As the days are getting longer and warmer (particularly this week that’s been the warmest few February days on record) I have noticed my neighbours spilling out into their gardens rushing to tidy up their outside space, opening the windows wide and welcoming the early change of season. A this time of year with new enthusiasm we are starting to think of seasonal changes to our homes. I have asked Stephen Thomas who works for a London branch of B&B Italia to share with me his thoughts on how he is planning to prepare his home for spring this year. Stephen shares a Victorian London apartment with his wife Karen Yuen who works for Clippings.
“This time of year after a long dark and dismal winter, where the early afternoon around 4 O’clock begins with the flick of a light switch, where the interior of the apartment has been filled with the scents of heavily braised, slow cooked meals eaten from bowls on the coffee table, and the living memory of box sets dramas, and packets of chocolate biscuits remain and clutter your thoughts till it’s time to turn out the lights, and sleep, only to return to the morning, get out of bed, and flick the light switch again to begin your day, the first feeling of Spring can really make you jump.
Getting home after a day at work, and realising as the balsamic has hit the olive oil and your salad is still sitting half in sunlight from the kitchen window. Your feet are bare, your arms and legs have been exposed, and your body has reminded you that it’s time to turn off the timer to central heating. And you haven’t even turned the lights on yet.
The change of season, always makes me feel like it’s time for a change of interiors. You can’t always run out and replace everything you have. We have things that are permanent, and expensive, and that we love to have around us. But these are also seasonal, and where possible, I like to change. Here are something’s I can do without much expense, and just a half a day’s organisation, and a little thought.
I will be stripping clean the overloaded shelves laden down with vases, nick knacks, holiday trinkets, pointless small bowls, and useless space stealing personnel things that make winter warmer, cosy, and far more comforting, and seem to choke, and stifle the start of Spring and summer. I will be making our home, less personal, and only have displayed on those freshly cleaned shelves single loved items. One simple vase, will sit on a meter long shelf, looking a little standoffish, and more supermodel, rather than a mass of lovely little items, resembling an old school class photograph, which in a midst the heat of a summer day, can just be annoying and too demanding on the eye and mind.
I’ll be removing throws that sit like annoying Aunties on the sofa, that smother you in winter, and hold you hostage on the sofa through the colder months warning of disease, that end up smelling like cough medicine, and unwashed tracksuit pants.
I’ll be rolling up the rugs, and hiding the winter wear on top of the wardrobe, exposing as much floorboard as possible,
I’ll be removing door snakes that stop the winter cold sweeping in under the doors, and greet the warm breeze into the apartment without interruption.
I’ll be removing the curtains, and letting the sun shine its way in without interference, and open up the inside to be more of a part of the summer external.
All cushions, and family photo frames will be stashed away [with love] till I am ready to be comforted again by them when the colder months come back.
The view from the window, I also consider as an interior. Windows are like frames for artwork, so the garden will be cleaned up, removal of all death that winter has killed off. My front room has various shaped windows so I will be trimming hedges, and replanting flower boxes, this year I’m thinking of filling them with wild grasses, that look like they’ve been stolen from the sandy shores of the seaside. And refilling pots, with blueish coloured plants, that look like they could have been pulled out of a craggy mountainside of a Greek island, and placed strategically outside my window. It will be a flowerless, dry landscape, in fact, in will be like my little London apartment has been picked up and strategically placed by the seaside in a sleepy town overlooking the Mediterranean.
I am also in desperate need of bedside table lights. It is a room draped in white linen, with a gilt edged mirror hung over the bed, reflecting the garden landscape outside, and a Grande madam of a chandelier that hangs, in her own place, framed inside a bay Window.
I will probably get two small modern chrome bedside lights. Something opposed to the chandelier and the mirror, and more designed the natural flow of the linen. I consider them like 2 small modern earrings on an understated but very well dressed middle aged former model”.