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Once the winter clouds and cobwebs have cleared away, you’re ready to brighten up your space and welcome the warm, sunny months. But you don’t have to limit your seasonal house clean to washing windows and scrubbing silver. Here are seven ways to freshen up your space with smart design.

Once the winter clouds and cobwebs have cleared away, you're ready to brighten up your space and welcome the warm, sunny months. But you don't have to limit your seasonal house clean to washing windows and scrubbing silver. Here are seven ways to freshen up your space with smart design.


Edit down

There's nothing like a clean slate to work with when it comes to reinventing your space. "Spring is a really great time to edit down some of the things we've collected throughout the winter," says Toronto-based interior designer Amanda Forrest. "Take the weekend, take a room, and clear out your knickknacks. Pile them in an adjacent room, give your space a nice cleaning, and put back maybe 50 percent. Right away the room will feel a lot lighter and brighter. Sometimes just rearranging or editing down what you have gives the room a fresh feel."

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Lighten up

As with our wardrobes, the change of seasons calls for a change of colour and texture in our living spaces as well. "If you want to make some spring-like décor changes at home, lighten up the materials that you're using," says Ms. Forrest. "Consider switching out a deeper colour rug with something like a sisal or a lighter colour rug. You can change the covers on your accent pillows, adding in some bright or pastel colours. This will automatically make your furniture feel lighter as well."

If you want to go further, Ms. Forrest recommends switching out your drapery for inexpensive sheers or more translucent material, which will also make your windows feel larger.


Go green

While indoor plants are a good idea year-round, there's no time like spring and summer to bring the outdoors in.

"I'm a fan of fresh flowers, but right now plants and things like succulents are very popular," says Ms. Forrest. "They last a long time and require little lighting. It's a nice thing to add to a house. It oxygenates a room and gives that hit of green."

If your current collection is looking junky, Ms. Forrest recommends repackaging for a cleaner look. She suggests buying the same plant and putting them in matching containers, such as white plain pots. "You can line up three on the mantle, for example, or on a side table, rather than mix and match pots and plants."

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Closet edit

After months of heavy winter wear, it's a thing of beauty to step into something lighter. Celebrate by cleaning out your closet as you prepare for the change of seasons.

"Our closets tend to get bogged down with coats and boots through winter months," says Ms. Forrest. "We're in our closet every day and it can get frustrating when it's disorganized."

She suggests buying inexpensive soft storage pieces to put winter wear away in. And then why not give the closet itself a spring makeover? Ms. Forrest suggests painting it a fresh colour, such as apple green or teal blue, "something that will make a nice backdrop for your spring clothes you're going to put back in there."


Musical chairs

Replacing furniture from one season to the next isn't an option for many, but there are still affordable ways you can transform a room.

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"Consider rearranging the furniture that you have," says Ms. Forrest. "In winter, we might arrange our focus around the fireplace for a cozier feeling. But in summer it doesn't necessarily have to be the focus. You can rearrange or break up the furniture grouping, creating a more open, airy atmosphere."

Chairs in particular lend themselves to exciting new configurations. "If you have accent chairs, you can switch them out with other parts of the house. For example, you can move dining chairs into your living area, and take upholstered chairs from your living room into the dining room as end chairs."


Pretty storage

Storage boxes and baskets not only serve a practical purpose, but they can also look great in a room. "Woven baskets are particularly nice," says Ms. Forrest. "The lightness of the woven material is pretty in the spring and through the summer and has that beach mat feel to it, creating a more relaxed, organic feeling in the room."

Great to stack under coffee tables, woven baskets work well in end units too. They can help store all those winter items away, reducing clutter and imparting a neat, clean look to the room.


Fine fragrances

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Fragrance might not be the first thing to come to mind when you're thinking about updating your space for spring, but it could be one of the most effective — and inexpensive. "Typically in winter we have cinnamon smells and apple pie smells and all those smells that make up the winter and holiday season," says Ms. Forrest. "Now is a nice time to introduce some new candles. Think about using scents like cotton, linen, beach breeze or open air. I love lemon and citrus especially. They seem to last and combat cooking smells nicely."


This content was produced by The Globe and Mail's advertising department. The Globe's and Mail's editorial department was not involved in its creation.

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