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Published: Sunday, 4/22/2012

Lighten, brighten decor for spring


Some go for spring cleaning this time of year, while others pursue a more permanent endeavor -- such as getting the house freshened up with a new look.

Spring always begs lightheartedness, and the new decorating themes back that up. Light backgrounds on walls, floors, and furniture set the stage while pops of color with accessories and fabrics bring out the owner's personality. The light background colors include cream or beige, white, and soft gray. The pops of color are all up to you.

That light color on furniture is particularly visible in woods. Dark wood was popular before, but the trend is definitely moving toward light wood or mid-toned natural-wood finishes.

Furniture arrangement has shifted from the wide-open spacious look to a more intimate plan. Think of how you can arrange your furniture in a more familiar, cozy way with conversation areas well-defined.

What about fabrics? Is there more to the fabric selection than simply beige? Well, there is. To the simple neutral colors, you will find metallic threads added. This is in keeping with the light look as the metallic threads lift the visual feel of the fabric. The current trend in fabrics also includes plaids, stripes, and modern florals, mostly in bold colors.

Your favorite colors are the ones you should use, but the popular ones for this year are jewel tones such as emerald green, golden yellow, sapphire blue, and ruby red. As seen in the metallics woven into the fabrics, gold, silver, and other metallics in accessories and accents are in.

Since it seems everything old is new again, mirrored furniture and accessories are back.

As far as style, any one you prefer is fine, whether contemporary, country, traditional, or eclectic.

Many of us are strapped for money these days, so redecorating might seem out of the question, but it still is possible if you are willing to search for items. Refurbished secondhand furniture from thrift stores or consignment shops is one option. The entire house doesn't have to be a hand-me-down place, but a few reclaimed pieces add charm and personality to any room.

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