Growing up in New Zealand I never realised the exciting seasonal changes and the potential that each revolving season possessed. I guess I took it for granted. It wasn’t until my eight years in Japan that I really learnt to celebrate the beauty that each change holds. The Japanese are geniuses at this. In summer all the winter clothing gets stored away, the summer clothes and bedding comes out. In spring they get ready to picnic under the cherry blossoms and in autumn leaves or chestnuts are collected and displayed. It is this sense of excitement that I have brought back to my own home and hope to instill in my kids. Many of the small things I do to refresh my home during the seasonal changes are based on nature and common sense rather than passing trends. After all there is mounting evidence that contact with nature has significant positive impacts on mental health. I want my kids to grow up with nature in their hearts and in our home.
Spring of course is easy! Shed the heavy blankets, boots and coats, store them away to give your home that lighter de-cluttered feel. Pick flowers and display them in vases or jars.
Look at the difference in my hallway during winter and summer (sorry not great photos).
As the days begin to lighten after winter I get the kids to go on nature walks and take photos. Draw and paint the changing seasons. Kids don’t even need to be good at art for you to display it. Its all about colour and passion. Here is a pic of my 7 year olds art. The amount of comments I get on this is heart warming.
Spring is one of the easiest seasons to get your home read for. Flowers are everywhere! We have a lot of Peonies growing around us. One of the Buddhist centers has a Peonie picking day with all the proceeds going to charity. Its a win-win, I get to feel good twice. There are plenty of other flowers springing up like weeds in spring. Dont underestimate how good a single bloom can make you feel.
And back to Autumn. I couldn’t resist putting these photos in. You might have guessed Autumn is my favourite season (depending on which country I am living in).
My kids and I do a lot of leaf art and photograph it then put it in a nice chunky frame. Makes the kids feel good, we get to go for nice nature walks with out too much grumbling and the house reaps the benefits.
I am also a big fan of rugs. Heavy rugs for winter and lighter rugs for spring and summer. Nothing can beat that feel of wool under foot on a cold winters day. In spring and summer I love the light feel of my bare feet on jute or hemp.
Here in New Zealand many of us are allowed fireplaces (but many are not too). I am lucky enough to live in a an area that allows a closed free standing fireplace. For me there is nothing better than sitting in front of the fire with a mug of soup and a movie on. I adore winter when its done right. Sectional or modular couches are a great way to enjoy the seasonal changes in your home. We have a view of the port from our front windows so the couches can be arranged to enhance this and in winter pulled apart and re arranged to be closer to the fire. I love some of these couches from the Arhaus range (do they deliver to New Zealand?) The slipcover ones look just the ticket to me and my messy kids. Pull the slips of for easy washing.
What ever the season your home is your castle and you should feel good in it. Sometimes this can mean major changes as you finally buy that piece of furniture you have been coveting for the past few years. Sometimes it can be as simple as changing cushions and throws for a mini update.