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Let spring in: Decorate your home with these easy tips
After an especially brutal winter, which had a last gasp this week, New Yorkers are eager to usher in spring. Still, many don't have the space, time or money for a decoration overhaul.
Here are some tips on how to decorate for the warmer months:
Switch it up
A good way to end your winter hibernation is by decluttering your home.
Betsy Helmuth of Affordable Interior Design said she recently hung clients' snowboards and skiis on the walls above their couch with brackets -- storage she dubs "sculptural wall art."
"Spring is the perfect time to re-evaluate," she says.
If you have a collection of scarves, hats and gloves in a basket or drawer near your front door, put those in a bin and replace them with Frisbees, sunscreen and baseball caps, Helmuth suggests.
And since you won't need it for awhile (hopefully!), put away your down or otherwise warm, thick winter comforter and replace it with a light-weight blanket.
And, "nothing feels fresher and more like spring than crisp, white sheets," she adds.
Chunky accents are a hot trend this spring. Put chunky-textured ceramics on surfaces around your place, such as on your coffee table.
And to bring more of that wonderful spring sunlight into your space, place a mirror opposite a window.
"I always love the idea of freshening up your wall art," says Katrina Szish, a TV personality and style expert who lives in the Financial District. "Not adding furniture -- none of us have big budgets."
Grab some black frames, Szish says, and head to a Barnes & Noble or used bookstore for a coffee table book with photos of seashells or beaches or flowers. Carefully cut out the photographs, frame and hang them, and see your digs transformed, she says.
Szish says her favorite artist to decorate with is Ernst Haeckel, one of the world's leading biologists, whose prints and books can be found for under $20 on Amazon.com.
Another fun way to decorate for spring is to change out your drinking glasses for mason jars, particularly the Limited Edition Spring Green Heritage Collection Jars from Jarden Home Brands, makers of the Ball brand (also $20 and under on Amazon), which this year came out in turquoise and grass green.
"It's just a really fun way to inexpensively freshen up something that you touch every day," Szish says.
Scent is a key aspect of spring.
Since candles are popular in winter, Szish recommends using fragrance oils as the warmth returns.
Her favorite is "Sun and Sands" by Yankee Candle.
"It just gives a really fresh beachy scent," she says. "It's inexpensive and it lasts for a really long time."
And for those of you who love fresh flowers, our designers say a trend this year is to cut them really short and put them in a squat vase so they look full.
To keep them from dying quickly, add some sugar to their water, Helmuth says -- either with a little soda (roughly a quarter of a cup of soda per quart of water), or with apple cider vinegar and spoonful of sugar.
If your household is even more New York, you can use a splash of vodka or gin with some sugar, she says.
And as for Helmuth's favorite scent?
"I love citrus," she says. "Citrus is more unisex and appeals to a wider array of people and it's more fresh."