Friday, January 2, 2009

Spring Inspiration

With Christmas officially behind us, many of you will start to take down the beautiful decorations you were so kind to share, and start planning your brighter, and more cheery spring decor. Last year, I actually waited until February to take down my trees, because I was lacking in Spring inspiration ... so this year, it was on the top of my list to gather a few pictures, paints, and fabrics of inspiration for me, and for you in hopes to get the ball rolling.

Flowers are always a wonderful way to celebrate spring. Whether you were forcing bulbs this Christmas for flowers like paperwhites, and amarylis, or if you just can't pass up the early tulips in the super market this February, flowers are a wonderful way to breath the freshness of spring into any room.

Here, you see the mix of flowers and citrus fruits, a great spring display. For an alternative look, buy plastic lemons and limes at your local craft store, and layer them in a tall cylindrical vase. Then fill with water, and add fresh white tulips.

Slipcovers are a great option to help brighten up a room. But this picture also provides you with a great idea for window treatments. Let the light in! Take down those heavy curtains, and hang lighter bamboo or matchstick shades. If you have the luxury of plantation style blinds, open them up and let the sun shine in!

Break away from the idea of your traditional wooden side and coffee tables, and go clear. Glass or lucite tables will add an airy yet sophisticated touch to any room, and for not a great deal of money. This look will last you well into the fall!

For those of you not afraid of color, go big! A warm yellow or green would be a great way to brighten up that room, and change things up a bit!

For those of you a little more shy about color, perhaps this photo will give you the inspiration you need. See the canvas painted dusty purple above the console? What a great way to bring a trendy color into a traditional space? For the price of a canvas and some interior latex paint, you can add a sophisticated, trendy touch to your already beautiful room! Best thing, you can change the color for the seasons, just put another layer of paint on.

Bedrooms are relatively easy in changing from winter to spring. Invest in a white quilt or duvet cover for your current comforter. You'll add an instant brightness to the room that will work well into the winter months.

And lastly, layers! It's probably considered more of a fall-season decorating trick, but layers in the right tone can help set your room apart no matter the season. Slip covers over your existing dining chairs, vintage linen table cloths, even a showcase of your ironstone or transferware is a great way to layer spring into your existing palate.
Now, for those of you interested in my color predictions for 2009, take a peak:

I'm in love with the idea of using gray as a neutral. I said that in the fall of 2008, and I'll say it again. You simply can't go wrong. Whether you layer in creams and whites for a Gustavian style, or bright yellows and greens for a trendy contemporary flare, you'll be happy you went with gray.
Above, I paired Valspar paints (a great quality paint available at any Lowes Store), and Calico Corners Fabrics for a few mix and match styles you might want to take inspiration from this Spring. Calico Corners has high quality designer fabrics, many of them prices suitable for any decorating budget. Whether you are looking for a yard for throw pillows, or 30 yards for drapes - they have you covered!
The softer of the palate: Smoke Infusion (gray), Maple Cream (yellow), and Sea Breath (blue) would make for fantastic wall colors in any room. Popped with fabrics or colors of the remaining brighter hues: Awakening (green), Dusky Lavender, Carrot Cake, Powdered Peach, and Greenway.
The fabrics are available at larger views and purchase here. From the top:

Please, send pictures of your spring transformations! I'd love to post them here.


  1. Hi, sweetie...I hope your new year is just packed plum full of blessings for you and Scott. beautiful photos you have shared with us. Ahhh, spring. Everyone looks forward to spring except me, out here in West Texas. Oh, yes...spring is NOT my favorite time of the year...too much dust, sand storms and strong winds....every day of the season!!
    I do, however, love to 'lighten up' a little inside my house.
    You have given me some lovely ideas here and I remember my brother once painted the walls of his home in the most beautiful shade of gray and EVERY THING just popped in his rooms. Wonderful color....I'm scared to do it, tho...scared scared scared I won't like it .....I am such a titty baby..YOU do it first.....!! ;O)
    xo bj

  2. I need some spring to chase away the winter blahs! Oh...some daffodils would make me smile (I wonder if Michaels has them out....surely they must!)

    I was thinking of spring yesterday as I strolled around the backyard snapping photos.... I like to take pictures during the winter months...easier for me to picture "what is missing"!

  3. Good post Artie..I am so ready for spring here..I do love the whites but not the white stuff on my lawn called snow..may you have a safe and blessed year to come...hugs and smiles Gloria

  4. your color predictions are great...I was thinking as I removed all the Christmas decor about repainting a few rooms in my house! Love the lemons & you have seen, I use them year round!

  5. Artie...LOL i see you posted for today, so while i am unpacking i am commenting LOL...

    i agree...heartily, freshness is what the new year and the birth of spring can and does bring.

    i have tried an all white (although textural decor) i became so depressed, i simply had to have color...

    there is a deep Freudian meaning here, but we will just let that pass...LOL

    thanks for a post that has invigorated and renewed us!

  6. Hi Artie! Love the lemons and limes in the arrangement. I like the inspiration pictures too.

    Do you have any brilliant ideas about mixing in robin's egg blue in a red and yellow color scheme?

  7. Beautiful ispiration pics!

    I am really wanting lighter color tones around me right now.
    Sage green in particular.

  8. Ahem... there are still 4 days left of Christmas! LOL but happily I see that Spring has sprung over here! Not only do I love the colors, I love the names! Sea Breath... Mmmmm!

    I'm a sucker for a palate of whites (you'd never know after my last post on my own blog LOL!) and come spring all the heavy rugs will give way to seagrass and jute! And Spring is closer to summer and that means August.. and that means you are in Cali! So come on Spring, start the ball rolling! Time needs to fly! =)

    ox Isa

  9. I just took down my tree and the house looks bare and uninviting. I love that image of limes and lemons...I've got to brighten things up a bit around here!

  10. Happy New Year, dear Artieness! Oh, I love those pictures and your color predictions! I've been busy trying to take down all of my Christmasy today and I'm worn out! Thank you so much for your sweetness concerning my Mother. We'll get through this and maybe I'll have some stories to tell! LOL I love to tell stories!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  11. I love the bright and neutral color tones! It's so clean, calm and inviting. You give me inspiration!
    Lady Lynn

  12. Linda/ "Mom..."January 2, 2009 at 9:45 PM

    Artie, I ALWAYS feel like the "odd person out" around here when "the weather" subject comes up, as I'm SO ENJOYING the "COOLER" weather here in AZ (& yes, I'd love it to STAY this way!). Your pics are SO DELIGHTFUL! I can no longer easily "switch" my looks (housewise!) to "suit the seasons" as I USED to, because of the way I redid our home, and I DO miss that~~~ mucho!!! B-U-T, anything I CAN do to lighten things up is always fun & I'm always game to TRY! WIll look forward to seeing/hearing more of your thoughts/ideas/suggestions on the subject! Best, Linda

  13. Artie, I love your inspiration photos. I really have a thing for all of the whites that are showing up. It just doesn't work well in our home. I did add white to our quest bathroom. And I love it. I really love the fruit and flower arrangement. I will be creating one. Terrie

  14. Oh...I just read your ROAST...LOL Oh my, I have so been there and done that.. except mine was a "side marker light" LOL (which I never knew I had...and found out later that it was apparently "an option"...LOL)
    Hope it all turned out well for you Artie!

  15. I especially love the way slipcovers can transform a space - most any space. Thank you for all the great ideas....looking forward to "you know when."

  16. Happy New Year Artie! Your warzone project has me excited for Spring! Too bad I'm in Chicagoland and still have so much winter left;)
    And I think you still look great! You've aged well:) I know what you mean though-two kids later and many years of "settling in" have taken it's toll on me! It's a new year! Yay 2009!!!

  17. It's all so fresh and bright looking!

    I am already wishing it was Spring...I tire of the cold weather and bare trees as soon as the Holidays have passed.

    I really like the lemon and lime arrangement, it would be beautiful in my dining room!!

  18. Wonderful spring inspiration Artie!

    We finished the condo foyer today. We used Mink as an accent and snowflake, a very pale grey on all other walls. We'll be moving into the kitchen area next, where the plan is for more mink and snowflake.

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  19. Hi Artie, I'm lovin that lemon arrangement, and of course my favorite room would have to be the yellow one. I'm not afraid of color! Spring will be here before we know it. Hope your new year is off to a great start! Kristen

  20. Hey Artie - love the your spring arrangement color predictions!! I have a little something for you at my place - come pick it up if you have a minute.

  21. Well let me start on a very happy note. Dear Vanna at Has presented me with the special "Proximidade" award. This award is a fine one because it focuses not on the glory and fanfare of blogging, but in the PROXIMITY to one another through this on-line world (kind of a Six Degrees of Separation sort of thing)."Blogs who receive this award are 'exceedingly charming' say its authors.This blog invests and believes in the PROXIMITY-nearness in space, time and relationships. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award." I am very honored Vanna, and I would like to pass this award on to the following bloggers.

    1. Artie at

    2. Timi at

    3. Mishelle at

    4. Melaine at

    5. Dianna at

    6. Mo at

    7. Kristen at

    8. Myrna at

  22. hey...i just posted on another blog and saw where you were given an award :) Very Nice....!

  23. I adore your predicted colour palette! Just like an Easter basket! For myself, I always fill the house with white flowers during the first week of a new year. It seems to act as a bit of a visual sorbet after all the richness of Christmas colour!

  24. Firstly Artie, congratulations on being a Winner....speaking of which and making reference to this posting I have a question for you;
    would you ever consider participating in a HGTV Design competition 'casting call'? With your talent I truly feel you would be a great contender. (ie: HGTV Canada has just launched a new series called Top Designer and from what I've seen so far and putting all bias aside (smiles) you would win 'hands-down'. You're a natural!)

    Now thirdly, though a few days late, I just want to wish you and Scott " A VERY HEALTHY, HAPPY & PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR'. "FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS!"

    Many hugs....your long-winded Canadian friend -Brenda-

    P.S: Love your predicted colour palette you featured for Spring. Very fresh yet serene.

  25. Oh, how I needed this post. The Northwest doesn't usually get snow, but we were graced with her *presents* for Christmas. It's the gift that keeps on giving, again, tonight.
    I remember when artificial fruit looked so....artificial. Now, it can fool you into grabbing a few apples, oranges, lemons and making sangria with it, LOL! Thanks for the look towards spring.

    Sweet Wishes,

  26. Stop by my blog..I have left you a little something at

  27. We finally decided to buy what we like, not what's in. It took forever for those avocado green small appliances from early marriage to die.

    Hubby will smile at your predictions (are we really going to be "in")? We just painted our mudroom a coral color (found it in the back room of our florist} and the adjoining half bath will be close to a periwinkle. The kitchen will be a blue/gray shade. Oh, my!

    The white slip covers are to die for. Thanks for the picture.