It’s been awhile since I’ve posted on Design State of Mind and I find I’ve missed the writing experience.  For over 2 years I wrote a monthly blog/column for an East Bay web site and although there were many times my mind was a blank, I always found a topic that got me excited.  Having decided to start my own blog, I wrote the first post months ago, and now here we are.

I know it’s only February, but in northern California, we can feel spring is  right around the corner.  In a few weeks the trees will start blossoming and already the days are longer. It’s never too early to begin thinking about your home and how to keep it fresh for the season.  Many of us kind of go into a trance after the holidays and spend January and February living with things the way they are.  Our minds are in a fog and the gray skies don’t help us feel creative.

Here are 5 ways to get your juices flowing and freshen those rooms in anticipation of the day you can throw open the doors and windows and welcome spring.

Find a new color:  Nothing says a new state of mind like a fresh coat of paint.  Whether you are ready to commit to a whole room or just an accent wall, go for something fresh.  Silver/blues transition nicely into spring and summer, as do bright greens and violets.

Use what you have:  Often people ask me how they can achieve a new look without having to spend a lot of money. Take a good look at your rooms and move things around. Put the throw pillows from the living room in the den, re hang your art work in different locations or reposition just a lamp or a vase to the other end of the table. It’s amazing how suddenly you have a new look!

Start a window garden: In our house there is a huge garden window in the kitchen. When winter blues get a hold of me, I put a little pot of colorful flowers (available all year around at your nursery) or herbs in that spot. I can watch them grow and they make me smile every morning.

Update your bedding: It amazes me how people keep the same bedspread or comforter for years and years. Not only is it bad for allergies and germs, it just gets boring. Invest in a duvet that is reversible. Buy light colors and brighten up the whole room. Using a cream or ecru bed skirt visually lifts the bed making the space seem larger.

Get fruity: No matter what time of year, a bowl of apples or oranges on the kitchen table or island brings to mind warmer weather. Keep a low platter on the counter with fresh vegetables like tomatoes, quash or grapes. One of the easiest ways there is to feel better about yourself during the doldrums of late winter is to see fruit and vegetables in your home, even if you don’t actually eat them.

These are just a few very easy and simple ways to start getting ready for the spring solstice. Once the weather warms up, you’ll already be on your way to a