colour throws and cosy pillows to the living room sofa. Dark, rich colours provide a transition from warm-weather decorating to cool-weather decorating.
For nights when it's still warm enough to sit outside on the patio, have a basket filled with socks and light throws to keep guests warm.
Plant fall mums and kale in your garden. Strew a few pumpkins among the last of the greenery in flowerbeds and window boxes, making them look as if they were growing there.
If you have a fireplace, make it the focal point of the room. Supplement your lighting with candles in multiples on the mantel; pull chairs up to the hearth.
Light slipcovers are put away at last; bring out heavier throws in materials like wool plaid, to ward off midwinter chills.
"I read more in winter," Jacqueline notes, "so I like to have lots of books around me." She'll take favourites down from the shelf and place them in big stacks on tables all through her home—coffee table books on coffee tables where people can leaf through them, but also stacks of novels on side tables by her favourite reading chair, in the hall, on bedside tables, and in guest rooms.
Create a cosy vignette by placing a silver tray on a side table. Set it with a couple of snifters and a cut-glass decanter of brandy that's at the ready for sipping while you read by the fire.
Image courtesy of Crate and Barrel
Stock up on spring flowers—lots of 'em. Fill a windowsill with tulip, crocus or daffodil bulbs in plastic pots from the local grocery or convenience store. They're also great to stick, pots and all, into urns or planters on your front step.
Yes, a good old-fashioned spring cleaning really is good for your soul as well as your house. It's also a great time to reassess everything from sheets and towels to furnishings and draperies. Replace worn-out linens with nice new ones; repair, refinish, or send out for cleaning any furnishings or curtains that need it.
Replace darker colours with lighter ones as soon as the weather warms up. Cover dark upholstery with light slipcovers; dark-toned pillows and other accents should be switched to light ones. In Jacqueline's household, white and pale vases filled with fresh-cut spring flowers also go on all her tables.
Before it gets too hot, throw all your windows open and let in some fresh air. Even the most immaculate homes can get a bit stuffy over time.
Fresh fruits and veggies make great summer décor accents. Jacqueline buys a large quantity of whatever happens to be in season, from avocados to oranges and lemons&mdashand fills her bowls and wicker baskets to display on tables.
Put out summer placemats and napkins; for a picnicky feeling, try red or blue gingham.
Bottles of water aren't just great for a cool drink; in quantity, they also look good. Jacqueline particularly likes the kind that comes in royal blue glass bottles. She puts them out on her kitchen counter, along with a bowl of fresh cut limes; the colour combination is luscious, and people can help themselves as they go by.
Image courtesy of Crate and Barrel