There is nothing like the natural world in Spring for giving all of us a breath of fresh air just when we need it most. After a long and dreary winter, it’s a pleasure to sing the praises of flowers and eggs and nests and birds!
Try these lively decorating tips to help bring more of nature’s colorful, happy, growing energy into your home. We even include a fun and easy how-to for making deodorizing soaps that look just like speckled wild bird eggs. Nature shows us the way:
1. Make a clean sweep.
Old grungy winter energy, and dust and dirt, can make our homes feel pretty dreary and stuck. An old-fashioned spring cleaning, one that gets rid of things we no longer need or use, as well as the cobwebs and grit, is a time-honored way to say I’m ready! to spring. Think of it as clearing our the dead weeds in your life-garden to make space for new things to grow. Donate unwanted items to your local charity.
2. Invite a new color over to play.
Winters palette is mostly neutral: white snow, gray dirty snow, dark bare branches against gray dirty snow. This can get a little bleak after several months. When spring finally rolls around, one of its greatest gifts to us is COLOR. Spring is the perfect time to bring a color into your home that you’ve never used there before: A teacup the tender golden yellow of an egg yolk, curtains the eye-opening chartreuse of new leaves, a hyacinth-mauve toss-pillow, a scatter rug the intense blue of a bluebirds wings. Every time your eyes rest on one of these fresh, bright, hopeful new colors, your whole self will feel refreshed.
3. Celebrate birds.
In spring the birds return, bringing their heartening songs and cheerful flying, their picturesque nests and tender eggs, along with them. It is so good to welcome them back! Since the dawn of human time, people have envied the birds their magical ability to fly, their ease in the ways of air and sky. You may want to make a place in your home for a reminder of these beautiful and fascinating creatures. Find a downed or abandoned nest to place in a special spot, or put a photo or picture of a bird that you especially like somewhere prominent. Feed them outdoors with their favorite foods (see The Foods Birds Prefer.)
4. Feather your nest with some birdy ideas.
- An old birdhouse hung on a wall makes a great key-holder.
- You can buy lovely nest-like creations made from wicker in various sizes at your local crafts store. These can be used to hold spare change, or as soap dishes, muffin-servers, fruit bowls, etc.
- Feathers can be had for the picking up. When you take a walk, look for pretty specimens to bring home and display. When my son was small, he created a beautiful piece for his bedroom dresser using just a stone with a hole and a single blue jay feather stuck upright in it.
- Egg-shaped soaps, plates or platters, cookies and so many things are great reminders of the power of small packages to bring forth new life. Or make these great Egg-Shaped Deodorizing Soaps:
Save remnants of your bar soaps. When you have about 2 cups worth, grate them coarsely into a bowl with a cheese-grater. Add a little water to partially cover, and allow to soften for several hours. When soft, add a teaspoon or so of used coffee grounds and mix well to blend. Shape softened soap into egg-shapes and allow to harden on a plate or cookie sheet. Good for deodorizing oniony hands in the kitchen!
5. Include flowers and fresh spring greens.
This is the perfect time to bring cheery, vital flowering bulbs and other juicy living greens into our homes. Even a bunch of leeks or parsley set into a pretty vase or jug can bring a sense of vitality to a room.
By Cait Johnson, author of Witch in the Kitchen (Inner Traditions, 2001).