Designers' Favorite Springtime Looks

Say hello to this delightful season and help your rooms emerge from the winter doldrums with pastels, florals and must-dos from designers.

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March 06, 2019

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Kyle Born

Photo By: Jessica McClendon

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions


Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Kyle Born

Photo By: Michael J. Lee

Photo By: Christopher Patey


Photo By: Laure Joliet Photography

Photo By: Grey Crawford

Photo By: Kyle Born

Photo By: Mary Costa Photography

©Sarah Dorio Photography


Photo By: Christopher Patey

Use Citrus to Squeeze Out Winter Blahs

"I like using super punchy citrus tones that can transition nicely from spring and into summer," says designer Brian Patrick Flynn.

Bring the Palms Indoors

Tropical looks make a room pop year-round. Update a space with removable wallpaper that can be changed with the seasons. Designer Michelle Gage selected this palm print design for a bar area. "I like my wallpaper to be totally original, colorful and have a bit of a kick. Think flamingos and birds of paradise," she says. Lucite furniture also keeps the space feeling light and airy, so it may be time to look for a deal on bar carts.

Punch Up a Stairway

For a bolder springtime shift, head to your stairs. Bob and Cortney Novogratz added a painted stripe pattern with candy-hued stripes on a staircase that leads to an eclectic living room. In living spaces, store the wintertime materials such as velvet, faux fur and flannel, and fluff up a couch with throw pillows in vivid hues.

Burst Out with Yellow

Buttery yellows may not be your go-to color, but Brian Patrick Flynn says, "I love to go bright and cheerful with really bold shades of lemon." For this sun-kissed room, he spray-painted an existing dining set with a glossy yellow finish. White square lattice work on the wall might evoke the feeling of dining in a garden.

Create a Spring Sanctuary

If hearing birds singing outside embodies springtime, bring a nod to nature inside. Jessica McClendon used this floral and aviary wallpaper in various tones of pinks and greens in a glam loft space. "That fully represents spring," she says. With the lucite side table, there’s "a lightness to the room," instead of using heavy furniture, she explains.

Head Outdoors Again with Hot Hues

Brian Patrick Flynn suggests using fun overscaled prints with a mix of hot pink and deep orange for an unexpected twist on floral hues.

Embrace the Sunshine

Update the seating around a dining table with sunny fabrics, such as this tufted bench in a space designed by Massucco Warner Miller. Blue works not just with pink, but also with yellow to create a classic springtime setting.

Capture Visitors with Coral

Brian Patrick Flynn used coral paint in this entryway and the great room for a cohesive look. "Indoors, I think bright shades of salmon mixed with citrus greens is fresh and fun and really helps kick off spring with bold style," he says. Spring blooms, such as tulips, complete the design.

Welcome Whimsy and Breezy Hues

Liven up a mantel, once used for holiday garland, with pastel planters and happy, quirky artwork. Gage's client painted a quartet of petite containers in cheerful hues that exude a spring vibe. Also, consider giving the mantel a fresh coat of crisp white paint.

Let Lucite Furniture Create an Airy Atmosphere

Lucite chairs don't distract from the views in a casual contemporary dining room in New England, especially when emerging from a season of snow. "This client has such a green thumb. She has a beautiful English garden outside, so it’s worth seeing outside," says Ana Donohue. "That felt visually unobstructed and helped ... keep it light and airy." Her furnishings and window treatments are a toned-down spring palette with a mix of mints, pinks, blush and cream. "The balance creates this really joyful feeling in the room," she explains.

Delight Diners with Fresh & Cheerful Artwork

"The color palette of this dining room is fresh, bright and cheerful, evoking the sense of spirit that comes with springtime," says designer Alexis Manfer. She suggests changing artwork to more whimsical aesthetics when switching to a spring look.

Overlay Pastels

When you are asked to name a favorite color, all of the spring hues may come to your mind. To update your table setting, though, use just two or three colors, Flynn suggests. Layered shades of celery green and pale pink evoke an understated, fun and sophisticated look.

Bolster Your Bedding with Softer Designs

"Bedding can instantly transform a cozy winter room into one with a brighter springtime feeling," says Melissa Warner Rothblum with Massucco Warner Miller. They used an ivory pique coverlet with scalloped edges to make the bed look and feel fresh, but also tailored.

Showcase Florals with a Flourish

Flowers abound in designers' favorite springtime looks, but the style doesn't have to be shabby chic. "If you’re a modern gal who wants to bring a little floral into your life, to me, those bold florals kind of achieve that," designer Jessica McClendon says. The colors, such as pinks and lilacs, and motifs, such as dragonflies and birds, can't help but connect with the season. "The colors feel very springtime to me because it's every color under the sun," she says. "It embodies nature, but in a more bold, modern way."

Blend Pink and Blue

"Spring rooms are all about being light and airy with fresh color palettes and soft furnishings," Warner Rothblum says. The blue bedskirt and tufted ottoman, pink armchair and bedding, and blend of white and ivory speak to springtime in keeping with the transitional feel.

Start Anew with a Bookshelf

Curate a bookcase with motifs that evoke spring and its sister season, summer. For Gage, those include flamingos, florals and pineapples, hues such as pink, blue and teal, and materials such as rattan.

Pull From the Garden

Let the colors of blooms that you admire awaken your palette. "My favorite flowers usually come in the pink and white variety," Jessica McClendon says. So she paired those with blue in this cheerful breakfast nook with sophisticated gold accents.

Choose Gentle Greens

"When it comes to spring greens, I like to use those which have a good amount of white and grey undertones to keep them from being too sweet or too pastel. Those mix really well with muted pinks," designer Brian Patrick Flynn says. The spring-like palette gives a coordinated look even though the patterns are different.

Add Textures that Evoke the Season

Select seating that reminds you of a spring basket, like these bamboo chairs in a sun-filled space by Massucco Warner Miller Interior Design. Brighten up a dining room for the season with cushions and pillows in blush and blue tones.

Act on Spring Whims with Accessories

If you have a room with darker upholstery, you don't have to change out the main pieces of furniture with the seasons. "If you’re looking to transition your interior from winter to spring, start by updating accessories and decor," Alexis Manfer says. Incorporate more greenery by adding plants or flowers. Select artwork with natural scenes that remind you vacation is right around the corner.

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