Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Updating with Lavender

I love this time of year.  It's not scorching hot yet, and the chilling bite of Winter is gone.  During Spring, the weather here in NC is a refreshing balance between the two extremes --- at least, it is when it's not raining.  I swear that the way it smells when you're outside during March & April is like a cliche Febreeze commercial.  Imagine a light breeze, clean sheets blowing in the wind, birds chirping, flower buds blooming for the first time.... you get the picture. 
Along with a variety of other flowers, Lavender comes back in season in Spring.  Lavender has always been a favorite of mine.  I love the way that it looks, the way that it smells, and I love that it represents everything that's wonderful about Spring.  I also love the color (along with other various shades of purple), and I think that it can be great design inspiration.


Using lavender shades in spaces can be feminine, sophisticated, and soothing, without being over-the-top girly.  There are plenty of gender neutral shades of purple (like French Blue, for example) that have just a hint of lavender or plum.  The great thing about using purple as a starting point on the color wheel is that it works so well with other colors!  It's pretty much impossible to find a color that doesn't work well with some shade of lavender or purple.  I also personally think that graphic patterns and/or textures are complimented by this color, as opposed to competing with it.
                                                                                          Adding this spring-inspired into your rooms can be as simple as painting an accent wall, or it can be as elaborate as incorporating a wide array of fabrics, patterns, and accents in varying hues of purple & lavender.  Furniture is another great opportunity to bring in pops of color; I love the look of an antique painted finish, but a saturated clean paint technique can work just as well.
from www.davinong.com

Whenever I'm contemplating adding (or DIY-ing) a significant colored item like furniture into a room, I try to make sure that:
  • a.) I'm not going to get tired easily of the color/finish that I chose, and
  • b.) the R.O.I. outweighs the risk that I'm taking by changing or customizing the item.
from www.maisonandviolet.com
Or in other words, you might want to think carefully about wanting to paint your two-thousand dollar bedframe a deep shade of purple..... it probably won't give you the best return on investment.  It's also probably not a good idea to spend an exhorbitant amount of money on elaborate purple draperies that you'll want to change in two years.  That's not to say that doing either of those things wouldn't work for some people.  I'm just saying that you should give some thought to where you place your color (and your money) before you do it. :)

All-over purple too much for you?  No worries.  You can still incorporate this color by adding small accents like lamps, pillows, candlesticks, artwork, rugs, or picture frames.  If you're wary of the commitment of large-scale color, don't underestimate the alternative options.  Small touches of purple tend to showcase the color nicely and make it more of a statement piece rather than a theme.
from www.squidoo.com


from www.pillowpeels.com

 Smaller pieces in the lavender accent color are very easy to switch out if necessary, and you can use different shades of color easily without it looking haphazard.  Places like Pier 1, ZGallerie, Target, Tuesday Morning, Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, and Michael's can be good places to scout out small accessories and knick-knacks (another one of my words from my up-bringing in Connecticut).  If you're sitting there wondering what the latter means you probably aren't from north of the mason-dixon line.  Knick-knacks are small statues or collectible items usually grouped together and added to a room for decoration..... my Grammy had TONS that she had acquired over the years from shopping tag sales every weekend.  Another bonus of small accessories & knick-knacks: they are usually very unique and relatively inexpensive! 

If you want to go the route of mirrors/frames/pillows, and you don't feel like buying them pre-made, many of my favorite looks featured here can be DIY'd without a significant amount of time or money..... just a little elbow grease and imagination, and you have custom luxe additions to your space!  In any event, Lavender is a FANTASTIC color to wake up your space for Spring and every other season of the year.  Next time you're in the paint section or the home decor store, don't overlook this incredibly beautiful and versatile option:)


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