spring has sprung: expert tips for creating your happy place indoors
with nature in full bloom and the longer days of sunshine and blue skies upon us, we've been thinking a lot about how to refresh our indoor spaces with a springtime "pick-me-up". one of our dear devotees who is an incredibly talented interior designer in new york city, meagan camp interiors, has graciously offered to provide some super helpful tips for sprucing up our home interiors this spring and creating our own relaxing, rejuvenating sanctuary indoors. meagan and her team understand that a beautifully and intentionally designed space can be a living meditation and has the power to transform your life. they specialize in creating sophisticated, fresh, modern-traditional spaces. during this time of the pandemic, we over here at kai are more excited than ever to rejuvenate our indoor spaces so that we can continue to keep our breath*life*flow mindset and embrace our lives to the fullest. happy spring everyone, and we hope you enjoy these wonderful expert tips from meagan camp.
spring is about fresh, new beginnings and readjusting your space for this shift of seasons. given we're now spending an exorbitant amount of time at home, it's more of a reason to focus on your interior surroundings. while it may be tempting to throw out every bit of furniture you own and start over after being stuck in quarantine, there are clever ways to update and spruce your interiors to welcome in springtime.
scent plays a huge role in how we feel in your space, and can further enhance the design in creating an overall feeling. we like to either designate a different scent per room, or infuse the entire home with one specific scent. our firm has been incorporating kai's signature scents into our design projects, placing a skylight candle next to a bed or on a coffee table, and reed diffusers in entryways or bathrooms.
i like to create a scent-vignette so a single, beautiful candle becomes an intentional part of the decor. place a candle on a tray, or marble trivet, and add items like dried lavender or a few palo santo sticks. a single candle also looks great on top of a stack of coffee table books. this is usually a topic of much debate, but i like to take the covers off books to expose the binding underneath, which is usually a neutral color like cream or gray.
the easiest and simplest way to lift the mood of a space is with plants and flowers. flowering branches are my favorite way to bring the outdoors into an interior space. they're dramatic, low maintenance and generally last longer than cut flowers. if you're lucky enough to have a garden, clip some branches from any flowering tree or bush-- depending on where you live, forsythia and cherry blossoms are either in bloom or just about to bloom. large vases or-- my favorite--an antique belgian canning jar are the perfect vessels to hold large, weighty stems. make sure to clip the stems at an angle to create the most surface area for branches to suck up water. want the blooms to open faster? make the water hot and gently use a hair dryer to coax the flowers to open.
i like to support local and small-business florists at anytime, and especially now. if that's not an option, grocery stores have ample amounts of flowers that can easily be turned from a store-bought bouquet to a custom arrangement. a tip with store bought flowers is buy two bunches of the same flower to create a fuller and more expensive looking arrangement. lay the flowers out when arranging to see what you're working with, and remove any excess leaves to keep the bottom leaves from hitting below the water line. this not only makes the arrangement look more professional, it also keeps bacteria at bay. i start with the leaves to create a base, and add in the blooms. add a drop of bleach and some flower food to the water to keep the arrangement lasting much longer. don't have flower food? a splash of 7-up or a spoonful of sugar will also work.
we often forget to upgrade the items we use on a daily basis, so why not treat yourself to a fresh shower curtain, or clean bath and hand towels. i like all white linens, and they're easier to clean. a spritz of room-linen spray on clean towels and sheets will make you feel like you're at a spa in your own home!
mirrors are like magic and the single most effective way to make space feel brighter and more alive. put one directly across from a window to bounce the natural light, in between two windows to make the windows feel larger, or behind a table or floor lamp to double the amount of illumination when that fixture is on. you don't need to be able to look in a mirror for it to be effective. in addition to using a mirror to apply your lipstick, use them to bounce both natural and artificial lighting throughout a space.
another springtime tip, and my mantra, is declutter and edit, edit, edit. it's okay to have easy access to items you use on a daily basis, but reducing the possessions you have out will make your space look beautifully set up and organized. store as many things away and out of sight as possible. in a closet, in low boxes under the bed, in a dresser or storage credenza. leave only items that you really love out on display.
spring is a perfect time to explore a new furnishings arrangement. start by shopping your home, look at your existing furniture pieces with new eyes. with room layouts, furniture feels better in a space when it's pulled out a few inches from the wall, and arranged in a "conversation zone." what this means is when you have guests over (in a post quarantine world!), you want everyone to be able to sit comfortably without straining their necks when having conversations. furniture should never, ever, be all pushed up against the walls. let them breathe!
i'm a huge advocate of painting pieces either semi-gloss or high-gloss white or black, or metallic silver. i love the look of a wooden piece of furniture painted silver to make it look like an old metal piece. white painted furniture always looks fresh, and embrace the chips and nicks as it ages-- that's what makes it feel more like an antique you spent months hunting for, rather than a new, store-bought piece.
another easy way to upgrade furniture is changing out the hardware. brass or silver is always a classic choice. we recently commissioned a local artist to make leather pulls, and i love how the leather patinas over time.
i always tell our clients-- rome wasn't built in a day, nor are beautifully designed interiors. don't worry about things not being absolutely perfect everywhere.