It’s official. The clocks went forward last weekend, the evenings are getting lighter, it’s happening. Spring has sprung and how very welcome it is. I’m going to gloss over the fact I had to do an emergency dig for lightweight clothing last week after unexpectedly waking up to glorious sunshine, yet was promptly back in my stompy boots and big coat during this week’s snow blizzard. I’m sure it was a little glitch from Mother Nature, and we’ll be lashing on the factor 50 before we know it. Don’t tell me otherwise, I don’t want to hear it. Leave me in my bubble of optimism.
In many ways, this blog is the reverse of the blog I wrote (here) about hunkering down for winter. This is all about emerging, blinking into the sunlight, from months of weather-based gloom. Admittedly, current news, both at home at abroad, is a non-stop, rolling wave of misery, and it feels wrong not to acknowledge that when writing a frivolous blog post. My thought on that is that we need to help those in need in any way within our power, but concentrate on making the microcosm of our own, small lives as happy as we can.
This does not have to involve spending a ton of money. A walk in the Spring sunshine, a bunch of £1 daffodils in a jam jar and simply being able to open our windows and let some fresh air in are all instant Spring mood enhancers. I always feel slightly new-term-ish at this time of year. I want to Spring clean the house to within an inch of its life (well, I want someone to do it for me, really, but that will not be happening), redecorate everything and fill my home with fresh flowers. In fact, I want to Spring clean my entire life. It feels good to think about it. It feels hopeful. It feels like the clouds of winter are lifting.
With that in mind, I’ve picked some mood enhancing items which encapsulate that new season, Spring feeling, things to add to our homes, things to wear. The promise of sunshine, good times (and, most importantly, boogie). At the time of writing, I feel compelled to tell you that Liberty has up to 30% off its homeware, so that is most definitely worth a scroll, if there’s something you’ve had your eye on. I’ve picked quite a few items available from there, with that in mind, but do not dally! It ends on Monday 4 April.
Some of the links are affiliate links.
This is the time of year where I want to cast off the velvets, the knits, the rich colours, and replace them with linens, cottons, and uplifting colour. I’m not suggesting we all burn our velvet sofas and splash out on new ones. It’s all about the accessories. Maybe a linen cushion here, and a cotton throw there. A splash of pink, green or yellow.
Top row, L-R: We will all be in need of a picnic blanket for the glorious incoming weather (think positive) and this striped one from The Tartan Blanket Co is a beauty; a pretty doormat from Oliver Bonas for all of the visitors we are now permitted to have in the house, unlike last Spring; and would you take a look at this glorious vase from Anthropologie? Perfect for all the Spring blooms.
Middle row, L-R: I think this ’Olga’ Suzani rug from La Redoute is a bit of a gem, especially when bought during one of their many sales; sunshine stripes of joy by Ceraudo at Liberty; and I look at pictures of this footstool by Ceraudo at Liberty in the same way I used to look at posters of New Kids On The Block when I was a child. With heart eyes.
Top row, L-R: I adore my pattern and colour, it’s all over my walls at home, and this Spring-fresh, white, linen bedding from Bedfolk is the perfect foil; Habitat at Argos have so many good pieces this season, including this somewhat bargainous £6 check planter; and have you SEEN the latest rugs in Oliver Bonas? They are very, very nice and this one is reversible, so two for the price of one!
Middle row, L-R: Spring in a cushion from Oliver Bonas; one of the best wallpapers I’ve ever seen, ‘Lucky Leaf’ by Common Room; a pretty box to store all the winter things you’ll be putting away, from Oliver Bonas.
The past two Easters have been pretty disappointing. 2020 saw us in full lockdown and, in 2021, we were allowed to mingle with one other household, but only outside, so we spent it in the garden with my sister and her family, which was lovely, but we needed the holy trinity of puffa jackets, blankets and loads of wine to keep hypothermia at bay.
This Easter, I’m planning to go the whole hog. there will be napkins. There will be flowers. There will be <drumroll> an entire tablescape. Now, I like a nod to the season at Easter, but my personal preference is to invest in things that can be used throughout the entire Spring/Summer, if not the entire year, as opposed to bunny-themed plates you can only use 1 day out of 365, even if they do have cute little bobtails and waffly noses.
At the moment, anything bright, fresh and cheerful is calling my name. Feast your eyes on these beauties…
Top row, L-R: The colours of this Vaisselle plate from Liberty bring me great joy; I was going to say this H&M plate is super cute for the kids, but I’m 45 and also love it; and these salt and pepper shakers from Oliver Bonas are pretty much adorable.
Middle row, L-R: From oven to table in style – pie dish from Oliver Bonas; I want the sort of life where I need these canape dishes from Anthropologie, daily; and a lovely striped mug from H&M (£2.99, bargain fans!).
Bottom row, L-R: A stack of Easter cupcakes upon this Vaisselle cake stand, please; scalloped placemat in perfect Spring colours from Coco & Wolf at Liberty; rattan charger plate by Rebecca Udall at Glassette.
Top row, L-R: Klevering baguette basket from Liberty; Vaisselle ‘Drunk in Love’ jug from Liberty (preferably full of Pimms); conclusive proof that a butter dish can spark joy from CasaCarta at Glassette.
Middle row, L-R: A fabulous and enormous, shell shaped serving platter from Anthropologie – this is too good to be put away, I’d use it as a fruit bowl so I could see it daily; I don’t like coffee (I know!) but mourn the loss of opportunity to own a fabulous French press brewer like this one from Hay at Liberty; set of 4 highball glasses from Anthropologie.
Bottom row, L-R: A pretty, yellow, striped carafe from H&M; peapod serving platter by Bordallo Pinheiro at Liberty; another coffee-related item wasted on me, but very gorgeous – cafetière from Oliver Bonas.
One of my favourite Spring rituals is the Great Wardrobe Switchover. My actual wardrobe was inherited from my great-auntie. It’s an incredibly beautiful, walnut burl number, which gives me enormous joy to look at, but is wholly impractical for someone with a love of clothes as strong as mine. It’s far, far too small. I have to pack all my winter clothes away in vac-packs each Spring, and vice versa, but the remaining clothes are still packed as tightly as sardines in my wardrobe. I forget what I have. I think a built-in, floor to ceiling wardrobe is next on my investment list. It’ll transform my life.
I’m also working hard to streamline my wardrobe and be more considered in my purchases. Over the years, I’ve often been guilty of buying on a whim and then only wearing things once or twice. This is not good. While a lot of what I tend to look at now costs a little more, every purchase needs to earn its keep and be worn a lot. I’d rather invest in one amazing dress from a small, sustainable brand that I’ll wear each year on repeat, than 3 from the “buy cheap and churn them out” end of the market that end up going to the charity shop after a few months of sitting, unworn. I’ll freely admit I’m not perfect though, it’s all a work in progress.
On to the pretty things… As with homewares, I’m always drawn to pattern. Add in a ruffle and a high neck and I’m sold.
Top row, L-R: ‘Emma’ floral blouse from Dilli Grey (I have last year’s version of this in a different colourway, it’s beautifully cut; ‘Columbine’ dress by Minkie x Percy Langley in that beautiful blue; teddy Mary-Jane shoes from Moi.
Middle row, L-R: I love the detail on these pyjamas from Cath Kidston, frills a-go-go; the Stella Nova ‘Loan Mae’ dress of dreams from Studio B; colour block poplin maxi dress from McQueen Independent (I’ve bought this, fab for day to day).
Bottom row, L-R: Another beaut from Stella Nova, this collared blouse from Anthropologie; April Meets October fuchsia gingham dress from Studio B (great oversize shape, hit that Easter buffet hard); ‘Buckthorn’ top in Butter from Meadows.
Are you excited about the arrival of Spring? Any top tips for embracing the season? Let me know!