Spruce up your decor

by Tom Simplot

Sep 14, 2014

Flowers are blooming, temperatures are rising and allergies abound.

When the heat and/or pollen drive you indoors, take advantage of the opportunity to do a little spring cleaning and give your small space a big makeover.

Get rid of stuff you don't need, reacquaint yourself with your vacuum and mop, rearrange the furniture and spruce things up a bit.

Here are a few apartment-decor tips:

• Lighten up. Overhead lighting can be harsh. Adding decorative table and floor lamps will warm things up.

• Don't ignore the floor. Whether your apartment has tile floors or wall-to-wall carpeting, rugs can open the place up and make it feel larger or add a splash of color.

• Add curves. Because apartments are generally boxy, try round tables, colorful vases and pillows, or artwork with curves, polka dots or spirals.

• Add curtains. Plastic Venetian blinds — you know the kind: They're practical and inexpensive, but not necessarily attractive. Add curtains to give your place a cozier feel.

• Create floor space. Hang wall shelves for books, pictures and plants, and get rid of unnecessary bookshelves, dressers and tables that are taking up floor space.

Decorating can be fun. But you first have to do the prep work, which is not quite as much fun: declutter!

Also, be sure to check the terms of your lease for rules about major changes, such as painting or changing window treatments.

A more organized, calmer, more peaceful environment will help you to focus, open new doors and flourish. Just like springtime.