Decorating for Denial: Beating the Winter Doldrums

I don't mind struggling through drifts of snow. I can't feel the icy winds on my face. I'm blind to those grim, gray skies. And why?

Welcome to Winter Denial!-- Aloha! And surrounding yourself in an atmosphere of blissful winter ignorance can be quick and easy! Let me tell you how.

First: engage a dumptruck to pour one ton of clean sandbox sand in your front door. Spread it around to all your rooms. Mmmm... soft! (No, don't worry-- that expensive wall-to-wall carpeting will be just fine.)

Now purchase and strategically-arrange sunlamps-- one sunlamp per 3 square yards -- to give your living quarters that all-over Jamaican beach glow.

Next, engage two handsome lifeguards to patrol your beach and...

Okay-- yes, yes, I am kidding you. Don't call the dumptruck company just yet. (Though I'm starting to like that lifeguard idea...)

Still, today, I thought it would be fun to come up with a few more... er, realistic... ways to fight the Winter Blues and spread a little spring cheer around the house. Y'know, without causing our loved ones to engage a comfy spot for us in the local booby-hatch.

So how about:
  • Wafting a few fresh scents around the rooms? A tartwarmer or scented candle in a clean, fresh scent can do wonders to make a house seem inviting, and lift the spirits. I currently have a Yankee Candle Company "Country Linen" in my tartwarmer, but lilacs, lavender, and ocean breezes can help make the spring season feel like it's right around the corner, too.

  • Giving a nod toward spring colors a little early? Changing table cloths, place mats, or even place settings for a pastel or bold color scheme is a fun way to brighten up day-to-day living.

  • Bouncing a bit of mirrored light?-- Reflective objects help take advantage of the light we have in our homes, can make spaces seem more open. So things like little mirrors, lusterware, and shiny fabrics, might just do the trick to chase away those final days of winter darkness.

  • Investing in a few flowers? Whether it's an inexpensive fresh-cut bouquet or potted plant from the supermarket-- or even a snappy silk selection from Michael's-- flowers are a great reminder of warmer, brighter days. These were the cheery tulips I'd won as a result of the "Go! Smell the Flowers" blog's caption contest. It's been so nice to see bulb plants blooming inside while it snows outside.

  • Bringing outdoor items in? Gazing balls on small stands, mossy-look statuary, and tiny topiaries are all nice ways to make it feel outdoorsy inside. And no, I'm really NOT recommending that earlier sand-and-sunlamps scenario. I just figure when you like vintage, romantic decor, a few cleverly-placed tasteful garden ornaments do help carry on that quirky, spring feel.

  • Swapping in that spring wreath now? Say "Begone!" to red winter berries, pine and holly, and say "Ho-do!" to ivy, flowers, and whatever says "spring" to your taste. Will the neighbors wonder what's up? Hey, not as much as if you brought in that dumptruck of sand. Anyway, you're a confident decorator. You can handle it.

  • Picking up a few gardening magazines? Nothing like thinking ahead. Seeing all the horticultural eye-candy in gardening magazines, seed catalogues and your favorite outdoor coffeetable books really can warm the heart, can't it? Why not get excited about summer plans now?

  • Planning for Easter decor or craft projects? Due to the Retail Timewarp in stores like Target, Michaels and Wal-mart, Easter's been in full-swing since about... oh... New Year's. There are a number of cute and inexpensive items to create a cheerful Easter table. And it's not a bad idea to act fast, since those stores should be passing Easter and heading on to the Fourth of July any day now. Securing what you might want to use for this favorite of Spring holidays might just prevent regrets later. Plus, lookit the little chicks and bunnies!

Do you have any special things you do to say "hello" to the spring season? It would be great to hear from you about it!

And speaking of Easter craft projects, next Sunday, time permitting, I hope to share with you one rather amusing little craft piece I've been working on. I'll give you a hint as to what it might be: it's a sequel to last year's Peep Project. (Click here to read about THAT particular insanity in sugar form.)

Also, this coming Wednesday, we'll take a look at a few recently-discovered thrifted treasures. For one, you'll meet "Henry" and find out just what this talented septagenarian was able to do with a needle and thread. (If you missed last week's Treasure Box Wednesday feature and the Vignettes o' Thrift, click here.)

Until then, my friends, have some happy ones! I'm going to go grab the Yellow Pages and see if there are any Lifeguard Rental services out there. :)


RecycleCindy said...

What lovely flowers and pretty spring colors to tantalize my senses! Thanks for the uplifting post. It helps me believe that Spring will come even though I am looking out at 5 feet of snow in my yard...

Rosemary said...

Hi Jenn,
The lifeguard idea sounds pretty good.
I love your flowers!!
I have started with green for St. Patty's Day, mixed with some Spring things.
I am posting about it later or tomorrow.
Hope you had a nice weekend,

Debbie said...

Wow Jenn....I could smell the lilacs blooming while I read your blog just now! I really like the "lifeguards on patrol" idea too.....just not sure how my husband would react to that....LOLOL

Take care,
Cozy Cottage Gifts and Decor

ThriftShopRomantic said...

Ha, not trying to get any of you gals in trouble with your husbands!...

(Yes, Debbie, I can only IMAGINE the responses you'd get there: "Honey, I'd like you to meet Moondoggie..." :)

Cindy-- Five feet of snow, oh wow. We've had enough rain in the last day to wash most of ours away, but more snow is supposed to be coming tonight. I hope you won't be getting this storm, too...

Rosemary- Can't wait to check out your Spring/St. Patty's decor. I've got a few St. Pattys things I plan to put out myself.

Carrie said...

Your ideas are especially handy since it has been raining here and it is so overcast. The weather will be overcast all week.
On Friday I stopped at the hospital thrift store and got a lovely bunny rabbit which I placed in the living room near the fireplace.

Ms. A said...

All I've got to do is hunker down into the house and imagine the 60mph winds that seem to blow through here every other day are part of a monsoon... and not possibly a blizzard!

GO! Smell the flowers said...

A colourful post and a big hi from all the GO! Smell the flowers gang,

If any of the regulars here need flowers anywhere in the world just drop by and use code GSTF00 for a few $ discount...

Sssh - bloggers secret :-)


ThriftShopRomantic said...

Carrie- excellent about the rabbit-- I see you're thinking Easter early, too. I can't wait to see what all you end up doing. I recall your Christmas creches, and they were impressive.

Ms. A- Ah, that fine imagination of yours is being put to work, eh? I know what kind of winds we've been having, so I can only imagine what you've been...enjoying... farther north.

Flowers Folk- Glad you made it back safely from your trip.

JEMi said...

what a nice list of suggestions.. I could really use some flowers around here.

I'm with you all the way in the scents venue- It always makes my day when it smells good in my home

I'm not completely convinced I'm against the lifeguards.. :)

lizh said...

I know what you mean..I engage in any ploy to help winter 'seem' to pass more quickly. It seems to last forever here in the Northeast..

Claire said...

I love the tart candle smelly things, but thats not what we call them over here, but I cant for the life of me think what we do.

Whilst over at Lord Likely's I spotted this link and thought of you.


ThriftShopRomantic said...

Jemi and Liz, thanks for stopping by! I figure we only really have a few weeks (okay, like, eight or so) before things in the north will be more definitely spring-like. Fingers-crossed.

Claire- Hey, thanks much for that link!-- I can see using some of those images for decoupage. What's Lord Likely doing with such lovely girly clipart? I shall have to taunt him. :)

Elizabeth said...

Those peonies are beautiful.The Pittsburgh weather has been crazy.It snowed on and off today,but only when the sun was shining! I am ready for spring.And since Easter comes a bit early this year,I have pulled out my Easter decor and plan to put it throughout the house in the next few days.And I always have fresh flowers in every room ,all year round.My husband gets so irritated because of the expense,but having those beautiful flowers to look at makes me happy!

vintage sue said...

That is not only a great idea, but I've done it!!! I went to college in Maine and every February a friend of mine literally spread sand in her living room, cranked the heat up to 85, and we all wore bathing suits, brought beach chairs and umbrellas and drank fruity drinks. It was a hoot! I wish I had a picture...

Thanks for the memory! XOX

ThriftShopRomantic said...

Elizabeth- I bet your husband would miss the fresh flowers if they were suddenly gone. It really does make a difference. Ironically the peonies you mentioned are a starched cotton-- it's a Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic centerpiece I'd gotten at Target a year or two ago. But they really are realistic. Which makes it great!

Vintage Sue- Ah, you know one of the reasons I absolutely love the internet? Because when I post something, I just never have any idea how folks will react...

I'm tickled to have a reader who in the past actually implemented the joking suggestion for indoor sand and sun! I think this year, though, I'll be sticking with some extra flowers and an early Easter. :)


Greg said...

Hey Jenn!

Can't believe it took me so long to come have a look at those lovely tulips!! What a delightful color range, just the thing to chase off those winter blues.

(I thought the peonies were real, too, so that's the scent I was channeling as I read your post.)

I like the sand idea. Here on the Cape, you hardly have to truck the stuff in, just empty out your shoes when you get home! The lifeguards, on the other hand, are a little more difficult to get hold of...

; )

Windyridge said...

Great ideas! I am right smack in the middle of winter doldrums here.

ThriftShopRomantic said...

Heya, Greg- No problem-- you've got so much stuff of your own going on, with your painting project, etc. And I always appreciate your "sand and surf" shots. It's almost incomprehensible to me how scenic your area seems to be, everywhere you look.

Windyridge- you may have doldrums there, but your little sheep are ADORABLE. Just loved seeing them. And soon, I suppose, they won't need all that puffy fleece when spring comes. :)

Jack Payne said...

What do you plant to grow a seedless watermelon or grape?

It's this kind of thinking I am applying to wondering about what makes a successful thrift shop.

Obviously, you have one. I marvel at this.

ThriftShopRomantic said...

Hi, Jack- Thanks for the visit! No, I don't actually sell anything (though I really do need to do some serious Spring Cleaning and redonate some less-needed finds of the past).

I'm more on the thrift store groupie end of things. :)

Have a good one!