Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Boston Globe: Think spring!

Bring spring into your home with bright colors, bits of nature

MARCH 15, 2015

Photos by Josh Reynolds for The Boston Globe / Jessica Rinaldi, Globe Staff / Debee Tlumacki

For once, fashion and life are perfectly aligned: Sunshine yellow is a prominent color in home d├ęcor this year.
Also pink, berry, emerald green, and overall “more saturated colors,” says interior decorator Shawn Strok of Franklin, while more “painterly, romantic flowers” are emerging in fabric designs.
“After this winter, everybody wants a little color,” agrees Darilynn Evans, owner of the Cohasset boutique Darilynn’s Home Presence.
You can take an old drab chair and paint it a bright beautiful color for the spring,” says Ida Staffier Bial, owner of the Topsfield boutique Some Like it Old ... Some Like it New.
It’s doubtful that anyone who spent the last two months digging out from Greater Boston’s endless winter will argue for more white this year, either outdoors or in. In fact, decorators suggest a range of flourishes — both subtle and bold — that can help transform your drab winter hideaway into a warm, welcoming spring refuge.

For starters, it doesn’t get much more colorful than flowers.
Daffodils can really brighten up your home,” said Strok, with Decorating Den Interiors — Strok Design Team. Her suggestion: Place them in a clear glass vase with a layer of moss. Or display cut grass on a decorative platter; it’s simple yet earthy.
Just a little bit of green really warms up a space,” said Linda Rubin of Quintessential Interiors in North Easton.
She suggests bamboo shoots, vines, and curly willows displayed in inexpensive glass vases.
Green touches could also be added with cyclamen plants, preserved boxwood, and topiaries.
And tulips, with their array of pastel hues, are an inexpensive way to freshen up a room.
Silk flowers are another option, Rubin said, as are the early-blooming cherry blossoms and forsythia, which, when placed on a mantle, “the color is just going to pop.”

Other quick and painless ways to rejuvenate your space: Switch out doormats, sheets, accent pillows, shower curtains, table linens, napkins, place mats, and serving and dinnerware. Shedding the darker, heavier accoutrements of winter forthe lighter, brighter ones of spring can provide a surprising lift.
Even a fresh set of bath or kitchen towels can enliven the atmosphere, Evans pointed out.
There are a lot of little things, easy ways just to lighten up, add pops of color around your house,” she said.
Evans suggests placing summery-scented candles around a room, creating table centerpieces with clear glass balls or shells, filling hurricane lamps with flowers or candles, and vases with lemons and limes.
Unusual pieces — such as antique bicycles, futuristic-looking floor lamps, and oil paintings by obscure artists — can be found at vintage stores such as Salvage LTD in Arlington.
Owner Ellen Aronson suggested accents such as antique cameras and globes, ceramics, and, of course, art.
One object can change a room,” she said. “Finding the right painting or print really can change the look of a room and say something about you.”
Strok, meanwhile, said she likes to include elements such as bird statues arranged in a vignette, tucked away for guests to discover. “It adds whimsy to a room,” she said.

If you’re up for a project, get creative by painting an accent wall in your living room, or lightening up the color of a bathroom (Evans suggests a subtle pink). Or welcome visitors with a front door newly painted with a fun seasonal color (and, of course, along with it, a new welcome mat).
Paint for anything does wonders,” said Evans. “It’s a very inexpensive fix. Plus it renews your spirit as well.”
You also might try using Chalk Paint, which can be used to coat and ultimately redefine any surface — fabrics, glass, brass, ceramics, wood — with a velvety matte finish. Popular overseas for a number of years and now catching on in this country, the paint brand can be found in 30-plus colors at Some Like it Old ... Some Like it New.
You can change a kitchen really inexpensively,” said Staffier Bial, who has personally painted redone candelabras, chandeliers, glass vases, a dining room set, china cabinets, and kitchen cabinets (some on display in the store) with Chalk Paint.

Ultimately, when accessorizing, make it a goal to “bounce” a color three times in a given room to maximize its impact, advised Strok. (For example, display daffodils on a table, complementing them with a similarly bright pillow nearby and a splash of yellow on a carpet across the room.)
We’re coming out of the economic downturn, finally, and people really want to express themselves with color,” Strok said.
But be sure not to overdo it, Rubin cautioned. Work with your existing colors to create a nice palette, and aim for clean lines.
Enhance what you already have,” she said. “You don’t have to cover every square inch of a table, or a wall, or a mantle.”
Meanwhile, if you don’t feel like spending the money (or already have more than enough stuff), a quick and easy room rearrangement can pay an unexpected dividend.
Simply try changing up the mantel, centerpiece, or coffee table, Evans suggested (definitely removing any remainders of the holidays), swap out pictures, reposition lamps or tables, move artwork from one room to another, put heavy area rugs away.
Roll it up and just make things simple and clean,” said Evans.
And there’s a reason it’s called spring cleaning. Notes Rubin: “Sometimes just decluttering can give you a breath of fresh air.”

Decorating tips
MARCH 15, 2015

Darilynn Evans
Darilynn’s Home Presence, Cohasset
On plants:
Have vases of flowers around, tulips especially, because they’re very springy.”
On the dining room:
If you don’t want to invest in a whole new set of dishes, buy one or two accent plates or glasses.
On color:
Anything white is always good. It makes things look crisp and fresh.”

Linda Rubin
Quintessential Interiors, North Easton
On patterns:
Geometric is always nice to add — a geometric layered with a floral, or with a solid. But not over the top so your eyes don’t know where to rest.”
On furniture:
Buying just a couple of pieces of furniture in a nice fabric “will really bring the room to another level.”
On color:
Tangerine is a nice crisp look; you can easily add white accents. It can look very sharp and upscale.”

Ida Staffier Bial
Owner of Some Like It Old...Some Like It New, Topsfield
On projects:
One very quick-and-easy redo to add color is to paint your furniture.”
On chalk paints:
They go with pretty much anything and everything,” with the most popular hues “soft greens, blues, neutrals, and gray.”
On general ways to freshen up for spring:
Transform the living room by updating and adding colorful pictures, pillows, throws, rugs.”

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