Shelley Ferguson hosted The Block NZ and is an award winning magazine editor. Using her love of interiors she now has her own interior design business. Together with Newshub Shelley is running a six part online series called Your Place – where you’ll discover the latest styling trends and tips.
It’s been a crazy year! When times are challenging one of the best ways to feel in control is to clean, organise and care for your home. Spring is the perfect time to make small changes at home to boost your mood and inspire optimism for the season ahead.
Clean and clear
Spring sees unsettled weather, changeable temperatures and increased allergens that can affect our mood. Plus there’s a build-up of dirt, dust and mould that thrives over winter.
Write a list of areas you often ignore like cupboards, drawers, walls, windows, filters, vents, mattresses and schedule in time to clean them thoroughly, starting from the ceiling down. And remember to wash your house – just like your car a paint job requires maintenance to remove build-ups, salt deposits, bird droppings and mould which can all damage the coating. The sun, moisture and temperature differences in New Zealand make paint particularly prone to damage, so regular upkeep is the best way to protect your investment.
Check for scrapes, peeling or cracks and fix them as soon as they occur by prepping the surface properly and painting the wider area to keep the finish consistent. Not sure which Resene product to use? Use the free Ask a Resene Tech Expert service, resene.co.nz/techexpert or visit your Resene ColorShop.
Pro tip: Did you know there are handy paint additives to help you paint in different weather? Resene Wintergrade Additive for cold days, Resene Hot Weather Additive for hot days to slow drying and Resene Umbrella Additive for days with light showers to give you early water resistance.
Update plants and flowers
While indoor plants are by no means a new trend, making a hobby of caring for them has certainly gained popularity since lockdown. Carefully selecting a family of plants, researching how to nurture them and creating plant displays that suit your interior style is a rewarding and satisfying way to welcome in spring (it’s also good for mental health and purifying the air).
As a novice gardener I’m a fan of low-maintenance plants and my home features favourites that I’ve tried and tested. I have Philodendron in the bathroom trailing from a shelf down the walls, a Fiddle Leaf Fig in the living room corner to add scale, a big Monstera in the entranceway and Sansevieria along the top of my kitchen cabinetry.
I also like to create vignettes from plants by grouping them with ceramics, pottery and interesting objects to create one larger focal point. Make the time to stop and nurture each by rearrange their position, freeing them of dust, feeding them and appreciating the feel of their leaves and scent when you’re caring for them.
And dedicate a weekend to showing your outdoor spaces some love after winter has wreaked havoc on them. Get rid of moss and mould build-up on driveways, pathways and outdoor pots. Use leftover Resene paints or testpots to give pots a fresh coat of colour for spring.
Pro tip: It’s also a great time to make sure soil health, weed control and lawn care is sorted for the explosion of new growth about to happen, so use the Yates handy calendar, and tackle that outdoor to-do list.
Choose a new accent colour
Mother Nature is the most gifted designer of all, and she changes her colour palette every season. Changing just one accent colour in spring helps set the mood for the new season, livens up and unifies your home in a cost-effective way, and is a satisfying creative project.
So how do you choose an accent colour? Look at the current colour palette of your home. Are there lots of warm neutrals like soft white, sandy colours and taupe? If so accent colours like mustard, terracotta and moody green will tie in well.
Or do you have cool tones going on like brighter whites and greys? These suit accent colours like blues, lilacs and pinks. Then look at colours that already appear – chances are you’ll already be drawn to pieces in your favourite colours. Distribute the accent colour throughout the room in a balanced way, rather than all down low or all on one wall.
If you’re lacking confidence try the 60/30/10 colour trick, where you have 60% of the room neutral, 30% in a colour (for example, blue cushions and a blue artwork), and 10% an accent colour or metallic like brass that can be introduced in lighting or styling accessories. My favourite spring colours are dusky pastels because they provide a pop of colour in a muted and calming way. Examples of revitalising colours for the new season are Resene Blanched Pink, Resene Cashmere, Resene Ashanti, Resene Periglacial Blue or Resene Beryl Green.
Ways to add these quickly and cost effectively are painting your front door, painting or wallpapering inside your wardrobes, or painting furniture like bedside tables or shelves.
Adding a new feature tile in areas that need a focal point like your entranceway floor, splashback and behind your bathroom vanity instantly updates the room, and there are stunning colourways and styles on offer at Tile Space to create an uplifting mood for the new season.
Replacing items like towels, face cloths and tea towels to match your new accent colour is a simple and satisfying way to make kitchens and bathrooms feel fresh again. Get inspired on new ideas and trends by picking up a copy of habitat by Resene magazine, or check out the amazing Resene Instagram (@resenecolour).
Pro tip: Flex your creativity by learning more about colour theory. Pick up a colour wheel from your local Resene ColorShop and discover the different colour schemes and how colours relate to each other. My favourite is a monochromatic colour scheme! Or load your pics into www.resene.co.nz/palettegenerator, and it will turn your picture into a Resene colour palette with tips.
Make it smell good!
Coco Chanel once famously said ‘perfume is the ultimate accessory’. Scent evokes a powerful emotional response in us, so it’s the perfect way to welcome in a new season at home. Use a candle, diffuser or oil burner to bring in fresh scents to complement spring like lavender, geranium, citrus and gardenia – you can even choose cleaning products with natural scents that are fruiter or zestier than your usual to liven up housework.
Adding flowers is perhaps the loveliest way to add scent to a room. My favourite flowers to pot indoors include the Peace Lily, Moth Orchid and Kalanchoe in bloom, and I love sticking to a tonal floral colour palette of whites, naturals, toffees and peaches (sounds good enough to eat!).
You can even choose flowers to pot that suit your interior scheme – formal flowers like orchids suit a more tailored interior while ethereal wildflowers create a more bohemian vibe. The ever- popular Peace Lily is the perfect plant if you’re a beginner – it’s hardy and droops to show you it needs watering or if it’s too wet.
The glossy dark green leaves and tall white flowers look beautiful in elegant interiors, and they add a lush feel to humid bathrooms while helping to clean the air. Once you’re the proud owner of indoor flowering plants make it your mission to nurture them accordingly.
Pot them in Yates Thrive Indoor Potting Mix and feed with Yates Indoor Liquid Plant Food Dripper (Plants & Ferns). Click here for everything you need to know to care for your floral blooms.
Pro tip: Create new baby peace lilies by dividing crowded clumps and re-potting into a good draining mix such as Yates Thrive Indoor Potting Mix.
Get the light right
Spring welcomes the onset of daylight savings and inspires us to get our homes in order for the entertaining season ahead. Now is a good time to assess the lighting at home and add some wow factor for the summer season ahead.
Current lighting trends include geometric, circular, minimalist, metallic, black, glass, chandeliers and nature-inspired, so visit your local Lighting Direct store to discover which suits your interior style.
Have a variety of layered lighting that can be individually controlled for different tasks, moods and occasions in spring. Pendant lights are one the easiest and most cost-effective ways to improve the design in your home; they set a style, help pull together a zone together with well-placed furniture, and fill voids like high studs or entranceways.
You can even group three of the same style but different sizes together at different heights - try the Mele pendant for this formation teamed with a table lamp to match. Use pendants for statement ambience, wall mounted lights or desk lamps for reading, and don’t forget the dimmers so you can adjust the atmosphere!
Have a good clean of fittings and fixtures and replace any that are dated or broken. If you need to replace any bulbs choose a tone that suits your mood – warm white is a good option for spring as the weather is often still chilly. Remember to prep your outdoor lighting for the season ahead by lighting pathways, entranceways and using accent lighting in the garden to highlight key features.
Pro tip: Creating a lighting plan for your entire home adds value, maximises the effective use of different spaces, and creates a cohesive aesthetic. The Lighting Direct 3D Lighting Design service creates a visual of how lighting will look at your place, and tailors a lighting plan to completely transform your space. To request a consultation click here.