Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Spring Decorating Think Aloud

This past week I've been putting away all the winter and Valentine's Day decor and bringing out my spring things. It's always so refreshing to see it after a long winter. It just seems new and bright and cheery. It's exactly what I need to see when it's dreary and not so pretty outside. I'll be sharing pictures of all my decorating soon, but I thought I might take you through the process of decorating one space in my house. I'm letting you into my head so you can see how I decide to place things and end up with the finished product. To use a teaching term...a think aloud.

By no means am I a professional decorator and some might not even like my style. But if you're here, you probably are at least a little interested, so here goes.

This is my corner cupboard as it was decorated for Christmas.

I've said it's a favorite piece of mine. It's from IKEA and I've had it since I lived in my little one bedroom condo back in my pre-married days. Ideally this piece would be in the corner of my kitchen or next best, in my dining room. Unfortunately, due to the layout of the two rooms, it just doesn't fit. Instead, it found a place in our living room.

First, I cleared off all the winter decor that was on there. I left some of the books, the "pheasant" on top (I was so happy to find this piece being that John is a pheasant hunter, but after I brought it home John informed me that it was really more a quail with a pheasant tail. Oops. I still like it.), and the green vase. Then I gathered the other decor I might use to decorate it for spring. I use a lot of yellow and green with creams, whites, and tans mixed in. I have some silk florals, vases, candles, plates, books, a picture frame, and some more spring-specific pieces.

Next, I started at the top. These shelves are smaller so it's a little easier to make decisions on what to place there. Some things just don't fit. With each shelf, I try to have a variety of materials and sizes. You can see that I have a twig ball (something natural) next to a rectangular art piece that has plenty of color. On the next shelf I have a pottery vase, frame, artificial grass, and apothecary bottles filled with dried split peas.

Here's a close-up of the apothecary bottles. My mom and I saw this idea last summer and thought it was so cute. Dried beans or grains make inexpensive fillers for jars or vases and can coordinate with different seasonal decor.

The next shelf is a little larger so I can arrange and layer a little more. I started with the plate because I knew I wanted to put that on this shelf and it's a large piece. I placed the yellow pitcher on the opposite side so I wouldn't have two yellow things right next to each other. Then I chose two more things of varied material and size-the candle and the jar of blue and green eggs. To fill in the space and tie them all together, I wove a branch of forsythia around them.

I was left with these items to use on the bottom shelf. There was more than I would need, but I was able to decide what worked best and use the leftovers somewhere else in the house.

I cleared the shelf off and started with a simple green batik cloth. I think this acts as an anchor to tie the rest of the things together. It's similar to placing area rug in room to define a seating area.

The bottom shelf is the widest so there is plenty of room to layer things. Once again, I started by placing the largest objects first. I laid the tulips on the left side since I have the large yellow plate on the right side of the shelf above. Again, you want to mix up your colors a little so you don't have all of one color one side and another color on the other. Next, I stacked the books and placed a rough pottery bird on top. I placed an apothecary jar to the right. It's filled with cream-colored potpourri.

Next I added an oval white plate behind the books. Sometimes it's a good idea to place something behind that's slightly hidden. It acts as a backdrop. In this case, it helps to break up all the wood at the back of the shelf.

After that I moved the glass jar closer to the middle. Then I removed the green book from the pile and stood it on it's pages to act as a backdrop for the right side of the shelf. In front I placed a cream jar candle and a green ceramic egg.

And here is the finished product. I'm happy with how it turned out, but I may move things around if I come across something new or get some new inspiration.

That's the nice thing about changing up your decor seasonally--you feel free to make changes to what's there. You don't have to stick with the same look month after month. Even if you don't change up your decor as much as I do, you can still look for a few things to add in or take away that give your space a cheery new spring look.

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