The days are getting longer, spring blossoms are everywhere and maybe it’s just me but everyone looks a tad happier. With temperatures slowly rising, we can once again open the windows wide and enjoy the early morning bird sounds and the herbacious smells of the outdoors. From bold floral trends, botanical displays, wallpapers, scatters of scent, spring is the perfect time for fresh inspiration, new creativity and for adding a few uplifting touches to your living spaces.
Here is what I am planning to do in preparation for this most wonderful of seasons:
1. Fresh flowers
Nothing signals the start of spring like an abundance of magnificently coloured and delicious-smelling blooms. Instead of buying mass-produced flowers from supermarket chains, consider finding a local florist or flower seller to support. Their flowers are often sourced from a range of smaller suppliers. Not only will you be supporting your local community, you will also be able to source more unusual flowers and greenery.
I recently popped into Stellenbosch’s very own Flowers in the Foyer and was delighted by the abundance of spring blooms such as ranunculus, poppies, daffodils and delphiniums and the garden-fresh fragrances of their freesias and sweetpeas.
A budget-friendly way of enjoying spring blooms is to display them individually in a small collection of specimen vases, or a few pretty bottles.
2. Room diffusers and sprays
Walking into a room and catching the subtle whiff of a captivating fragrance always cheers me up. It’s truly a little luxury that goes a long way and creates a wonderful feeling of wellness and contentment.
I love to fragrance up my spaces in the morning and have the scent lingering ever so slightly during the day. At night a spritz of lavender on the inside of my pillowcases smells delicious and signals sleep time.
I’ve recently fallen for the room sprays from Africology. They are truly heavenly! My favourite for spring is the Africology Rejuvenating & Aromatherapeutic, with its delicious tones of lemongrass, as well as the Africology Relaxing & Aromatherapeutic, which has a heady combination of lavender and geranium. Best of all, these fragrances linger throughout the day and softly embrace your senses as you re-enter a room after spritzing.
The Africology room sprays retail for R350 for 50ml, from Africology stores and select spas.
3. Floral wallpaper
Right now I am loving the resurgence in floral wallpapers, from bold botanicals to fanciful florals. Reimagined in on-trend colours and used sparingly against a single wall, oversized florals look fabulous either against a stark white background for a minimalistic look, or against a dark background for a ‘Dutch masters’ feel. No other change you make in your space will be quite as dramatic!
There are a wide range of local designers, who are creating the most wonderful wallpaper collections as well as offer custom design, printing and installation services.
If your budget does not allow for a full wall, an alternative is to frame a section of wallpaper or floral prints to create a visual focal point in your room. Many of the customised wallpaper suppliers will also be able to print the design on a canvas for you.
4. New scatter cushions
An affordable indulgence, scatter cushions are always a good option for bringing in new colours and designs into your living spaces. Colours that are trending this spring/summer include cool pastels, such as blush pink, mint green, pale aquamarine and toned down amethyst. As is the case with fashion, yellow from bright and zesty to mellow mustard is making a huge comeback. Vibrant greens are also gorgeous and tie in well with the natural and botanicals trend.
Pattern-wise, bold botanicals, romantic florals and riot – coloured birds add whimsy. Don’t worry about it being too bright or too much, just enjoy them while the thrill lasts. That’s the beauty of scatters.
5. Craft gin
Leave that good Merlot to mature for another season and invest in quality local craft gin. The local producers are doing such a fantastic job, you won’t be hard pressed to find a unique selection. A bonus is that the packaging is so beautiful that it will blend in and enhance your new spring look perfectly.
If I had to choose my best pick from this season’s must-have gins (I have too many favourites to mention), I would have to go with the Musgrave Pink Gin (R450 for 750ml, quality liquor stores). Serve it with Barker and Quin Indian Tonic Water (R86 for 4x 200ml bottles) and garnish with a slice of grapefruit. A win in good taste and looks!