Infuse Your Home with a Touch of Spring

Even though this winter proved to be almost non-existent, I can’t help but be excited by the promise of spring!  It’s time to open the windows on warmer days, air out stuffy rooms, and tuck away the heavy blankets.   I like to bring a touch of spring to my interiors this time of year as I await the sunny weather and lazy days ahead.  A few of my favorite tricks for making a room feel light and airy include:

Fresh Accent Pillow Covers – Slip your everyday accent pillows into new covers in soft washed linen or crisp cotton fabric.  If muted tones work best in your room, try incorporating soft springtime shades of buttery yellow, sage, rose, or robin’s egg blue.   For a punchier splash, go for bright solids in bold colors like granny apple green, turquoise, or lemon and citrus colors.  West Elm offers a variety of inexpensive, vibrant pillow covers, and Pottery Barn’s textured linen covers have a jute border for an extra spring-like touch.  I also love anything in a traditional summer print, like seersucker or gingham.  As a general rule, purchase your pillow cover one size smaller than the actual pillow in order keep the pillow compact and fluffy.  For instance, if your pillow insert is 22,” buy a 20” pillow cover, or the cover might end up appearing droopy and limp.  It’s amazing what a few “new” pillows on your sofa can do for a room!

Sisal, Jute, or Woven Cotton Rugs – Store your heavy wool or Oriental rug for the season, and replace it with a beachy  style for an instant dose of spring.  Sisal and jute area rugs work in any interior, be it casual or formal, and with any color scheme.  Since these don’t repel liquids like wool or camouflage stains like a patterned Oriental, this is not the time to splurge.  I recommend looking for an inexpensive one on sale; I’ve had luck finding well-priced versions on Overstock.com.  If woven cotton is more your style, Dash and Albert offers a variety of styles and colors.  I’m partial to their wide-striped rugs, which somehow manage to feel contemporary, nautical, and nostalgic all at the same time.  Though woven cotton rugs don’t work quite as well as a jute or sisal in a formal setting, during the breezy spring and summer months, they feel just right in kitchens, bedrooms, and family rooms.

Lush Greenery, Cut Flowers, & Lemon Bowls – A trip to the grocery store or local nursery can provide you with some fabulous spring décor.  Now that the fireplace is no longer in demand, make it home to a collection of lush greenery.  Mounds of full leafed ferns spilling out onto a hearth make a winter focal-point feel summery.   Add small pots of daffodils on the mantle or coffee table for even greater impact.  Fresh cut tulips on the dining table are such an iconic sign of spring, and the photo stylist’s best friends – lemons or green apples in a bowl – are an easy, cheerful alternative.

Lighter Scents – Don’t just treat your eyes to signs of spring; indulge your olfactory senses by infusing your home with lighter, floral scents reminiscent of
season. I trade out my woodsy, pine-y candles for honeysuckle, tuberose, and gardenia scents this time of year.  For those who find florals too overpowering, citrus scents evoke the freshness of the new season and make a room feel like it’s just been through “spring cleaning.”  Scent is a critical, though invisible element of a room’s décor, so make sure you don’t neglect it as the seasons change.

While I encourage everyone to make the effort to de-clutter and get through the standard spring cleaning this season, making these little decorating changes is much more fun.  Try them out in one of your most-used rooms, and you’ll find it’s like getting a mini-makeover and a head-start on summer all in one!

[blockquote class=blue]Kitty Burruss is an interior designer in Briarcliff Manor.  She works for Barbara Sternau Interior Design. www.BarbaraSternau.com 914-631-1875[/blockquote]

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About the Author: Kitty Burruss