Spring has arrived in all its blue-sky glory – and this year, it’s accompanied by record low interest rates and renewed buyer optimism across many segments of the property market.
We may even see stock levels exceed supply this spring, which is even more reason to make sure your property stands out above the rest. So, if your home’s still in the winter doldrums, it’s time to throw back the curtains, freshen things up and add a dose of spring-inspired appeal with a quick seasonal makeover. All it takes is a little elbow grease and creativity.
Here are seven quick, affordable and fuss-free ways to get your home ready to ‘spring’ onto the market in style.
Nothing freshens up a space like a good decluttering. Now is the time to throw all those old newspapers and magazines into the recycling bin. File and organise bills, documents and old mail that has to be kept. Clear out the wardrobes – any winter woollies that didn’t get an outing this year might be candidates for charity. Go through the children’s toys and books and get rid of anything they don’t use anymore. If you find it difficult to decide what to toss and what to keep during your decluttering sessions, try putting items you’re not sure about into a ‘maybe’ box. If you haven’t thought about or looked for them in a month’s time, you can safely send them off to the op shop.
Get things sparkling with a thorough spring clean. For an even fresher feeling, ditch the harsh chemicals and noxious fumes and power through the grime using natural products, microfibre cloths and good old elbow grease. Wash windows with a mixture of vinegar and water and wipe dry with a lint-free cloth for an easy streak-free finish. Kill mould around the shower recess by scrubbing with a solution of four parts white vinegar to one part water. A lightly abrasive mixture of baking soda, salt and borax will cut through the soap scum. And for a fume-free oven-clean, spread a paste of bicarb and water over the oven walls (avoiding heating elements), spray lightly with vinegar and leave to dry. When you wipe the mixture off, it’ll bring the grease and grime with it. Cleaning without chemicals is easy, cost-effective and doesn’t compromise the air quality in your home.
Update the decor
It’s time to pack away the heavy winter blankets and liven things up by adding splashes of colour and pattern, says Style Precinct’s award-winning interior designer, Noni Edmunds1. Update with cheap and cheerful accessories such as cushions, throws, candles, towels and decorative pots in this season’s trending colours. “New colours emerging are bold reds, terracotta and mustard yellow teamed with navy or indigo,” Noni says. “Greens range from fresh pastel mint colours to jewel emeralds and deep blue greens. Team with dusty peach or white and natural neutrals and add a touch of brass, bronze or silver in accessories.”
She adds that blue is also trending this spring – “in plains or patterns featuring Japanese shibori or floaty florals”.
Noni’s tips for a quick spring makeover:
- Liven up your sofa and seating areas with new cushions and a pretty throw.
- Create your sleep sanctuary with fresh new bed linen piled with stacks of interesting cushions and pillows. Add a headboard in a style you love.
- Place lamps and clusters of small vases containing spring blooms on bedside tables to add instant appeal.
- New furniture and homewares in cane and rattan help create a crafty and casual atmosphere.
- Choose a sisal or jute floor rug to finish off the room.
Hang new artwork
If you haven’t the time, dollars, or inclination to repaint your interiors, give the walls a quick makeover by hanging some fabulous new artworks. “A stand-out colourful artwork will highlight and create a focus for a room,” Noni says.
You’ll find plenty of amazing, on-trend prints at discount decor and homewares stores at reasonable prices. Some guidelines for creating the best impact with your artwork:
- A single, oversized artwork will have better visual impact than several mismatched smaller frames.
- Ensure the colours of the artwork (and its frame) harmonise with the room’s existing decor and wall colour.
- When hanging a picture over furniture (couch, desk, shelves, etc.), ensure it’s centred horizontally and position the base of the frame 30–40 centimetres above the furniture to maintain visual balance.
- If the picture has the wall to itself, hang it so the midpoint of the image is at eye-level.
Nothing says spring like fresh greenery. “Bring nature indoors with leafy indoor plants displayed with decorative pots and plant stands,” Noni suggests. “Plants also act as air purifiers making your indoor space healthy.” Pop a few delicate trailing ferns high up in the bathroom and kitchen, or choose something big and broad-leafed to add drama to a dull corner. Varieties that are well suited to indoor life include aspidistra, peace lily, aglaonemas (or Chinese evergreens), and Zanzibar Gem2.
Your garden is about to burst into its spring finery, so it won’t take too much work to get it looking its best. “Pruning out the overgrown branches will allow plants to flourish underneath and allow more light to come in,” says Andrew Whyte, managing director of Whyte Gardens3. It’s also a good time to replace any plants that are past their prime. “Pull out the old and replace them with plants that will add a splash of colour or even just give a lush feel to the surroundings,” he suggests. Once that’s done, get creative and accessorise with a statement pot, water feature or even a quaint bench seat. “A focal point or two in the garden calms the eye from just wandering and adds interest.”
Spring property buyers are often looking for the lifestyle extras, so complete your home’s spring makeover by styling up an irresistible alfresco entertaining space on your balcony or deck, in a nook of the garden, or on the patio. Create an intimate, welcoming ‘room’ using either a dining table and chairs, or outdoor lounge furniture, or even a couple of garden benches. Accessorise with plenty of colourful potted flowers, candles and a scattering of bright outdoor cushions.
Sarah Mitchell Maitland Hunter Valley Mortgage Broker 0412 382 794