If you’re like me, you took down your insulating curtains, put away the fleece blankets, and replaced wool scarves with gauzy striped numbers the first day the temperature crept past the 40-degree mark. It might have been too soon, but there’s nothing wrong with wishing that constant chill in the air would start hibernating a little earlier in the year.
Decorating for the warmer months before it’s officially time can be a cathartic experience that easily costs less than decking out the house with thick blankets in preparation for a brutal January. Whether you do it all in one weekend or one motif at a time, it’s an effective way to get rid of the seasonal drags.
For those of us feeling the pinch of a too-long winter, here are five ways to decorate for our own early indoor summers:
1. Swap your dormant flowerpot collection for a greenhouse extravaganza. Cheerful potted plants, such as wild African violets, cacti clusters, and lush creepers, will blow away those winter whites and steel grays and replace them with pops of springtime color. Good news for folks with typically brown thumbs – heat-loving plants are harder to kill and will probably survive your weeklong summer vacations away.
2. It’s a shame to see some colors, no matter how chilly, stored away in the closet. If you want to keep existing neutral tones around for at least another season, simply complement them with edible-looking highlights in grape, golden raisin, and raspberry pink. When in doubt, focus on the blues by replacing royals and navys with marines and sapphires.
3. Store any accessory that emanates winter and instead put the spotlight on warm summer-shaped accents. Hang a pair of vintage boat oars above your favorite chair, or add a removable, reusable ice cream cone chalkboard wall decal near the dessert freezer, just in case you need reminding that ice cream’s favorite season is right around the corner.
4. Reflect the best light the calendar year has to offer. Oversized mirrors too heavy to hang can be propped up on tall dressers or sideboards. Even if they aren’t exactly at eye level, you’ll notice how that gorgeous mid-year light makes everything look pleasantly content.
5. Prepare for a season of warm late-afternoon naps by adding throws and blankets in fabrics that feel cool and look light and fuzzy in bright, cheery light. When a cozy cashmere or cotton blanket calls to you from the couch, go ahead and give in – all that snow shoveling and boot donning has earned you some respite. If a surprise cold snap returns to your town for a brief period of residual winter torture, you can always double up on blankets… and naps.
Kids usually catch spring fever right after the holidays and are sleeping in flip-flops by late March. If you happen to know a beach baby who has a budding design eye, go color shopping together, exorcise those winter demons, and give a cold, needy space an enthusiastic warm-weather makeover. While you’re at it, give a new sweet tea or lemonade recipe a test run.