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Out with the cold, in with the new

When the temperature rises and the days lengthen, it’s time to stop hibernating. We look around our homes that have kept us warm and cozy all winter—and frankly, we aren’t seeing simplicity and beauty, but more often, clutter and chaos.

Spring cleaning isn’t just about washing windows. It’s also about clearing out things we’ve outgrown or no longer need, for whatever reason. Designer William Morris’s quote is cited in Simple Abundance: “Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful and believe to be beautiful.”

A silver-colored branch with votive candle holders is both useful AND beautiful. Decorate it for the season—shown here with angel vines—and lift it easily from centerpiece to side table or mantle.

Soft green and white floral arrangements embody the freshness and fragility of spring. White accessories signal a change of season while a beautiful chandelier lets a shower of crystals dangle, reflecting the light.

Lighter-colored fabrics and white cabinetry can balance and complement blacks, greys and woods. A deep mahogany table in a traditional style fits perfectly in a lighter, more contemporary setting with a mixture clean, modern pinstripe chairs and grey tufted linen captain’s chairs.

Another kind of mixing we’re encouraging lately is wood finishes. Darks, lights and mediums, distressed, pickled or polished, woods can be blended together and look beautiful.

What this means for spring cleaning is that you can hold onto some favorite pieces and mix them with something new. And if you donate pieces you no longer love, or find useful, others may genuinely appreciate and cherish them.

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