This year the shops and florists in Copenhagen in Denmark and many other cities in the United Kingdom and Europe, celebrate the coming of spring with a rainbow display of the soft colours of the earliest flowers.
As the evenings grow longer the wools, velvets and furs of winter are stashed away and a collection of lighter materials are happily revealed throughout the stores, restaurants and the many personal service businesses such as beauticians. Most of us also eagerly embrace reflecting the coming of spring our own home interiors.
Patterns such as plaids, checks; heavy damasks, dark paisley and anything associated with winter festivities are carefully put away. A summery supply of textiles such as anything floral, nautical, stripey, fun, splashy, dotty, abstract, impressionist and sunburst themed, are eagerly discovered, embraced and reinstated, ready for the sunny and dry days finally arriving in the weather forecast.
A myriad of pastels and florals for spring are hardly a big surprise to style conscious folk. These sugar sweet pieces are well made and well designed by most conscientious retailers. Retail buyers know they need to offer special products to tempt people, who are choosing their purchases more carefully than ever.
This is because the public need to make the most of their expendable income which has been impacted by inflation and things like the rising cost of transport and the bills involved with running a home. Nonetheless, individuals and families across Europe are still surrounding themselves with the best items possible, to help them keep a positive mindset and enhance the enjoyment of their daily lives.
The variety and range of beautiful designs and home accessories available is a delight to see on the high street as well as at craft markets and out of town shopping centres, this season. We have seen over the past few years that (as well as some wildcard items) generally more consistent styles are returning each spring, summer, autumn and winter in the ranges of most fashion and home brands. This means retailers and designers are offering more traditional seasonal trends that dovetail nicely with what we have already in our abodes. This trend also chimes nicely with our aim to live, in a more sustainable way.
When dressing with style for the time of year as appropriately and intentionally as possible, adding a few fresh fashion pieces to our existing favourites, simply makes sense. The same concept applies to furnishing our homes. This method naturally replenishes items that are unmendable or that have been donated as they have become unsuitable, for whatever reason. It allows for new shopping list ‘needs’ to emerge as our lives change and we develop new pastimes and interests. This process also avoids the need for a radical overhaul of an entire collection of things, that we already have and own. It lets our unique signature style evolve over time, in harmony with our considered choices.
The joy of spring can be seen all around us in England as the buds, blossoms and flowers enjoy their time to glow in between the inevitable showers and more recently in England, a welcome sunny dry spell of very warm weather. Most people would consider rediscovering their spring summer clothes, shoes, materials and summer furniture for their house and garden as a happy activity.
Bringing the ‘outside in’ is an easy way of fully embracing spring even if the wind is still chilly outside especially on the coast. Any home-grown bunches of blooms and pretty branches can brighten up a space and instantly lift the spirits. Local markets and garden centres can help with this if your outdoor space is limited or you are living in the city.
Designer printed fabrics are a wonderful way of adding luxury to your life if you can afford it and it is wonderful to support the UK’s textile industry. However, updating your look for the holidays (or a relaxing staycation) needn’t be expensive. Vintage and second-hand shops can be a great place to pick up good quality floral fabrics which can nearly always be easily washed on a hand wash setting in a washing machine.
These jolly decorative material finds can be reinvented easily with some basic sewing patterns available online (see eBay, John Lewis, Hobbycraft or The Eternal Maker) or a quick peak at what simple no sew hacks can be found on YouTube and Pinterest. Easy Dylon machine wash dyes in pastel colours can revive tired embroidered and lace edged tablecloths and linens. If you have the time do try attending a natural dyeing course, which when mastered, gives beautiful soft colours that are most suitable for the laziest and haziest days of June.
Both colourful and neutral themed rooms can be transformed with cheerily clashing flowery pairings on the dining table or outside casual garden seating area, if you are lucky enough to have a green space. Mixing florals, spots and stripes works well if you stick to monochrome, all pastels or all brights.
It is a good idea to arrange your spring summer wardrobe in colour sections to highlight the various hues at your fingertips and see what tones you have most of. We recommend putting neatly away anything heavy, very woolly, furry and dark and enjoy the lightness of warm weather dressing. Identify any worn out or missing elements such as a summer coat, sandals or lightweight bag and enjoy putting them on your list and pursuing the high street for your chosen treasure.
We need to support our own communities more than ever at this challenging time economically. Shopping locally supports the people where you live and is better for the environment. Charity shopping can be entertaining and a nice way to spend time with a friend or family member locally without running up a store card bill. If you are short of free time, try Etsy for handmade and Ebay or Vinted for second-hand gems. Most large UK based charities have second hand clothing website stores online now. This means finding pieces in the right size is quicker and more convenient as well as the fun of reusing and recycling and the bonus of donating to your favourite charity at the same time.
June is also the month that many of the big discount Spring/Summer collection sales start both online and in the most well-known companies’ superstores and boutiques in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. So, if you are a little late to bag that expensive wish-list item you meant to order in advance, you may now be able to snag a gorgeous floaty gem or two this week, at a generous knock down price.
Making the most of your space with interior elements that are ready for summer will bring cheer to you and your visitors day. If you can treat yourself to a cool new outfit or two, in light natural fabrics that are ready for both impromptu coast and countryside activities. The Great British Sewing Bee, Chelsea Flower Show and Interior Design Masters on BBC iPlayer are a splendid source of inspiration on creatively mixing up a cocktail of eye-candy embellishments to give your life a visual lift. A little time getting ready for the prettiest time of the year to be shared with friends and family, will help ensure you make the most of the sunny days and light nights of June and you will be ready to easily breeze into the ‘get togethers’ and adventures of July and August too.