April 11, 2013 10 Ways to Bring Spring Home
Spring is here everyone!! With a fresh season, one of renewal and awakening, it’s time to bring it into your life in every possible way. Depending where you live you’ve probably been wearing fewer layers, and perhaps even wearing shorts and tank tops (I wish!). Now that you have yourself covered, or uncovered I guess we can say, it’s time to focus on how to bring the beauty of spring home. This doesn’t call for an extreme home makeover by any stretch, but simply what you can do in small doses to bring your space out of its winter slumber. I’ve thought of 10 ways to do just that, with a few rooms to kick off the list just to inspire. Get inspired by these rooms and one or all of my suggestions, or find your own inspiration by just going outside and taking in this lovely season!
This fabulous room by Mr. Markham Roberts isn’t new to me, but I’m really feeling it right now. It’s the perfect spring room! All the white, with sagey green accents, and my latest obsession of granny floral chintz on the custom back-to-back sofa, are just the beginning of my favorite things in this room. The objects and accessories, and overall styling are spot on!
Spring and summer are the time to really bring color into your life, but amid all that vibrancy I always love a good dose of white. Anna Wintour’s Hamptons home by Carrier and Company comes to mind with its subtle palette of cool blues and greens with plenty of fresh white.
More cool blue is found in a space by Jeffrey Bilhuber. Plants brought indoors are such an easy way to bring life inside, and longer lasting than fresh-cut flowers, although I always strongly recommend a liberal dose of those! Now that you’re perhaps uncovering your outdoor furniture, bring it inside as well, like the wicker chair above.
Now for the official list…
1. FLOWERING BRANCHES: One of my favorite things in the winter, branches that have been forced to bloom, is made even easier this time of year, because guess what??…they bloom on their own and might be in your garden! Go outside with a good pair of pruning shears and cut off some perfect branches with a combination of open blooms and buds. Fill your tall vase of choice with water and a little bleach to keep the water clear, and casually arrange the branches after using a hammer to crack open the end of the branch (they’re thirsty). Quince, cherry, magnolia, and dogwood are some favorites.
The offices of AERIN, Aerin Lauder’s new(ish) namesake brand, are the prettiest of spaces, of course! White walls keep the vibe calm, and act as a canvas for art to pop, like the poppy print above. A Karl Springer console holds a stack of books, just like at Aerin’s own home, and joins vases of anemones and flowering branches.
2. ART: More large botanical prints are found in Aerin’s personal office, as a backdrop to mood boards and prototypes for her AERIN line of accessories, beauty, and home products.
GET THE LOOK: West Elm collaborated with photographer Clinton Friedman last spring for a botanical series of prints, but this year it’s all about succulents. I love the raw way in which he captured these plants with the roots exposed. Group the whole series together, or better yet get crazy and mix in some of your own photos and favorite art pieces.
3. PLANTS INDOORS: Bring real succulents out of the frame and home with you! They’re easy to care for, are available at your local garden center and shops like West Elm, and you can do so much with them, like create amazing terrariums.
Popular in the Victorian era, terrariums have modern appeal, and can be pretty modern themselves. You can pick up an actual terrarium at many shops these days, or create your own with anything from a cereal bowl to an old claw-foot tub (just a crazy thought). I even love simply covering one succulent or small Lady Slipper orchid with a glass cloche.
Large myrtle topiaries and ficus in baskets are another favorite way to bring spring green inside, year-round actually.
4. A FRESH TABLE: The everyday meal could use a good spring boost as well! This might be as easy as going to your kitchen cabinet or drawer, and getting out more colorful or pastel dinnerware, glassware, and table linens. I love to collect things, especially hemstitched napkins to add seasonal color to my table. Bring what’s blooming outside to your table too, like the daffodils, and grape hyacinths I’m seeing right now. I’m also lucky to live close to Pike Place Market here in Seattle to pick up the flowering branches I mentioned for the table. Do some research and find out what your city’s flower resources are…and there is always the grocery store!
Nothing in the cupboard? At $8 each, these ikat bowls from West Elm would be a colorful treat to see at each place setting. Simple white bowls would also be pretty down the center of the table with some floating flowers, or even blossoms that may have fallen off your flowering branches!
The sunniest of dinnerware!
5. A FRESH COAT: Now that we can almost say goodbye to winter coats, let’s think about a coat for our homes, a coat of paint that is! I’m not suggesting you repaint your whole place, but how about adding a bold stroke to a small powder room, dark hall, or even the back of built-in bookshelves?
6. PILLOWS AND PRINT: I love the idea of having small things like pillows for each season that you rotate, like the art and objects in your home, to completely freshen and change the mood of a room. right now I’m thinking ikats and floral. I’m loving the soft mauve and cream ikat Nick Olsen used in the New York apartment above, but a bold blue, violet, or citron print would be amazing as well!
Madeline Weinrib makes some of the best ikat fabrics and ready to decorate with (RTDW) pillows in these energy-filled prints.
West Elm has some great answers to the quest for ikat, from soft to a little bolder.
7. ROLL OUT SPRING: I like an uncovered floor in the summer, but transitioning from cold to warmish spring weather calls for a little something still underfoot. A heavier wool rug can be replaced by a lighter cotton or just pump up the color volume. Even just adding small 3×5 rugs is a great way to layer in some spring freshness, no need to invest in large rugs necessarily.
8. A FRESH BED: Put away the heavy quilts and faux fur blankets I loved for fall and winter, and break out the fresh white sheets, and fun patterns! Keep it simple with your layers, but go wild with your mix of color and print, or all white is totally acceptable.
Always a favorite are white bed linens trimmed with color. Olatz makes some of my favorites. This gorgeous room by Katie Ridder is in full bloom with that print on the walls and windows, so the color-trimmed white bedding is the perfect complement.
9. OBJECTS OF DESIRE: As I mentioned before, I love having pillows, art and objects to rotate each season to give my space a fresh vibe (have I said fresh enough?). For spring I’ve been obsessed with blue and white porcelain, as seen above in this super chic space by David Netto. All white pottery would be pretty too, or something with more of a bold pop of color. It’s all up to you! Whatever you collect can feel new again when packed away and brought back out, even if just a couple of times a year.
10. A BOLD ACCENT: I always recommend investing in solid neutral furniture pieces, unless you have the pocket-book to afford redecorating every six months. Besides pillows on the sofa, another way to bring in a colorful print, without breaking the bank, is by finding a small accent piece like a chair or small bench or stool. If you’re crafty enough, you could even find a neglected piece of furniture at a consignment shop or flea market, and spruce it up yourself with fresh paint, and a fabulous scrap of fabric you’ve been holding on to.
I hope you have an inspiring spring!
Brian Edward Millett-The Man of Style
Tags: Aerin Lauder, Anna Wintour, Carrier and Company, Clinton Friedman, David Netto, decorating, home, Jeffrey Bilhuber, Katie Ridder, Kelly Wearstler, Madeline Weinrib, Markham Roberts, Nick Olsen, Philip Gorrivan, spring, succulents, terrariums, The Rug Company, West Elm