Spring Renewal: How To Refresh Every Room In Your Home For The New Season
What does spring mean to you? What words and visuals do you associate with the new season?
Does your mind go to the blooming of flowers and the sudden warmth in the air or just the return of allergy season? Intuitive counselor and sacred space designer Elana Kilkenny says that any and all spring associations provide valuable information on how you can transition your home into this new time of year.
"Once you come up with those words that make you feel like spring, see how you can funnel some of them into your home's design," she recommends. Going room by room, feel into the spaces that have gotten stale, and consider how you can use these words to breathe life back into them.
This spring renewal can be as simple and literal as buying yourself fresh flowers or opening your blinds every morning to let in more sunlight. But it can also be a more nuanced exercise in designing a space that speaks to the person you want to be this season; the version of yourself that you want to reemerge as after winter.
In a season that's all about new beginnings, any change is valuable. Here, Kilkenny shares a few ways to spring-ify the rooms of your home and have fun doing it.
Whether you cook frequently or haven't turned your oven on in months, switching a few things around in your kitchen can make it feel more nourishing and welcoming:
- Make a new playlist to turn on when you're cooking. It can have upbeat songs that remind you of spring or feature music from a particular region of the world whose cuisine you want to cook more of.
- Clean off your fridge, pantry, and countertops to make way for the season's fresh new ingredients.
- Add some cut flowers. Since the kitchen is a place of creation, fresh blooms will fit right in.
- Get more creative with your recipes and start to incorporate some spring favorites into your food and drink rotation. If you're one to display cookbooks, swap out ones you use to make heavier soups and stews for springy, plant-forward ones.
Kilkenny says that switching up something in your space every season is a way to "stay awake in your home, and not be in dormancy." And as the first room you see when you wake up, the bedroom is a great place to add a pop of the new and exciting.
- Consider what you see when you first wake up in the morning. If it's a blank wall, can you add some artwork or decor that feels stimulating or evocative of your spring words?
- Go lighter (in color or material) with your sheets. As temperatures climb, linen and percale tend to be more breatheable.
- Add some lightness to your sleep space by going through your bedside tables, taking out anything that's landed there that you don't use.
- Introduce some fresh color and texture by hanging new curtains or simply draping a piece of bright fabric over your headboard.
"I think spring renewal is about having the dormant spaces in your home come alive," says Kilkenny. If your living room has become the scene of monotony (Netflix, nap, repeat), there are plenty of ways to liven up its energy.
- Make an ode to spring altar with photos, words, or nature relics to symbolize what you're grateful for, what you want to let go of, and what seeds you want to plant in the new season.
- Refresh your pillow covers and swap out blankets for lighter options.
- Open up those windows to let the room breathe every day. Make it a ritual by doing a calming breathing technique along with your home, focusing on long exhales to symbolize the relief of the season.
"Your home should honor your past, nourishing you in the present, and help you dream for the future," says Kilkenny. Though the pandemic has kept us from entertaining this past year, Kilkenny says that the dining room can be a space to start to imagine what it will feel like to welcome people in your home once again:
- Think about how you want the room to feel when to have people over again. Set an extra place at your table (literally or figuratively) as a point of hope for the future.
- Consider splurging on some new tableware for the dinner party of your dreams.
- Make meals more experiential by lighting season candles and putting on an upbeat playlist.
Bathrooms are where we start and end our day, so they should feel both upbeat and calming.
- Make your morning routine a bit brighter with a colorful makeup bag, or design for a relaxing evening washup with warmer lighting.
- Keep things clean: Scrub down your sink, toilet, and bath/shower using cleaners in fresh, seasonal smells. Swap out cleansers and body washes with more springy scents too.
- If you're lucky enough to have a natural light source in the bathroom, bring in a plant or two (these 20 love the extra moisture that bathrooms provide).
Your entry area ushers you into your home and sees you off as you leave, so consider how it can be more welcoming and encouraging.
- Consider your view when you walk in the door. Would a runner or strategically hung mirror help guide you into the rest of your space?
- Think about what you're seeing as you leave your home. Hanging something special near your door—be it a mantra, favorite photograph, or spring poem—can shift how you feel as you step out into the world.
When you start by meditating on your feelings about the season, spring cleaning becomes less about scrubbing down your bathtub and organizing your closet and more about making space for the new, the fresh, the vibrant. So, what's your home calling in these days?
Emma Loewe is the Sustainability and Health Director at mindbodygreen and the author of Return to Nature: The New Science of How Natural Landscapes Restore Us. She is also the co-author of The Spirit Almanac: A Modern Guide To Ancient Self Care, which she wrote alongside Lindsay Kellner.
Emma received her B.A. in Environmental Science & Policy with a specialty in environmental communications from Duke University. In addition to penning over 1,000 mbg articles on topics from the water crisis in California to the rise of urban beekeeping, her work has appeared on Grist, Bloomberg News, Bustle, and Forbes. She's spoken about the intersection of self-care and sustainability on podcasts and live events alongside environmental thought leaders like Marci Zaroff, Gay Browne, and Summer Rayne Oakes.