Spring has arrived, and with it, the necessity to spruce up our pads. And the most important part of it all is cleaning up all the junk and gunk that has accumulated over the long, dark winter months. Here are a few suggestions of what you definitely should not leave out as you tackle your Spring Cleaning Projects.
1.Wash those window screens!
Dirt, dust and pollution get into all the little crevices of your screens, making it difficult to see out, and difficult to get fresh air in. You need to take care of the problem by making sure that window screens are clean for the season when you are ready to throw open the windows for light and air. Professionals recommend that window screens be cleaned twice a year, once right before the holidays and once during spring cleaning. How do you go about cleaning screens?
- Vacuum them by using a soft brush attachment on the handheld nozzle.
- Gently scrub them with a dishwashing detergent using a soft sponge or very light bristle brush and water. Experts suggest the blue-colored Dawn dishwashing detergent.
- Rinse the screens with a hose, then wipe them down on both sides with wet mopping pads, such as those sold by Swiffer. Set the screens in the sun to dry.
- Be sure you go over the screen very lightly with the sponge, or you risk pulling them out of shape.
2. Get those rugs cleaned!
Rugs are one important part of our home that rarely get a full cleaning. Now’s the time to do it. Take large area rugs and removable pillow covers to be professionally cleaned. If you’ve got wall-to-wall carpeting, you should either have it professionally cleaned or rent a carpet cleaner to do it yourself. Drapery and upholstery that cannot be cleaned by another method can usually be safely steam cleaned using a real steam cleaner designed to be safe for textiles — not a carpet shampooer or hard-flooring steam cleaner. (Be sure to always do a spot test first.) Many smaller items can be laundered at home, including shower curtains, cotton rugs and washable slip covers. Experts say to put slip covers back on while slightly damp for a better fit.
3. Clean those patio cushions!
With Spring in the air, and in preparation for summer, you’ll certainly want clean patio furniture for lounging in the sun.
Begin by vacuuming the cushions to remove dust, dirt and debris. If you need to remove a spot, blot, don’t rub, liquid spills with a clean, dry cloth. Spray on a mild cleaning solution like Woolite and rinse the fabric thoroughly to remove soap residue. Allow the cushions to air dry. Clean the entire cushion to avoid water rings or stains caused by the cleaning. If your cushions are really moldy or filled with mildew, you may need to use bleach. Use caution. Although most solution-dyed acrylics and colored fabrics can be treated with diluted bleach, you should check with the manufacturer first.
4. Deep Clean Your Kitchen!
We’re not talking your regular clean-up job after dinner every night. We’re talking about intensive cleaning in which you clean out drawers and cabinets.
- Clean out your pots and pans. Scrub cast iron with a soft sponge and coarse salt, then rinse away the salt. Remove stains from stainless steel with a soft cloth and white vinegar, then dry with a clean cloth. Never soak stainless steel pots and pans because the surfaces will become pitted.
- Empty cupboards and drawers, then wipe them down inside to remove crumbs and dust. Put down new contact paper at the bottom, if needed. Use this as an opportunity to purge your kitchens of redundant and unnecessary gadgets and cooking implements.
- Clean the exterior of your cabinets and drawers. Wipe off grease marks and spatter and messy fingerprints.
- Clean your refrigerator, inside and out. Throw out expired and old items, and use a wet, soapy cloth to clean the shelves and bins. Don’t forget to do the freezer!
- Wipe down baseboards, walls and the top of the refrigerator.
- Clean out the pantry. Remove old, expired food items.
- Clean inside your microwave.
- Sweep and mop the floors, including under appliances.
- Get your knives sharpened.
- Wash the inside of your garbage can where stains and food residue tend to collect. Use a diluted bleach solution and allow garbage pails to dry in the sun.
- Clean garbage disposals. Run a lemon or a cup of white vinegar through your garbage disposal to get rid of a bad smells.
Spring cleaning will likely involve a lot more than just these four areas. You will want to declutter and clear out closets, reorganize drawers and tackle your bathroom. But those areas are more obvious than the four described above. Add them to your Spring cleaning routine and your home will feel renewed and refreshed!
Haines House, located in the inner city Sydney suburb of Newtown opens up the living space to a small garden in a very challenging site.
A huge black cupboard forms a curious bulk seemingly “outside” the house.
This “exterior” seeming cupboard houses the kitchen plumbing and electrical in an alcove.
An outdoor toilet is housed in the deck portion.
The extreme siting constraints can be seen in the site plan.
A small homework study room in the rear has a window that opens towards the street at the far end of the site.
The narrow house buts up against the site boundary along each side at the back of the sink and it is expected that neighbouring houses will adjoin this as Sydney grows.
The house occupies the entirety of its narrow site with no windows to either side.
The only exception to the absence of windows at the sides is the one clerestory window above the sink cupboards.
The clerestory window is brought to the front of the storage to make the most of the small amount of available light to the side.
Now the extreme design makes sense.
According to design enthusiasts, 2017 is the year of the maximalist. It is perhaps an appropriate sign of the times, after all, exaggeration and braggadocio seem to rule the day. Or perhaps maximalism reflects a desire to retreat from the bitter acrimony out in the cold, hard cruel world to our own safe, insulated, highly-curated cocoon. Or then again, perhaps the turn toward maximalism is simply a response to years and years of bland beige. Whatever the reason, maximalism is the word of the moment.
How to do it right? There are just a few basic tenets to keep in mind if you are dipping your toe into maximalism for the first time:
- Collect. Maximalism is all about feeling free to build up what others might refer to as “clutter.” The difference, though, is that while clutter is not intentional, curated or orderly, collections are. A sure-fire way to warm up a cold minimal space is simply to choose something to collect, and then create an orderly display of whatever you’ve chosen. Anything at all can take on a special significance and become a design element when arranged just so.
In the first picture, colorful lunch pails are arranged like art and set off against a collection of blue bottles and china bowls. The color and texture provided by all the collections work well against the leopard print table and the magenta blown-glass chandelier. Now that’s maximal! In the second photo immediately above, a room that might have otherwise been taken out of a Mid-Century Modern catalog is injected with personality, thanks to a collection of War figurines.
In the two photos above, traditional interiors get a dose of maximalism, thanks to a collection of vases and to a collection of wind vanes. The collectors have kept things looking orderly by choosing similar colors for collector’s pieces (as in the white vases in the first photo) or by keeping pieces in a similar size, as in the collection of wind vanes.
2. Use Color. Explosively bright color is a secret weapon in Maximalism. Feel free to paint walls in vibrant hues, to buy jewel tone furniture, or to otherwise indulge in color where you can.
Above, brightly colored couches boosts this living room into the Tropical sphere. The black accents help to tie all the pieces together and to tone it down just a bit.
And here, it’s the bright yellow walls paired with the velvet violet couch that makes this interior feel so lusciously rich.
In the room below, the bright red shelves, again housing a collection of Pez figures, paired with an antique celery-colored Chinese cabinet add up to a delightfully sensual mix.
3. Use pattern. Pattern is another way to guarantee that you will bring a space into maximal territory. Patterned curtains, rugs, sofas and chairs should be freely mixed and match, as you see below.
You get a similar effect in the room below:
And in the room below, pattern in artwork, sofa and chair are vivid, yet restrained, allowing this room to walk a fine line between neat, uncluttered MCM and lush maximalism.
4. Add photos and artwork. Both photos and artwork add a personal touch that is so important in maximalism. Maximal is about individuality and there’s no better way to show it than in photo collections or in choice of artwork. For instance:
Or sometimes just one big piece of art:
Maximalism connotes having lived a full life. And living a full life connotes travel and exposure to many different things. A maximal interior should reflect this by using furniture from various eras and cultures, and mixing differing styles with abandon, as you see in the interiors below:
And there you have it, our basic guide to maximalism. The key word is FREEDOM. Maximalism means you no longer have to exercise restraint in home design, opting for beige because it goes with everything. Get what you like and make it work. Let whimsy and desire rule. Your home will look like nobody else’s and you will be stimulated and soothed by all the color and pattern around you.