I’m sharing my favourite tips for budget spring decorating using items you already have, as well as colour and item inspiration for a spring refresh.
The Transition From Winter to Spring
After the Christmas decorations come down, I love that fresh, spacious feeling where everything feels a little less cluttered and like a blank canvas again. It’s always a great feeling to begin a new year and makes me feel like there are so many possibilities in our home – and in life!
However, winter doesn’t usually end for a few more months here, and so I still end up embracing cozy clutter and comfort. Bring on all the warm colours and extra blankets!
But eventually, the temperatures do rise above freezing, the snow starts melting, and there’s more bird activity outside. Even better, the days become so much longer! I start making garden plans and dreaming of the days when we can open the windows and see new growth and green grass.
Your spring might be further ahead than mine since we’ve really only had snow melting for a week now. But I decided it was time to switch up our decor and bring in more spring!
Preparing to Refresh Your Decor For Spring
Just as the outdoors gets refreshed for spring with new leaves, plant growth, and cleansing spring rain, I also like to refresh my inside decor. But before I begin arranging any new decor however, there are a few things I like to do:
Air Out the House
Our nights are still below 0 and our heat is still on, so it doesn’t make sense to go too crazy with the windows open yet. But we did have a couple of particularly beautiful days where we opened up some windows for a while. It’s so nice to start freshening up the indoor air that’s been recirculating all winter long.
I’ll admit, I really don’t enjoy cleaning. But I do enjoy how things look and feel when they’re clean. Spring feels like a great time to do a few extra tasks and give yourself a nice, clean, blank slate to decorate.
Declutter for Room to Breathe
Spring is also a great time to declutter your home and give everything just a bit more space to breathe, which will make things feel fresh. This might be as simple as tucking away some cozy items, the heavier quilts and wool throws (though I use mine all year round), or some items in warmer fall and winter colours.
Decorating for the Christmas holiday season always feels like “more is more”, but by the time I get to spring, I’m definitely leaning toward “less is more”. You might wish to edit out a selection of items to just have less decorative items on display and tuck them away somewhere.
Or you might even find items that you no longer wish to keep, or can repurpose in a different way somewhere else. Spring is a great time to declutter and sell or donate items that are just taking up space.
Once you have decluttered and have a clean, blank canvas to work with in your home, you can begin refreshing your decor for spring.
Where to Make an Impact With Budget Spring Decorating
I don’t like to spend a lot of money when decorating for the holidays. I may make some handmade decor for fall/Thanksgiving, but otherwise Christmas is the main holiday where I collect specific Christmas decor. For all other occasions and seasons, I don’t buy specific holiday or seasonal items.
Partly this is because I don’t want to spend money on decor for such brief occasions, and partly I don’t want to devote limited space to storing a lot of seasonal decor. My preference is to pull items from around my home and assemble them in different ways to evoke the feeling of each holiday or season.
I find it helpful that I do love colour and have items of many colours around the house to work with, especially vintage books. It makes it easier to pull a few items that work with the colours for each season or holiday.
But because I don’t have a large stockpile of dedicated seasonal items to pull from, it also means that I have to make the choice of where I’m going to make the most decorating impact. My plan never includes fully decorating each room of the house for the holidays. So here is my strategy:
Big Impact in the Main Living Area
Typically I aim to make the biggest decorating impact in the living room. We spend lots of time there and pass through it often. We can see if from the other living spaces on the main floor, and it’s where we entertain.
This is where our Christmas tree and the bulk of our Christmas decorations get set up. And although other holidays or seasons don’t have big statement pieces like decorated trees, I also do the bulk of my other seasonal decorating here as well.
Luckily, my husband just finished a built-in bookcase to the right of our fireplace (tutorial coming soon), and it provides the perfect blank white canvas for whatever colour scheme I want to add to it.
I’ll also make sure to update my throw cushion covers and throw quilts to ones with more spring-like colours.
You may like the zippered cushion cover tutorial to make your own seasonal cushion covers.
Small Changes and Supporting Details Elsewhere
Beyond the living room where I make my biggest impact, I do very little around the house seasonally. But spring is an easy way to lighten and brighten your decor. So I will aim to add in a couple of supporting details or make small changes elsewhere.
Here are some examples from around our own house:
In the kitchen, I don’t have a lot of space to add decor that doesn’t serve a purpose. But I can incorporate pops of seasonal colour with a fruit bowl on the counter. I’m definitely looking for bright pops of yellow and green from lemons and limes, Bartlett pears, or Granny Smith apples and I’m definitely going to go and get some of those.
Using produce for pops of colour is a great budget friendly way to decorate – IF you intend to eat them. As you consume them, simply restock with more. In the meantime, you have some cheerful colour on your counter, and nothing to store at the end of the season. Win – win!
Our dining room has some of the best light in the house and so there are always lots of houseplants in there. Even though it’s far too early for things to be growing outside, growing things inside reminds me of spring.
Other small changes include swapping out your tablecloth, or mixing and matching some dishes if you have a more spring-like option.
Our bedroom begins to feel ready for spring when it’s warm enough to swap out the flannel sheets for some pretty blue-green spring and summer sheets. We also lighten up the blankets on the bed and I’ll choose a quilt with pretty spring colours.
Luckily, we also have a large piece of art above our bed that reminds me of spring all year round.
Colours to Use When Decorating for Spring
I’m not a big fan of rules when it comes to decorating with particular colours for particular seasons. In fact, I often like to do my own thing, such as decorating with turquoise for fall. And because I have lots of different coloured items to work with, I can mix and match and change up whatever colour scheme I’d like to emphasize.
Colours That Make Me Think of Spring
- Bright white – no rules about decorating with white before Memorial Day!
- Bright green – think lime green, grass green, emerald green, chartreuse, or shamrock green
- Mint/aqua – or other shades of my favourite blue-greens, but I usually think of shades on the lighter side
- Pastels – think typical Easter colours like soft pinks, purples, and blues
- Yellows – soft buttery yellow, lemon-drop, or duckling yellow, or any shade that makes you think of sunshine
- Blue and white – blue and white can also make me think of spring from items such as linens and china
- Generally cooler, lighter, and brighter colours make me think of spring rather than warm and dark colours
Now, I don’t love all those colours. Sweet pastels aren’t really my thing and I don’t collect many items at all in pale pinks, purples or blues. And that’s ok. I don’t need to use all the colours and have my house look like an Easter basket exploded. And neither do you.
Try brainstorming about what colours make you think about spring – they may be different than mine. Then take a look around your house for any items that you may have in those colours that you could use in your spring decorating.
Don’t limit yourself to items that are obviously spring items like chicks and bunnies. Grouping decorative items that fit the colour of a holiday or season can also work in more understated way.
Most of the items I pulled for my shelves were bright green, mint/aqua, or yellow. But I did find a couple of pinkish/purple objects to add in as well.
Ideas to Incorporate in Your Budget Spring Decorating
When shopping my house for budget decorating, I literally go walking from room to room, looking at shelves and opening cupboards. I will grab items I think might work and gather them to one place to start experimenting. Anything that doesn’t work can be put back where you found it.
When I’m searching for these items around the house, some of them might be vintage pieces, some new(er), and some handmade (by myself or by others). Mixing all three helps to make for a really eclectic and collected look that will make your home look unique.
Here are some ideas of items to pull from around your home for decorating for spring on a budget. These categories make me think about spring, and there’s not an egg, bunny, chick, or duckling among them. But don’t be afraid to incorporate those if you love them! Use what you have and what you like.
I love to collect vintage books in a wide variety of colours. When decorating for spring, I’ll pull ones in colours that I want to use, or ones about topics that feel like spring to me, such as birds, gardening, etc.
On this shelf, I pulled yellow and aqua books, not caring about what the titles or topics were at all.
Read more about how I like to choose and decorate with vintage books.
One of the earliest signs of spring to me is more bird activity in the backyard, especially the robins arriving again. Therefore I always look for bird items, whether that’s books, ceramic or brass birds, art, postcards, etc. Decorative birdhouses or vintage birdcages can also be a nice addition.
I love this vintage bird book for kids with its large scale and graphic cover. I paired it with the slipcase from a gardening book, and a small watering can from IKEA.
I’m always so excited to get out into the garden and start planting things in the spring. But you can also bring the garden inside. Look for gardening items you can display such as gardening books, or vintage seed packets. Little watering cans look nice on a shelf, or look for pretty hand tools or clean gardening gloves that you can incorporate.
Similarly, potted houseplants are a great addition to spring decorating (or all year!) and seeing things growing is so lovely when you’re waiting for things to catch up outside.
In my opinion, you can never have too many plants. My strategy is to mainly buy inexpensive ones though so it matters less if something happens to it. My favourite easy-to-grow plant is a pothos. I just propagated mine and now I have three of them.
In contrast, fake plants have become much better looking in recent years, so if you really do want to able to neglect your plants, fake ones are probably your best bet. Even IKEA has great fake plants.
Regardless of whether you like real or fake plants, they need dusting. Check out my tutorial for DIY Plant Dusting Gloves.
I already mentioned it above, but many fruits make me think of spring. Bright yellows and greens of lemons, limes, pears and Granny Smith apples definitely inspire spring. As well, berries with their vibrant colours make me think of spring and early summer.
Baking items can also feel fresh for spring, such as things like cake stands, pies, cupcakes, pretty aprons and rolling pins. Perhaps you can make a small display of items in the kitchen that feels fresh and playful.
Our you can repurpose some of the items in different ways, such as using a cake stand to create more height in a vignette.
You may recall that I first used my aqua cake stand at Christmas for a gingerbread vignette.
Look around your house for art that you can swap out for a more spring-like feel. Perhaps you want to give winter and fall scenes a break and put up a fresh landscape, or a pretty floral still-life. Art doesn’t have to be large paintings either. Think about the art on the covers of books, or smaller items such as postcards.
Look for some family photos that feel fresh and spring and summery, or pictures that you took in your garden that you can swap out in frames.
I grabbed a recent painting from February I did on an index card divider of a bright green grassy landscape and propped it up in front of some vintage books, as you can see in the photo above.
Teacups make me think of spring tea parties, and most of them are delicate and floral. Perhaps you’ve inherited some from your relatives or you can find some very inexpensively at a thrift shop. One or two added into your display can be very pretty.
I did recently buy a bouquet of flowers for the first time in many years because I needed to photograph them for my surface pattern design class. While I love having fresh flowers, I don’t find the cost very affordable and I would prefer to purchase a potted plant instead so it will live longer.
But don’t be afraid to get the occasional bouquet of flowers. If you choose wisely, they can last a couple of weeks like mine did. And I did love seeing them on our dining table.
Or perhaps you’re lucky to live somewhere where there are already flowers blooming in your yard that you can cut yourself. Other options are flowering branches such as forsythia or pussy willows, or dried flowers.
There are also some great looking fake flowers available at craft stores. They are an especially great choice for things like wreaths for your front door. They will hold up much longer, don’t require water, and can survive the elements.
Rather than actual real, dried, or fake flowers, floral patterned items are also an obvious choice for spring. Look for textiles, books, dishes, or anything else with floral patterns on them.
Seashells are also another natural item that make think of spring and summer. Their whites, pale pinks, bold blues, and other colours are a great choice for decorating for spring. Shells are also often really interesting texturally and have great sculptural form.
Think about other natural materials that you can incorporate such as woven jute or seagrass rugs. Rattan, wicker, bamboo, or other woven baskets can also mix in well with a spring and summer vibe.
Coordinating well with light and airy decor is glass. Look for clear glass, coloured glass, or even milk glass. Things like glassware, vases, or glass sculptures can be a really beautiful addition to your displays.
Picnic baskets and quilts
These might be more a summer item, but why not start early? Things that make me think about outdoor activities such as picnic baskets and quilts are great items to decorate with.
Read more about decorating with vintage baskets.
Budget Spring Decorating to Refresh Your Style
I hope that all these ideas and colours help you realize that you probably have lots of items in your home already that you can repurpose, or group together to represent a particular mood, holiday, or season.
Collecting inexpensive items such as books and teacups from thrift stores all year round can also give you a range of options to mix and match while not breaking the bank.
As well, mixing in edible items such as fruit, or investing in houseplants for the long term rather than cut flowers are other good ways to get decor bang for your buck.
I hope you go on a treasure hunt in your own home and can find simple, inexpensive ways to add a bigger impact to one space, and smaller details around the house using what you already have.
I want to hear from you. What colours do you like to decorate with for spring? Do you buy specific decor items for spring, or purchase things like flowers? Or do you try to work with items you have on hand? Let me know in the comments below.
All the best,