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Refresh Your Home for Spring

After a long, gray winter, it feels good to finally look forward to the lengthening days, fresh flowers, and cheerier spirits of spring. As soon as the first hint of spring peeks its head up in the garden, I like to begin making little changes around my home to reflect the new season. This can be as simple as scooping up a big bunch of fresh cut flowers at the market to plunk into tiny bud vases or pretty water glasses…or as ambitious as painting and wallpapering!

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VT Wonen

Spring color inspiration: In spring, we can draw inspiration from the new shoots, pale blue sky, and blossoming trees for a palette of mint, aqua, sky blue, sunny yellow, and petal pink. If you’re a bit of a color-phobe, dip your toes into this spring palette by placing a few fresh, cheerful accents against a backdrop of white walls and pale floors. For a spring party, try hanging blooms in all shades of pink from a ladder (or from the rafters), and layer the table with linens and glassware in watery blues and greens.

Trend Center VT Wonen
VT Wonen

Spring project ideas:

  • Put wallpaper scraps or pretty gift wrap to use by framing pieces with lattice from the home improvement store. Alternatively, pop your favorite sample into a picture frame and hang it on the wall.
  • Give a basic bulletin board a fresh look by painting the cork minty green. For contrast, give the frame a coat or two of metallic or glossy white paint.

  • Keep an eye out for pretty packaging, and use it to plant spring bulbs. Imported tea and cookie tins are some of my favorites!

  • Change up the art around your house, swapping out artwork that feels too wintry for something bold, fresh, and fun, like a graphic poster.

DecorateWithFlowers
Decorate with Flowers

Enhance your workspace: Get motivated and inspired by giving your workspace a spring refresh, too. A small vase of cut flowers on your desk, a few bits of inspiration taped to the wall at eye level, and a cup full of freshly sharpened pencils will get your Monday morning started on the right note. If you’re looking to make more of a change, consider recovering a boring office chair with a fun, floral fabric; or roll out a vibrant area rug under your desk. And don’t forget to take plenty of breaks to get outside and smell the spring blooms!

Rug shopping guide (clockwise from top left): Jaipur Rugs Coastal Lagoon Palm Breezy in yellow and white; Nourison Waverly Sun and Shade in Seaglass; Dalyn Torino Ombre in teal; Surya Aberdine in teal, charcoal, light gray and lime.

For more inspiration from Laura, follow along with her at LauraGaskill.com!

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Tips for Choosing + Displaying Art

Art is one of the quickest and easiest ways to personalize your space, and with so many great affordable art options out there these days, there’s almost certainly something to love within your budget. Read on for 5 tips for choosing and displaying art, plus my top 3 art print picks!

Tip no. 1: Consider the mood you want to create in your space. In the living room, think cheerful, vibrant, and conversation-starting. In the bed and bath, think soothing and serene.

Tip no. 2: Choose what makes you happy! Taste in art is highly personal, so go with your gut and choose pieces based on how they make you feel. The art in your home should be a source of inspiration and joy.

Tip no. 3: Take a cue from your furniture when hanging. Art works best when it relates to a nearby piece of furniture. In the space shown here, a grouping of artwork centering on a large-format floral print works to draw the eye up and away from the ‘big black box’ of the TV. In other areas of the home you might want to position artwork above a credenza, console table, or headboard.

Tip no. 4: Make hanging art easier. Use picture hanging strips instead of nails for all but the heaviest frames, and don’t forget to use a level! To completely avoid the hassle of hanging, you can always prop up artwork against the wall, or line up pieces on a floating shelf.

Tip no. 5: One oversize piece always looks good. Salon style groupings can be gorgeous, to be sure, but nothing beats a single stunning piece for maximum impact. Plus, it’s foolproof to get right!

My top 3 favorite prints right now all have a bit of a springtime floral theme, perfect for ushering in the next season…which can’t come soon enough!

Art shopping guide (clockwise from top): Close-up of cherry blossoms; Whisper Magnolia; A Pot of Tea and Keys.

Want more art print inspiration? Shop our full art gallery here.

Photos: The Glitter Guide

For more inspiration from Laura, follow along with her at LauraGaskill.com!

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Boost Happiness With The Right Color In Your Home

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Allison Serrell for SF Girl By Bay

From fiery, hot-tempered red to cool, soothing blue, colors can elicit strong reactions, both positive and negative. By tapping into the power of color psychology (and by noticing how you respond to color) you can create a home that plays up the positive and leaves negativity at the door.

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Minna Jones stylist

Red, orange, and yellow are warming, social hues, making them a good choice for areas of the home where you like to gather with friends and family.

Red is the color of passion, action, and anger, so it’s no wonder many folks have a love-it or hate-it reaction to red! Reds with a bit of brown in them are usually perceived as more mellow, while a bright, clear red is fresh and modern.

Orange is the color of optimism, happiness, and social communication, making it a wonderful hue for a living room. Rich saffron feels warm and exotic, while a bright tangerine hue is youthful and fun.

Yellow is the color of joy, cheerfulness, and mental stimulation. This hue can make a delightful accent in any social space or study, but remember, a little goes a long way!

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Anne Millet via SF Girl By Bay

Green and blue are cool, relaxing hues ideal for spaces where you want to encourage rest and relaxation.

Green is the color of growth, freshness, and harmony, and tends to make people feel safe and secure. A soft green can make a calming choice for a nursery, while a deeper forest green would be ideal in a cozy library.

Blue is the color of sea and sky, and just being around this hue can have a calming effect. Blue represents truth, trust, wisdom, and stability. It’s lovely in the bedroom and bath, but intensely saturated blues can also hold their own in a living or dining room.

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Domino Magazine

With a bit of blue and a bit of red, purple is something of a mysterious color. This hue has long been associated with royalty, and still conveys feelings of wealth and abundance. But it’s also a spiritual color, and can represent the imagination. Try using purple in the bedroom for a serene escape.

Overdyed rugs have deeply saturated hues that can completely transform a space – try one in a hue that makes you happy!

Rug shopping guide (clockwise from top left): Louis de Poortere Fading World rug in Pink and Light Burgundy; Surya Hathaway rug  in Rust; Oriental Weavers Revival rug in Purple and Gray; Artistic Weavers Elegant Maya rug in Green and Teal.

For more inspiration from Laura, follow along with her at LauraGaskill.com!

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5 Heartfelt Touches for Valentine’s Day and Beyond

Growing up, my grandfather always made a point of surprising me and my mom with cards, flowers, and raspberry pastries from our favorite bakery on Valentine’s Day morning, so I still associate this holiday more with family and love in general than romantic dinners. So whether you are planning something special for your sweetie, or want to celebrate with friends (or your kids!) here are 5 great ideas to make the day special.

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Maison Hand via Honestly WTF

1. Breakfast in bed. Who can resist a special tray of sweet treats and freshly brewed coffee enjoyed propped up in a comfy bed? Bring a bit of extra sweetness in by adorning your bedside with a vase of flowers, and swapping out your usual pillow cases for dusky pink versions.

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Sf Girl By Bay

2. Light it up. If you’re planning a Valentine’s Day party, the quickest way to create a festive, romantic atmosphere is by boosting the mood lighting. Wrap a pillar in strands of twinkle lights or drape them across the ceiling, and load up on candles. For a really special smile booth worthy prop, consider tracking down a great big light-up heart, which can double as decor long after the holiday.

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Sf Girl By Bay

3. Get creative with flowers. Tired of the same-old same-old red rose bouquets? Try something unexpected and crafty instead by hanging single stems of flowers from the ceiling using fishing line. Hung above a self-serve bar, it looks like a modern art installation!

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Rue

4. Set a special table. Whether you are planning an intimate dinner for two, or a sweet school day breakfast, taking the time to pull out the “fancy” dishes and fold the napkins into hearts is all it takes to set the meal apart.

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The Nester

5. Get crafty. If you’re searching for a Valentine’s Day craft project that won’t get tossed after V-day, I suggest this embroidery hoop project from The Nester. Simply fill embroidery hoops of various sizes (available at any craft store) with linen fabric, and embellish with sequins, embroidery thread, pom poms, or any other fun supplies you happen to have on hand.

And of course, to set the mood, wouldn’t it be fun to roll out a super-soft pink rug underfoot? I would love to use any of these options in the dining room for a Valentine’s Day dinner party:

Valentine's Rugs

Rug shopping guide (clockwise from top left): Safavieh Vision in pink; Artistic Weavers Madeline Rosey in brown and pink; Safavieh Valencia in pink; Jaipur Rugs Ceres Eris in grey, silver, blue and pink.

For more inspiration from Laura, follow along with her at LauraGaskill.com!

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