We can say—with confidence!—that spring is here. Like clockwork, it gets us thinking about musings and inspirations for spring and summer decor—and again, like clockwork, we ask:
What Would Martha Stewart Do?
You can’t get very far without first thinking about a little spring cleaning. For us, this means putting away our dried florals. It's a bit too wintry for our preferences, and we suggest replacing dining table or side table decor with rotating bundles of fresh flowers cut from our own gardens, or store-bought (here to help, obviously)!
Second, this is a great time to check in on the houseplants and clean them. They're usually ready for a little wipe down of the leaves and dusting around the pots. It's also the best time of year to fertilize, as this is their growing season. Some smaller plants can be placed in the kitchen sink and given a thorough rain shower (as long as the pot has ample drainage), and larger plants just need a gentle wipe down with a damp cloth on each leaf—as a kid, one of my chores was to mayonnaise the plants! I suppose I can see why it would add a nice shine…but I'm still not sure if there's any science behind this method. I also check for bugs like scale, and remove them with a cloth as well. We trim back dead leaves and stalks, and repot if necessary; plants do not need to be repotted as often as many people think—once a year, max! Fiddle leaf figs like their roots tightly bound, and some plants can go into shock if you upsize the planter too much. I've found this to be especially true with succulents.
Outdoor Tidying Up
I move my aloe outdoors and buy annuals for my planters. I uncover patio furniture and bring out the cushions and patio umbrellas from storage. I switch out my indoor and outdoor throw pillows. I put away extra rugs, and anything that feels too cozy, to make way for the light and breezy. You can trade out candles for an incense diffuser. The fresh, slightly humidified scent of an incense diffuser feels more appropriate for the warmer months to me. My favorite mix is lemon, rosemary, and lavender. The one exception is the citronella candles for warding off bugs! My final stock-up is always good loose-leaf tea—I can't get enough iced tea in the warmer months, and sun tea is the best—in summer flavors like summer peach and lemon balm.
I love refreshing the tool shed. My gardening shed feels like my own special happy place. I like to tidy it up in the spring, organize and dust everything off—no judgment if a trip to the Container Store is totally necessary—or the garden center or hardware store. Pro tip: Check your local farmers’ markets for tool and knife sharpening services, which can be a great opportunity to get those pruners snipping like new.
Spring & Summer Arranging
When making fresh bundles in the spring and summer, I like to do single types of blooms changing on a weekly basis and place them in my collection of handmade ceramic vases. As a florist, I always respect the restraint of only doing one type of bloom at a time. Think hyacinth, daffodils (I love the tahiti double daffodils), tulips (endless colors and varieties to choose from), lilac, and then peonies. After about a month of these, I'll be ready for a "designed arrangement" again with more variety. Flowering branches are also great to grab from your yard or from your local flower shop, and can be put in larger containers where a bigger statement might be needed. There are so many to grab while you can; they’re often only in season for a week or two: cherry blossom, crab apple, forsythia, lilac, spirea, sand cherry, and currant berry are great options to keep your eyes out for.
Quality Over Quantity & the Seasonal Rotation
But back to decor! New decor is always my first temptation at the start of a new season. I'm a sucker for shiny objects! But I'm always trying to improve my purchasing habits and favor quality over quantity. That's why rotating my decor by season can give a similar satisfaction without, you know, immediately running to Home Goods. If I've done my spring cleaning, swapped out the seasonal practical items (fresh flowers fall in this category), and considered experience over just buying new stuff, I will allow myself to purchase a couple "decor" items per year. I try to support local small businesses, boutique shops, or a vintage or antique mall first. And I always ask myself if I'm choosing long-lasting quality and style first. But I will occasionally splurge on some fun outdoor hosting items, a new throw pillow, picnic supplies, outdoor lighting, or something that makes me look forward to the summer nights. One great example for me, instead of the cute outdoor plastic dishware that seems to crack and lose its pineapple graphics within a season, is some enamel dishware I found at an antique mall a few years ago. It feels festive and summery to me and is perfect for outdoors, but certainly isn't limited to a particular season.
As always, we’re here for you as you do your spring cleaning and are ready to usher in some fresh blooms.
See you in summer!