’Tis the season to spiff up your house, inside and out

Cleaning windows, shining floors and sprucing up your patio are all rites of Spring.

Jennifer Leischer Design and Decor columnistCONTRA COSTA COUNTY — Everyone has some sort of spring-cleaning ritual.

Yours may be a thorough dusting of your home from top to bottom, searching out every single cobweb delicately hung in the ceiling corners. Dust bunnies taking refuge under furniture and those bug colonies on the windowsills have no fighting chance against your vacuum wand.

You may spend a full day skooching around on your bum, scrubbing every inch of your baseboards from room to room, floor to floor, until you have removed all the baked-on dust and your baseboards are once again a pristine shade of Swiss Coffee.The Maids of Concord

And the windows – such a chore. But once you scrape off that thick, hazy buildup on the glass, allowing the sunshine beams to filter through with ease, you’ll actually notice that spring has sprung and your backyard is calling out your name, loud and clear.

Spring cleaning and the early glimpses of summer are like two peas in a pod. Like peanut butter and jelly or chips and salsa. The more spring cleaning you do on the inside of your home, the more you want to take that fresh vibe to the outside.

Outdoor furniture

Your patio and outdoor furniture require that same attention of cleaning detail: clearing out the spider webs, hosing down and scrubbing the teak, metal or wicker furniture, fluffing the seat cushions, giving the trees and bushes a trim and replacing wilted annuals with fresh, cheerful blooms of color. Spring provides the perfect setting to have that first date with your backyard all over again.

But spring can be wishy-washy, a mix of hot, summery days with an occasional chilly run. And if we’re lucky, a rainy day or two. Don’t let spring’s indecisive weather fool you. Now is the time to start focusing on your backyard décor.

Retailers have been unveiling summer accessories for the last month, gearing up for spring and summer shopping. Consider adding a few updated pieces to your existing patio scheme. New colors and patterns for pillows, seat cushions and umbrella canopies make such a difference. Just adding a touch here and there will make your patio feel like it had a little Botox, instead of a complete facelift.

Getting ready for summer

Don’t wait too long to shop for these items. Many of us are preparing to celebrate graduations, baby or wedding showers and just getting outside – together. Don’t get caught with faded pillows, a frayed outdoor rug, string lights with missing bulbs or outdoor pots that have cracked over the winter.

Get moving on your summer décor now, because I’ve noticed longer lead times with just about everything: fabric, furniture, lighting, wallpaper, etc. It may be another irritating sign of the times or just a changing retail environment, but it’s important to factor the wait time into your design plans.

Jennifer Leischer is the owner of J. Designs Interior Design based in Clayton. Contact her with questions, comments and suggestions at jenna@j-designs.com.