Spring is a great time to think about renewing our “nests” whether the nest is our home or wherever else we hang out.
I have been delighting in the signs of Spring peeking out everywhere - despite the 6” of snow that fell just last week. It vanished quickly which I’m sure squirrels and birds alike appreciated, as they all have been busily feathering their nests!
As much as I spend of my life observing and analyzing the details of design for interiors, I perhaps more so enjoy observing the smallest details in nature. I’m exhilarated walking out the front door where in the middle of NYC we are fortunate to have a woodsy park. The birds are twittering like mad in the early mornings now, darting this way and that getting their nests ready for little chicks. The squirrels too are at work on their nests. The other day one furry fellow nimbly scrambled high up a tree with a leafy twig his own size! His earnest and skillful effort made me giggle out loud. Id never seen a squirrel wrangle such a large object!
Feathering one’s nest is all about preparing the places we live in so we can comfortably and safely take on the next part of life. Whether it’s the happy reception of wriggly squirrel pups or a nest of hatchlings, I am mindful that we humans are also on the cusp of opening up our homes to fresh Spring air, packing away the wooly blankets, the winter coats and galoshes. We should definitely think about "feathering" our work and play spaces too–we often spend more time there than at home. (Wow, I’ve got to take care of my own office nest! An accretion of small furnishings from old projects is threatening to oust me in the very near future!)
Do take the time to do it. Reach out for help and inspiration if you need to. When your nest is nicely feathered, you can relax more comfortably and thus get on with the business of life with more vigor and optimism. In my mind, that’s why the skill and art of interior design is really so valuable - a good nest is the best place for safety and shelter, birth, growth, rest and succor. Your nest is your special place from where you can jump out into the world reenergized, reinvigorated, re-inspired to life. Every person benefits from being in life-affirming environments, human-built or otherwise. And one day, I hope that well designed interior spaces will not be a luxury.
The year’s Spring nest-feathering might be a large project you’ve put off for some time, but it needn’t be so grand a scheme. Perhaps your feathering might include a fresh coat of paint (even a new color!). A new rug, well chosen can literally transform a tired nest. Easy and often affordable touches are new throw cushions - experiment with new patterns and colors if your feel adventurous. What about a clearing your walls and rearranging how you’ve hung your art, photos and memorabilia? Give it a fresh eye: an artistic arrangement of these things can make for a very pleasant change. Consider spending on good picture frames and matting. For a potentially mood altering effect, toss your tired lamp shades and–you can even go dramatic by choosing dark or colored shades over white or cream. And be sure the light bulbs in a space are all the same light temperature. Light color is hugely important to how the other colors in a space are rendered. A cool light can kill the warm tones you planned on, for example. You can Google how different light temperatures affect perceptions of colors for more information. Ah! there are so many ways to freshen and renew your nest!
Just for fun imagine how you might literally “feather” a room with one of the interior design items shown below (click on the image to see it in it's full glory). What sort of a room would you design around a feathered duck lamp, for example? What would that room make you feel like, what would it look like? And, for a bit more feather-fun check out this link: "Feather Your Nest"
Jacqueline Hosford, ASID, principal of Jacqueline Hosford Interior Design, loves working with clients to design their spaces for optimum function and each client's ultimate delight. Jacqueline is a professional member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID); is certified by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification; and is an adjunct professor of interior design, State University of New York (Purchase, NY). Jacqueline is a graduate of Barnard College-Columbia University, and the New York School of Interior Design with highest honors. She can be reached at Jacqueline@jacquelinehosforddesign.com.