Let's start with the dining room. Do you dress your table with the same colours of linen, for both your tablecloths and napkins? Look at what other colours or patterns would match or better yet, contrast with your dining room decor. Get out of that 'things have to match' mode by switching up colour, patterns and accessories. Bed Bath & Beyond in Richmond Hill has a spectrum of lively placements and napkins in a variety of fabrics that you can mix and match for maximum effect: gorgeous greens and pastel yellows, decorated with threaded white daises, will steal the show before dinner is even served. Add a bunch of bright pink tulips, or deep purple hydrangeas and the table is set for your delighted guests.
F. K. Textiles in Bradford offers double width fabrics for sewers so that they can make seamless tablecloths. Also available are stunning quilter cotton panels that even amateur sewers can stitch and hang on decorative rods as creative wall statements. (Wall flowers will weep in envy!)
"Accessories provide an opportunity to add colour, texture, interest and impact quickly and easily," says Sharon Wise of Chateau Interiors. "For those who like to paint, a freshly painted room adds a dramatic effect while at the same time being budget friendly."
Living rooms can be gussied up with accent pieces such as side tables, end tables and quirky little stools. The Wicker Emporium in Vaughan has some delightful accent pieces, including small cabinets in distressed blues and greens, which emanate a French country flair.
"Adding painted furniture definitely sets up a style and colour theme for your room," says Liz MCallum of Wicker Emporium. "One tip for mixing patterns and stripes is to become familiar with the colour wheel. When choosing groupings of colours (or patterns), remember the feel you want to give in your home, what you already have and what you have in mind to purchase. Choose colours or patterns that lend to that style."
Changing your lamp shades can alter the mood of your room, and so can a light fixture that makes its own statement.
Haven Contemporary Décor in Newmarket offers a funky selection of lighting, from inverted cubes to a definitive retro piece, which has a 1940 oilcloth shade and a hand-fired stoneware base made from the original 1950's mould. "People are really mixing their eras: antiques with contemporary; vintage; art décor," says Karla Wilson, Haven Decor owner. "We like retro; we specialize in 1950 and 1960 furnishings, lighting and home accents." To that end, Haven carries some unusual pieces, such as the Picasso art deco throw pillows and companion rugs. The Picasso pillows are designed so that the noses face into each other at either end of the sofa, like two friends sharing a pleasant conversation. Pairing the matching rug with the pillows definitely creates the aura of the early artiste salons of literary Paris.
"You can add hits of colour with a décor piece that you can change according to the season," says Holly Mohr, manager of the family run Home Hardware store. (Bradford). "For the spring season, anything bright and fresh, like the colours found in nature when the flowers first start to bloom. It's not about one particular accessory; it's more about 'theme.'" Two irresistibly fun items at Mohr's store are the 'teapot with attitude' and the golden red roosters, symbols of good luck in a kitchen. Fun outdoor collections such, as the 'girls just want to have fun' wine glasses, and the green ruffled chip bowl are great table accessories.
Don't forget your bathroom when doing your spring sprucing! Shower curtains with bling pared up with a photograph of a bath tub accentuated with bling makes your ablutions a visit to remember!
"None of it costs much money," says Dale McInnis, a devotee to greeting each season with fresh new looks for her home. "Every now and then I see something that adds icing on the cake of one of my colour schemes. It gives me quiet joy and affirms my creative juices."