Shake off those cold, gray winter vibes because spring is nearly upon us! One of the best ways to welcome sunnier skies and warmer temps is to hit the refresh button on our interior spaces. We talked to local interior designers, architects, and style pros about their favorite ways to chase the clouds away.
PAINT A WALL
Using paint to transform a space doesn’t have to be a time-consuming or expensive task. “If you can’t tackle a full-on paint project,” says the design team at DiStefano Brothers Construction in Wakefield, add color to a neutral-colored room by painting just one wall.” Consult a color wheel to discover complementary colors or consider different tones in the same color family for a head-turning take on a tired space. “Or even just brighten up the trim with a fresh coat of paint,” they suggest. Imagine an all-white room transformed by painting one dominant wall or ceiling a deep shade, or door and window trim in something other than white.
TRY THIS AT HOME: Craving a change? Look up. Painted ceilings are trending; just check #paintedceiling on Instagram or TikTok and you’ll see. Do some research to find which color will work best for your space.
According to researchers at Harvard University, the environment in which we sleep plays a large part in the quality of rest we get. So while the bedroom may not be considered a high-traffic room in your house, if sprucing it up makes you feel better, it will make a difference. Start with your bedding, suggests Ann-Marie Goddard, the director of design at Exodus Construction in Narragansett. “Switch out heavier, darker textiles with duvets, sheets, and blankets in soft, muted colors,” she says. Alternatively, she suggests that a “crisp, bright-white duvet with delicate eyelet trim and floral throw pillows” will lighten the mood for sure.
TRY THIS AT HOME: Set a relaxing atmosphere with bedding and textiles in a serene colorway.
Your home may look welcoming and attractive to visitors, but what do you experience when you whip open the closets? Avalanching sweaters and piles of orphaned shoes can create anxiety, not to mention a Monday-morning meltdown. Use the onset of spring as an opportunity to regroup, suggests Lisa Burtt of Organized Abode. Burtt started the business because she realized how much impact an organized home had on her own mental health and sense of work-life balance. One closet at a time, assess what you regularly wear. “For each item, decide: keep, purge, donate, or discard,” she suggests. “Get some matching hangers from the store to organize and categorize, and spend a few minutes a week maintaining the order.”
Let nature do some of the decorating work for you. “Open up those windows!” suggests the DiStefano team. Switch out heavy drapes or shades for light and airy fabrics, or take them down all together. Wash windows – inside and out – and let sunshine and views of spring foliage and flowers into your space. Specifically, Maureen Lawton, owner of Cottage Chic Décor in Wakefield, likes replacing light-blocking fabrics on windows with “beautiful white sheers, and then tie them back with a pastel ribbon.” Changing one small space, says Lawton, “can bring a sense of renewal and happiness. It’s important. Do it!”
TRY THIS AT HOME: When views are too pretty to hide and privacy is not an issue, consider leaving windows bare.
The refrigerator, the pantry, the medicine cabinet. Oof! Keeping on top of them isn’t always a priority. But a new season begets new opportunities to, quite literally, clean house. These three often-neglected areas of our homes aren’t always visible to visitors or people who don’t frequently access them, so maybe we don’t put their organization at the top of our priority list. But ignoring their grooming them can lead to frustration, anxiety, or worse… illness. Burtt recommends going through your home to check expiration dates on items such as medications, refrigerated food (especially condiments like sauces and dressings, which can sit unused for months) as well as pantry items like canned and packaged foods, and even spices. Many of these items last for years, but many lose their quality, or worse, can make you sick, when they expire. And while that jar of thyme that expired three years ago may not give you stomach issues, it's not going to make the grade in your Ina Garten recipes.
STYLE IN THREES
Interior stylist Tricia Cromwell of Trust in Tricia Services loves to update interiors according to the season. “I personally like to create vignettes, which are just small areas of bookcase or tabletop decor. You want to cluster three small objects,” she explains, “in varying heights and shapes. Think a short stack of books, a vase of flowers, and a candle inside a circle tray.” Keep choices seasonal or by color theme, she says, to create an inspiring focal point in the room.
TRY THIS AT HOME: Use trays to corral objects and belongings for a tidy look.
Don’t think you have to wait for the frosts to pass to get planting. That was the overwhelming suggestion from our experts. Just start an herb garden inside, for example. “Hang pots on the wall and use chalkboard paint to label the herbs,” suggests Ann-Marie Goddard from Exodus. “It will smell great, it’s convenient while cooking, and it’s a practical but attractive look for spring.” Landscape designer Sophath Toun of SOTO Design and Plant Shop doesn’t wait for the warmest temps, either, to fill plant pots with tulips, daffodils, and pansies. Keep them inside and move them out when spring has sprung. If you want an endless supply of fresh flowers every week, Maureen Lawton suggests planting a cutting garden with cosmos, zinnia, gladiola, daisies, and snapdragons. These easy-to-grow varieties “will give you inside floral arrangement bounty all season long,” she says. If you don’t have a green thumb, visit your nearby garden center, like The Farmer’s Daughter, for botanical inspiration and goods.
“I am so happy that color is making a comeback in a big way!” says Alan Gianfrancesco, the third-generation owner of Bob Frances Interiors in North Providence. “For the past several years, grays have ruled,” he says. “Now, we are seeing pinks, magentas, and other strong colors like hunter green.” Gianfrancesco’s business specializes in upholstery and custom window treatments, and he says transforming an old chair, ottoman, or replacing window draperies are some of the quickest and easiest ways to transform a space. The choices of fabrics and textures are endless, and it’s an affordable alternative to buying new pieces, or preserving old ones.
TRY THIS AT HOME: Use a favorite piece of art as your guide for pulling colors for fabric and furnishings.
Take inventory of your home’s decor details – you know, the little things. “You can inject a pop of color with things like throw pillows, vases, and area rugs,” Gianfresco suggests. “These changes are inexpensive yet carry a lot of weight in a transformation. If you’re not sure about color, apply the ‘cooler, warmer’ theory, he suggests. Cooler colors, such as blues, pinks, and greens work for spring and summer, while warmer hues of yellow and brown suit autumn and winter.
TRY THIS AT HOME: Create the stylish look of a pro by layering objects in varying heights; collected cobalt blue glass gives instant coastal allure.
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