From crisp, red-leafed fall days, to white-blossomed spring afternoons, nature is in a perpetual and captivating state of change that never fails to affect us. We thrive on sunny afternoons spent in the garden and crunchy walks through morning snow. With so much variety in the world around our dwellings to inspire us, the space within is often left surprisingly unchanged.Instead of allowing our homes to remain forever the same, why not harness the appeal of the shifting seasons to decorate our living spaces and keep them fresh year round?
Applying seasonal themes to home décor doesn't require elaborate or costly measures. By keeping four simple elements in mind, anyone can quickly and easily give a room an appealing seasonal motif that will have friends asking for your decorator’s name.
In the fall and winter, our eye is drawn to darker, earthier tones—the yellows and reds of changing leaves, the dark browns of bare limbs, and the muted orange of a harvest pumpkin. In warmer months, bright greens, sky-blues, and whites are more prevalent. Opportunities to introduce these changing tones into a room are nearly endless, and include throws, blankets, slip covers, pillows, curtains, mantle pieces, and framed art.
Warmer seasons are best captured by accessories that are thin, smooth, and flat. As a starting point, fabrics like cotton or gauze work well. For fall and winter, thicker alternatives like fleece, canvas, or wool work best. A fleece blanket draped over a sofa, a few fluffy pillows, and a woven wool throw are a few quick and easy ways to bring winter to your living room.
Which rooms you choose to makeover using seasonal cues, and the arrangement of furniture therein does make a difference. Try to begin with rooms that will see frequent use like kitchens, living, or dining rooms in order to showcase your ideas.When rearranging large objects in these areas, think about close-spaced, cozy arrangements for the colder months. Open, airy, and flowing floor plans are better suited to spring and summer.
This is a broad category, and can run the gamut from tiny accent pieces to more obvious things like framed art. If the latter is more your speed, consider heavy-framed oils for fall and winter, emphasizing colors like burgundy, ochre, and tan. Spring and summer are more suited to watercolor pieces that use brighter tones. If you prefer a less-traditional approach, there are several possibilities to keep in mind, including scents, lighting, organic elements, and holiday accents.
Scents-Essential oils, potpourris, and aromatic plants can provide seasonal scents like cinnamon and pine for winter, or citrus and cotton for summer.
- Lighting-Warm temperatures are about open, brightly lit spaces. Consider reducing window coverings for more sunlight, and rearranging lamps to achieve this atmosphere. Winter interiors, while well-lit, should possess a different quality of light. Think about clever arrangements using heavier curtains, sideboard lamps, and light from a fireplace or candles.
- Organic Elements-When you bring the outdoors into your home the possibilities are endless. Some ideas include vases or jars filled with seasonal plants and flowers, baskets filled with fruits, gourds, acorns or pine cones, and mantle or centerpieces of cut branches, grasses, or cornstalks. Whatever route you take, remember that odd numbers and non-uniform arrangements are closer to what’s found in nature—cluster things in groups of one, three, or five.
- Holiday Accents-As appealing as inflatable snowmen can be, adding holiday accents to home décor doesn't have to be quite so overt. A few strategically placed strings of lights and a basket of ornaments, or a small wreath and garland combination of seasonal plants—winter or spring—can add a festive holiday flavor to any seasonal interior.
- By keeping these tips in mind, you can bring the best the changing seasons have to offer into your home. Just remember: there are no definite rules —the approaches and ideas are as varied as the seasons, so have fun.
Edward Stuart is an art and decoration enthusiast as well as an online publisher for framedart.com. He frequently blogs on the topics of art, art history, design, and home decor.