Ritual: The Spring Switch
Apr 01, 2010
This is one of the warmest Michigan Marches in my memory. Today it was in the 70s and we brought the comfy vintage porch chairs up from the basement. Yesss. It always feels so much better than putting them away! So, The Spring Switch sort of sneaked up on me this year. I don't think I've ever done it this early! The Spring Switch is a collection of lightening/brightening/mood-lifting changes in my decor. Here's a list of what I like to do, though I don't always do it all. Pick and choose a few things to make your home feel a little more like spring. Have any ideas or rituals of your own as the bulbs pop up? Leave them in the comments! —Diane
So maybe you don't have a room like this with full-height windows and garden views, but there's a lot you can learn from this photo to make your own space a little more springy. Ideas worth stealing: light wood furniture and accessories, botanical patterns, super-simple flower arrangements, nature-inspired accessories, a wide-open feel with no drapes. The rug? Meh. I'd prefer to see a sisal or hemp woven rug in this room. Or even a hand-painted floorcloth. PHOTO: livingetc.com
The Dwelement Spring Switch
- Put away all traces of winter gear: coats, boots, scarves, skis, heavy blankets. And those orange sticks that mark the driveway when it's under 3 feet of snow. Especially those!
- Clean. Including windows, and put up the screens while you're at it.
- Roll up some of the rugs. Bare floors are faster to sweep and they make the room feel lighter.
- Switch some drapes. I like white canvas panels in the spring and summer.
- Ready the outdoor spaces! I'm blessed with two porches, and they become our living space in the summer. I like to make them as comfy as possible within practical limits.
- Change accessories. This doesn't mean you have to go out and buy new stuff. I have a utility shelf in the basement where I keep accessories I'm not currently using. Every few months I'll go down there and "shop." You really feel like it's new stuff after not seeing it for a while! Put away anything woodsy/woolly/wintry and bring out things that are light/bright/fresh.
- Paint a room or just a wall. Pick a color you wouldn't normally choose and see what it does to your style.
- Cover the furniture in cotton. If you have canvas slipcovers, they can really change the feel of a room and make it more casual and light.
- Fill a beach/picnic bag and keep it at the ready.
- Cook something fresh and serve it outdoors. Here's a simple pasta recipe I recently made. It's coming out again, this time for dinner on the porch.
Pasta with Asparagus, Pancetta, and Pine Nuts
- 8 ounces uncooked cavatappi pasta
- 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut diagonally into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts
- 2 ounces diced pancetta
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup crumbled Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Add asparagus to pan during last 3 minutes of cooking. Drain. Sprinkle pasta mixture with garlic; return to pan, and toss well.
3. Arrange pine nuts in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan. Bake at 400° for 3 minutes or until golden and fragrant, stirring occasionally. Place in a small bowl.
4. Increase oven temperature to 475°.
5. Arrange pancetta on jelly-roll pan. Bake at 475° for 6 minutes or until crisp. Drain off fat.
6. Combine lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle over pasta mixture; toss well to coat. Sprinkle with pine nuts, pancetta, and cheese.
From Cooking Light, March 2010.
TAGS: spring home decor decorating ways to lighten brighten summer rooms
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