Expert Advice: Spruce Up

Expert Advice: By Phyllis Van Doren Photo: Vanessa Arbuthnott fabrics for Lily Rose Design


Spruce Up


ONE OF THE LEAST EXPENSIVE WAYS to give an interior a fresh look is by changing the rug to a lighter colored one. Then bring in new colors and patterns on your pillows. New paint is another wonderful way of invigorating a space.


If possible, try another configuration for your furniture, especially in the living room or family room. You’d be surprised how this changes the dynamic of the room.


If you have dark upholstery, try slipcovers in a light-colored linen or cotton. It gives everything a summer feel and makes it more comfortable during the warmer months.


Isabelle Odjaghian, ASID, CID

Interiors By Isabelle



HOW CAN YOU BRING THE feast-for-the-senses that is spring into your home? Think about the colors of nature and translate those into your rooms. Lighten your interior color palette, change a slipcover and fresh-en things with new beaded or embroidered pillows.

Incorporate floral fabrics and fill the rooms with fresh flowers. Burn freesia-scented candles. Accessorize with whimsical birds and nests. Brighten your dining table by layering with colorful table runners and dishes and rattan chargers. Open the shutters and draperies and let the sun shine in.


Don’t forget the patio space with new rugs, pillows and cushions on your outdoor furniture. Add pots of colorful flowers and flowing vines … and it’s spring.


Jill Winninger, Allied Member ASID

Senior Interior Designer, Seaside Home



WHY WAIT FOR A PARTY OR SPECIAL occasion to enjoy an arrangement of fragrant flowers? It’s spring, so bring them into the house.

On a mantel or console table, place a row of bulbs in small containers. They grow in glass containers just filled with decorative rocks and water. After bloom, plant them outside.


In the entry, a tall vase filled with flowering branches from fruit trees on the floor or on a table makes a statement.

In the kitchen or living room, I like to put out large bowls of rosy peaches, purple plums or lemons.


On the dining table, group odd numbers (three or five) of round or square vases, each with a small bunch of the same flowers.

A simple vase of flowers in the guest room and a single gardenia in the powder bath welcomes guests.


Lori Hollis, Allied Member ASID

Interior Domain



THERE ARE SEVERAL simple ways to rein-vent your existing interiors. Wake up a room with freshly cut flowers that add fragrance and color to a room.


For no-fuss maintenance, use silk flowers that last all season.


Adding different custom-framed art, new bedding and pillows or even drapery panels can give a room a lift.

A fresh coat of paint or adding some wallpaper to a room gives it a totally new feeling.


Slipcovers are less expensive than new upholstery and can change with the seasons. Choose something light in color and texture for spring and summer, then change to something richer in tone and more substantial in texture for warmth and comfort in the winter.

Whatever you do for spring, pull open the draperies and let the great outdoors into your rooms.


Joyce C. Smith, Manager

Ethan Allen Design Center



I SUGGEST SOME EASY-TO-DO ideas for spring. Update your old brown-tinged lamp shades with a new style in ivory or crisp white.

For the dining table, lay your table runners crosswise so they become a placemat for two. Add new napkins, a centerpiece and, voilà, it’s a new look for the table.


Change your bed linens and towels from decorative colors and flannel to crisp white. If that’s too plain for you, purchase white linens with a touch of color. If you’re handy, sew on grosgrain ribbon for a custom touch that matches your décor.


How about painting that hallway table you are tired of or the old dresser that needs a facelift. Use springtime colors of yellow, soft blue or green. Change the hardware, too, and the pieces take on a new life.


With the variety of wall decals available today, you can peel and stick your way to new style in just a few hours. Since they are easily removed, you can change decals seasonally. υ


Lynn Wyndham Morris, Allied Member Asid, IIDA, NKBA

A Touch Of Tradition

Categories: Home Design