By Paint Quality Institute
If you’re a person with a penchant for seasonal decorating, why not fashion the interior of your home with change in mind? By planning ahead, you can make it easy to modify your surroundings to be seasonally- or even holiday-appropriate.
To accommodate changing décor, you should paint your walls a light neutral color, such as off-white, pale taupe or a subtle gray, advises Debbie Zimmer, color expert at the Paint Quality Institute. “To help guide your color selection, think of your wall color as a blank canvas against which to feature your seasonal items,” she says.
Once your wall color is in place, you can focus on other elements in the room that can be rotated in or out as the seasons dictate. Inexpensive area rugs are great in this regard, even when placed on top of wall-to-wall carpeting, as are easy window treatments that can simply be thrown over decorative curtain rods.
Even a small area rug with red or gold in the pattern will warm up a room in the dead of winter; when spring arrives, replace it with a light green rug. You’ll be surprised how big a difference this one change will make.
“When it comes to interior décor, it’s always best to repeat key colors to create a cohesive color scheme,” says Zimmer. So, take your area rug to a fabric store and find a bolt of material that matches color-wise. Pay attention to the weight: Heavier fabrics work well in fall and winter, while sheers are best for spring and summer. You’ll quickly find an appropriate curtain material.
If you want to go further, consider purchasing inexpensive slipcovers in “warm” (deep red, orange or gold) and “cool” (light blue or green) colors to use in colder and warmer months, respectively. A more economical way to achieve a similar result is to rotate warm- and cool-colored pillows or cushions at different times of the year.
Another easy way to render a room more seasonal is with accent pieces placed on the mantel, on shelving or on other furnishings. One way to do this is to display items with seasonally-appropriate accent colors; or go all-in and display collections of seashells in the summer and pine cones in the winter. Of course, you can always set out fresh flowers or cuttings that bespeak the season.
In the interest of seasonal decorating, don’t forget that art can imitate life. To that end, you can hang representational paintings or illustrations to reprise the seasonal items you have on display. As an example, think about repeating the fresh flower cuttings in a room with botanical prints of the same plant.
“If you’re especially ambitious, you might even dare to do more with your paint color,” says Zimmer. “Not that you’d want to repaint an entire room with each new season, but you actually might be willing to repaint a small accent wall once or twice a year. Assuming that the wall is easy to access, you could complete the job in just a few hours — a small price to pay if you’re really seasonally-driven.”
Use these ideas as thought-starters, and invest a little time contemplating your own décor. You’re bound to come up with many more great ways to visually usher in any new season!
From the Jan. 4-10, 2012, issue