25+ Ways to Enjoy Your Westchester Home This Spring

Emerald City: The great Oz, er, Pantone has spoken: 2013 is the year of 17-5641, aka emerald

Featured courtesy Alana Irwin, Lulu Home

Goodbye, winter blues! With these easy ideas and improvements, your Westchester home will be ready for spring in a jiffy.

Spring is a time to refresh, renew, and rejuvenate, and that includes your home. As we head into warmer weather, now is a great time to swap out those heavy, winter accessories for lighter and brighter ones; update your scents to those that welcome in the spring; declutter and spring clean; and give your home – and you – a sense of the new season.

Here, local style makers share their favorite tips for transitioning your home from the winter months to those of the spring. How will you refresh your home?

spring refresh
Alana Irwin, Lulu Home. Photo by Jane Beiles.

Spring Refresh With All Your Senses

Touch: I like to change out wool and heavy throws for linen and cotton throws, both in living spaces and in bedrooms. Some of my favorites are from uniquitystyle.com. I also recommend transitioning from heavy duvets to linen coverlets for bedrooms. It lightens the look in the space, due to the material’s soft tactile characteristics.

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Sight: When the pandemic hit, I started a habit that I cannot kick: buying flowers for our home on a weekly basis. Flowers make such a difference to enliven the home. Trader Joe’s is my go-to small indulgence to usher in spring, by bringing greenness and color into our home.

bedroom refresh
Kim Mitchell, KAM Design. Photo by Emily Sidoti Photography.

Smell: Change out pine and heavier winter smells for springtime fragrances. I love letting in fresh air and using reed diffusers in floral or citrus throughout the home, so when I have guests, I just flip the reeds to enhance the welcoming, fresh scents.

Taste: I love to place fresh fruit — oranges, grapefruits, lemons and my favorite, clementines — in a beautiful bowl on the kitchen counter to help bring the outside in, as well as to promote healthy late-afternoon snacking!

Hearing: My office has lots of windows with trees nearby. I love having my windows opened in the springtime and listening, as well as watching, the birds throughout the day.”
—Kim Mitchell, KAM Design

Bringing the Outdoors In

“I prefer branches in the fall and winter, so when spring arrives, I am ready to refresh my space with some fragrant flowers. Instead of large arrangements, I like to place small bouquets and greenery in several rooms as a nod to the change in season.”
—Barrett Oswald, Barrett Oswald Designs

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coffee table
Tami Wassong, Tami Wassong Interiors

“Bring the outdoors in by clipping blossoming branches or colorful spring flowers from your own garden and introduce a calmer, cleaner palette and adding some lighter, sun-washed hues to your pillows, throws, and organic accessories that mimic nature.”
—Tami Wassong, Tami Wassong Interiors

Springtime Interiors

“An interesting way to update your home [is by] switching out art for more summer scenes. You can use online sources, like minted.com, which prints and ships art at reasonable prices. Switching out pillows for breezy linen fabrics also is a trick we love to do in warmer-weather months.”
—Alana Irwin, Lulu Home

living room refresh
Alana Irwin, Lulu Home. Photo by Jane Beiles.

“Create lightness in numbers. Winter and the holidays, specifically, are a time of abundance, overflow, and indulgence. In contrast, spring to me is a celebration of rebirth and renewal, a feeling that can be created by lightness in numbers. Trim down the bookcase arrangements and coffee-table arrangements by removing at least two to three objects from each area. That creates a sparse and light feeling of having room to grow.”
—Alice Pirsu, Alice Pirsu Interiors

“A great way to bring the outdoor into your living spaces is to take advantage of thoughtfully placed mirrors. A well-placed mirror by a great view provided by a window will not only bring more light indoors throughout the day, but reflect what’s outside. Have the mirror do double duty by using one framed in natural finishes suggestive of the outdoors.”
– Kristen Mirabile, Kristen Mirabile Design

“Bring in the color-feel of spring. Bright and vibrant spring colors might not be for everyone; instead use colors and patterns with more subtle transitions and less contrast. Spring is subtle and sneaks up on us in the most delightful way, with a full sense of ease, so to me it is not as much as a color choice but rather a feeling of ease in the home that we are looking to create.”
—Alice Pirsu, Alice Pirsu Interiors

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“Where practical, I recommend clients replace heavy window treatments with lighter-weight fabrics or to even take down curtains altogether in public rooms, so as to let in as much light as possible. You’ll be amazed what a difference more natural light makes after a long, dark winter. Smaller items, such as ottomans, poufs, and throw pillows, can really change the way a room looks. I have a favorite, apple-green ottoman that I bring out in the spring, replacing the rich, burgundy Mongolian sheepskin one I use during the winter months. Same goes for throw pillows: Replacing a sofa with the seasons just isn’t practical, but switching out smaller items can give the room a whole new look and feel without breaking the bank. The round table in my foyer also gets a makeover for spring. Nestled among stacks of books is a mix of faux and real foliage. White snowdrops cascade from a tall hurricane vase. My favorite place to find inspiration is Topiaire Flower Shop in Southampton NY. The owner, Erin, has a great eye for smaller home-decor items and carries a wonderful selection of indoor plants.”
—Jennifer McCabe, Duck Egg Blue Interior Design

spring living room
Rachel Gray, Rachel Gray Interiors. Photo by Lo Austin.

“One of my favorite suggestions for clients to transtion their homes from winter to spring is to change up the accents: fun, printed pillows, bright shelf decor, fresh flowers all give your space a cheerful update. Citrus- and floral-scented candles are also a great way to make your home feel like spring has arrived.”
—Rachel Gray, Rachel Gray Interiors

“I remove all my tabletop and shelving decor and start fresh. Once your surfaces are cleared it’s time to place just one or two beautiful pieces along with a vase of flowers or a plant. A large floor potted plant is the perfect addition to any room to finish the space. Snake plants and fiddle leaf figs are my favorite house plants. They are quite simple to maintain and snake plants I often bring outdoors to my porch when I’m entertaining on the warmer days.”
—Jaime Willey, Divine Eye Design

plant refresh
Jaime Wiley, Divine Eye Design

Spring Cleaning

“Spring is the time we always clean and renew! We schedule our outdoor and indoor cushions to be cleaned and set up; carpets are also cleaned and freshened; new coats of paint are applied where needed. We replace air filters, smoke-detector batteries, and have windows washed. If your garage is starting to look like an overflowing dumpster, it’s a great time to declutter and get rid of the junk!”
—Lara Michelle, Lara Michelle Beautiful Interiors, Inc.

spring décor refresh
Spring color is an easy way to upgrade your Westchester home. Lara Michelle, Lara Michelle Beautiful Interiors, Inc.

“My first step is spring cleaning… it is really a thing! It makes me happiest when my home is in tip-top shape, and I try to use spring as a once-a-year deep cleaning reminder. I schedule upholstery and rug steam cleaning; window washing inside and out; paint touchups; and air-duct cleaning. If I feel particularly ambitious, I also schedule a pick-up from a local charity organization and try to do a big declutter (e.g., clothes that don’t fit, kids’ toys they have outgrown, etc.). If I can’t spend time on these things, I’ll hire a company to assist.”
—Erika Mercurio, Erika Mercurio Design LLC

Erika Mercurio’s Recommendations:

“One super-important spring to-do is to wash your home’s windows. Whether you do it yourself or have a professional come and wash them, it makes a huge difference for bringing the outside in and spreading the spring sunshine around! And welcoming in spring is a perfect motivator to declutter your house. Whether it’s your countertops or your closets, getting rid of unneeded junk feels great and allows your home’s beauty to shine through.
—Nancy Davilman, ND Interiors

Landscaping and Exterior Ideas

“Spring starts off for us with taking our larger plants out of the garage, where they live through the winter. My landscaper and I go together to my favorite nursery, Site One, and we select things together and then bring them back to design them. I always stick with purples, blues, and whites. We also have gorgeous window boxes. I have tried everything with these babies. I have filled them with fresh boxwood, tulips — the list goes on and on — and nothing keeps those babies healthy. Finally, I threw in the towel: I went on Wayfair and found some plastic boxwoods. I put them in, and they fit perfectly. That was about three years ago, and I have never looked back! I get more compliments on those plastic boxwoods than you could imagine! People ask me all the time how I keep them so perfectly shaped. They are the perfect shade of green, and they look real; they are my new best friends.”
—Andrea Sinkin, Andrea Sinkin Interior

spring greenery
Andrea Sinkin, Andrea Sinkin Interior

“When winter transitions to spring, I change over my own home, and the homes of my clients, in several ways. For exteriors, I make sure the front entrance elements are clean, fresh, and inviting: Must-haves include oversized planters with seasonal flowers or greenery, an attractive doormat (you can layer them, personalize them, or find one with a cute or cheeky phrase — anything goes!), a nicely painted door, a sharp-looking mailbox, and modern house numbers or address signs. Also, evaluate if your exterior decorative lighting could use a refresh, because those fixtures can make a real difference in the look of your house.”
—Dena Feintuch, Dena Feintuch Interiors

“Exterior lighting (e.g., portable LED lanterns), patio projects, patio furniture (many new cool umbrella options!) [add so much ambience to the outdoors.] And get a garden going, for farm-to-table freshness.”
—Carol Kurth, Carol Kurth Architecture + Carol Kurth Interiors

“If it’s in your budget, have a designer look at your current backyard situation and see what ideas can make it more entertaining and livable.”
—Hope Scully, HHS Interior Design Associates

spring porch refresh
There’s nothing like sitting on the porch in Westchester during spring. Photo by Phillip Ennis

“Our porch is the first to show signs of a shift in the air. The hammock gets hung, and a pillow and throw are tossed in. Pansies bloom and bulbs start popping up in the window boxes. Ferns that don’t mind chilly nights are added to planters. I hang a pairs of grapevine wreaths on the double doors we salvaged years ago. When company comes, I pluck a few pansies and ivy and simply thread them through the vines. These simple touches acknowledge spring is here.”
—Lisa McTernan, Lifestyles & Interiors by Lisa

“A designer tip when purchasing outdoor furniture. Beware of going cheap unless you plan to replace it in a year or two. The elements will deteriorate lower-quality materials much faster outside than inside. Also, budget for furniture covers for every piece you buy! Most companies sell corresponding-size covers; if not, they have every size on Amazon.”
—Hope Scully, HHS Interior Design Associates

outdoor dining
Is your Westchester home ready for spring entertaining? Bryggen Nordic Stools; OASIQ; oasiq.com

Entertaining

“Hey, it’s time to host again, so take stock of your serving dishes and stemware, refresh where needed, and host a great party!”
—Malka Helft, Think Chic Interiors

spring dining room refresh
Malka Helft, Think Chic Interiors. Photo by Hulya Kolabas.

“Margarita season is almost upon us, so I like to make sure the bar and snack items are well stocked in case we have friends or neighbors stop over last minute. We seem to do the bulk of entertaining on the fly, when someone does a carpool drop-off, so I never like to have an empty entertaining cabinet or fridge. My go-to sources are Sarza for the most beautiful glasses and appetizer boards, and Dabney Lee for great paper goods and hilarious roadie cups. One recent purchase included plastic cups with catch phrases like “Lax Roadie” and “My Children Are Savages.” I also like to swing by my favorite wine/liquor store to try the newest items (like the new Talkhouse canned cocktails!). Wine Vault in Harrison has an awesome selection, as does G Griffin in Rye. Make sure to have a good cooler on hand for when the party goes outside. I have a vintage Coca-Cola replica on wheels that my kids love to stock with Gatorade or root beer for their friends. I had seen the real deal at the Brimfield Flea Market, and a dealer bought the entire lot of 30-plus coolers to ship over to the Paris Flea Market.”
—Erika Mercurio, Erika Mercurio Design LLC

bar glass
Roadie Cups; Dabney Lee; Rye; dabneylee.com

“You can do as little or as much as you like, but don’t forget the finishing touch: changing the wreath on your front door to something that says, ‘Spring has sprung!’”
—Jennifer McCabe, Duck Egg Blue Interior Design

coca-cola cooler
Coca-Cola Retro Cooler; Leigh Country; leighcountry.com

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