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  • Thrive Detroit

Spring Swap

by Susan Sibley

spring swap

Instead of spring cleaning, I had a ‘spring swap.’

Earlier this fall, I got a new chair in the living room. My cat’s favorite chair, an old comfy red one with down cushions, was forced out into the dining room. Emma, our chunky old kitty, loved the chair in its new spot. I however did not.

As much as I adore that cat, I wasn’t inclined to decorate according to her wishes. The old chair eventually migrated to the bedroom. Emma managed to find her spot, and all was well. The desk, recently displaced from the bedroom, went to the dining room near the kitchen. That was an inspired idea. Now I had I spot to read cookbooks and dump things without cluttering the dining table, and I was moved to clean the floors that hadn’t been exposed for months.

Now I’m shuffling things from room to room – and wow, what a difference! One change leads to another. I had a 30” marble ice cream parlor table in the corner of my kitchen, and I pulled it into the bedroom to replace my nightstand. The lightness of the table contrasts with the bed and gave the room an eclectic new look.

A chair near the front door is a must, for taking off shoes or dropping a bag. Try moving a bedroom cedar chest or truck there instead. What a great way to store outdoor gear. Another idea is to use a bench or trunk as a coffee table. In narrow rooms, this works really well. Often a long bench is the perfect length in front of a sofa, and you don’t have to worry about putting your feet on it.

Try making a collage of small items instead of a large picture over a bed or sofa. I recently took a collection of small pictures and accessories and hung them over my bed. The grouping was big enough to fill the space, and de-cluttered a lot of other areas in the house. By keeping the arrangement in a tight square, it still looked neat and created an interesting focal point in the bed room.

To do this, I measured the area over my bed, and laid out towels on the floor in the same size. I then took all of those small items, and filled up the towels. I made some guide marks in pencil and painter’s tape for measuring, and hung the corner pictures, and filled in from there. It’s fun to show previously hidden pictures.

If you have area rugs in your house, you probably already know that rotating those rugs to reduce wear is a good idea. Flipping them room to room is another way to change your look as well. I generally take the rugs for cleaning once a year, but when they come back, I love repositioning them into other rooms. Sometimes the change of color and size is an unexpected surprise, and it’s a great way to spread the wear pattern that develops. So, where’s the red chair now?

I now have an ottoman under the bedroom window for Emma. There’s an old carved chair in the corner of my kitchen, and the nightstand by the front door holding winter hats.The bistro table now has flowers and an alarm clock on it by my bed.

The red chair has finally made it to the side of the road, however. Sometimes, even moving things room to room just isn’t enough. Since I don’t hide in the closet when company comes over, my opinion trumped feline comfort!

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