by Ashley Baker

Do you ever look around your home and it feels like the walls are beginning to close in? Well, when that happens to me–usually sometime around the end of February–I know I’ve come down with a case of cabin fever.
To find a cure for my winter blues, I turned to one of my favorite local interior designers, and fellow mom Aubrey Smith of Aubrey Veva Designs, for some advice on how to give my home a little spring-time pick-me-up without spending my entire savings. She offers these tricks-of-the-trade to create a cozy, inviting space using items that you may already own.

Try Different ways to Utilize Accessories you Already Have

Old photographs. An old framed letter from a great grandmother. These are fantastic ways to spice up a room and keep your personal style in the décor.
“I bring all of my items out into the space and I’ll rearrange and restack, adding in and switching out the objects to see how they look,” she says.

Pro tip:  Simply placing fresh cut flowers from your garden into a vase and situating them in a room adds life and vitality.

Put Your Favorite Collection on Display

“I love rocks and geodes, and I’ll use them as accessories throughout my home. I’ll use them as paperweights, frame them or display them together in a grouping,” she says.

Pro tip:  Displaying a collection of related objects versus a single object, creates a more curated, unique and personalized statement.

Smith used her client’s collection of globes as a display in the living room. | Photo Credit: Travis J. Photography

Decorate Using the 5 Senses

“[When decorating] I like to go through the 5 senses, because they go hand-in-hand to create the overall ambiance of a room. When I hit each of the five senses in my design, it makes a home feel at ease and peaceful,” she says.

Smith’s Tips for Decorating with the 5 Senses:

Sight → Is the space pleasing to the eye, and representative of you and your family?
Smell → Candles or Wallflowers® scented plugins in each room can carry the same scent throughout the home. Smell also creates lasting memories of a space.  

Pro tip:  Fresh lemon fragrance is ideal for spring. Try cinnamon during the winter holidays. Change out the Wallflowers® plugins  at the same time to maintain a constant fresh smell.

Touch → “I like to include multiple textures in a family room: lush pillows and cozy blankets. Kitchens should have a different feel. Obviously clean solid surfaces are important, and in my kitchen for example, I like to include some nice upholstered cushions to my dining chairs and use  long linen drapery panels to soften all the hard spaces. Textures are key when designing a space.”
Taste → “I worked for Anne Marie Barton. When she designed a living or family room, she placed a dish of gourmet chocolates to make it feel more inviting and memorable. At my home, those chocolates would be devoured in 5 minutes with my little ones, so I place a bowl of either healthy nuts or colorful clementines on my coffee table.”
Sound → “Background music creates a serene and welcoming space.”

The photo above gives an example of Smith’s 5 senses formula vision: “We wanted this room to feel lived-in and not too stuffy: Scent: a large volcano candle is lit for yummy smells  (the scale of this candle is really fun). Taste: grapes on the coffee table adds some color. Sound: This is a music room so it is meant for sound. I love the vintage trumpet lights that add some whimsy. Touch: this lush chartreuse velvet sofa makes the entire room; the shag area rug adds an entire level of comfort | Photo Credit: Travis J. Photography

Declutter by Hanging Kids’ Artwork with Bulldog Clips

“I’m a mother of two young children, ages 2 and 4, so I get a lot of inspiration from my kids,” Smith says. “Bulldog clips are a great way to display your children’s artwork and it’s a fun and simple DIY project.”

Pro tip: Order bulldog clips from Amazon and spray paint them the color that best accentuates your child’s room.

Bulldog clips spray painted gold display artwork in her childrens’ nursery.

Create a Stylish Space for Children in the Main Areas of the Home

“I love to add a colorful game, like blocks or marbles, to coffee tables,” Smith says. They serve a few different purposes: “They’re a pretty piece that’s also a fun game, makes for a great conversation piece at the coffee table and keeps kids entertained when you have company over.”

Pro tip: Check out Amazon for various colorful blocks. It’s also a budget-friendly way to add some color into a dull living room.

Photo credit: Travis J. Photography

Create a Space that Reflects your Unique Personality and Style

“Don’t get me wrong,” Smith says.
“Nate Berkus is one of my favorite all-American interior designers, but I do believe we can be a little more creative when it comes to home-décor Target splurges. I love creating a room that is unique and full of personality, and that’s tricky to do if we all have the same gold ceramic vase. I love to incorporate a personal flair into each space I design by including pieces that my clients have picked up throughout their lives.”
“For example, when I go on a vacation, I buy a picture frame from each place I travel to,” she continues, “I use them to create a gallery wall in my own home. Oftentimes, I’ll use a client’s family heirlooms, momentos or vintage postcards to add flavor to their space.”

Pro Tip: Smith recommends switching out shopping at our beloved Target for local consignment shops.

What are some of your favorite ways to spruce up your home for spring? Let us know in the comments.

Love these ideas? Check out Aubrey Smith’s website for more livable design inspiration.

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