A room-by-room guide to dress up your rooms for spring
-Sharon King Hoge
When the calendar signals, four times a year, I open the boxes that transform my rooms into timely décor. Just the way I pack and unpack my winter and summer clothes, every season I change the way my home is dressed up in accessories. Every room has a storage space in disguise: there’s a hollow footstool in the den, a captain’s chest at the end of the bed, a living room coffee table that’s a box on feet. Each double-duty storage space contains three sets of rotating seasonal accessories – with an extra set out on display.
This month as spring begins, I open each box to bid goodbye to winter.
Living Room. In the living room, a fresh pink canvas slip cover comes out to hide the velvet upholstery that made the armchair cozy in winter. Silver containers holding the plants are replaced with a set of pastel pink, lavender and pale yellow cachepots. A maroon satin lampshade on the corner table is replaced with linen white and a floral porcelain vase is brought out to replace the heavy silver one.
Bedroom. In the bedroom, a pastel floral duvet cover supplants the heavy quilted bedspread of winter and pastel pillow cases replace the winter damask. Make-up items are transferred from a Chinese lacquer tray to a ceramic platter in a luscious shade of pink. The ribbon around the neck of the stuffed bear at the end of my bed is changed from maroon velvet to pink satin, and bedside maroon velvet slippers are replaced with pastel feathered slides.
Den. The den’s skirted table cover is changed from heavy fringed velvet to lavender linen and books with pastel covers are placed on top of the stacks on display. Snowflake cut-out votive candleholders are replaced with crystal, and pale pink candles step in for the maroon tapers that lit up the gloomier season past. Paper clips, pencils and scissors are transferred from brass cups to floral print holders.
In the few minutes it takes to switch, each room undergoes a transformation. No full-fledged redecorating is required; accessory switching provides a new outlook and change of scene on a minimal budget. To make the greatest impact, I stick with one basic palette per season. Come June’s vernal equinox I favor bright green pieces that seem so fresh in summer. For autumn I’ve chosen harvest colors, the scarlet and orange of changing leaves; the bright basic hues of zinnias. In order to fit all three seasons into each box, accessories have to be concise and compact. Nested cachepots, votive holders that stack, winkle-free fabrics all stash away with a minimum of fuss for three-fourths of the year.
Occasionally through the months I come across new items for seasons to come, I always chose things I’m fond of and as the seasons turn, turn turn, as I open each box, I’m greeted with familiar pieces that remind me of nice times past and the future to come.