Spring is the season that celebrates fresh new beginnings; it’s a season filled with natural beauty and color. Once winter is over, I can’t wait to celebrate spring’s glorious return by infusing our home with the colors, shapes, and scents of the season. It is so rewarding to re-imagine and refresh our existing rooms by adding a few show-stopping accessories, or just rearranging some of the antiques that are already there.
Living in California, our garden bursts into bloom quite early, and I draw inspiration from Mother Nature. The garden is visible through large French windows in the living room, as well as in our master bedroom, and I let it take center stage in my decorating. I bring in lots of soft neutral colors of white, cream, and linen, with just a few colorful accents.
As an antiques dealer, I am always trying to incorporate heirlooms into our home’s design in new ways, so change is a constant. For spring, I edit my collections and display fewer pieces to freshen and lighten the look, like antique Limoges porcelains with pastel colors on a tea tray. Pillows in bright colors line our couch in the living room. I design simpler table settings with silver, china, and antique white table linens, so that my flower arrangements, and spring’s fresh foods, can really take center stage.
French Garden House curator and antiques expert Lidy Baars offers her top 5 tips on decorating for spring.
1. Bring the beauty of nature indoors.
In spring, add color with fresh flowers and blooming branches. To create a stylish arrangement, choose an unusual antique container. An heirloom sterling teapot, an ironstone pitcher, or even a few Limoges teacups filled with flowers all celebrate the joy of spring in your own personal style.
2. Lighten up.
Choose lighter color accents in a softer palette. Shift to subdued bisque, cream, white, and linen colors. Pantone’s color of the year, greenery, is the perfect revitalizing accent for this soothing color scheme, bringing a seasonal pop to your décor.
3. Curate your collections.
Creating a home surrounded by things you love is a beautiful way to express yourself. Your collections infuse your home with your personality and evoke memories of places and people you love. Perhaps put a few of your pieces into storage to really let the ones on display shine. Or mass a number of your items together in one exceptional presentation in an antique French armoire, or on a silver tray, so that they take up less visual space.
4. Focus on floral patterns.
Add seasonal touches to your home by displaying flower-themed decorative accents. Antique, floral, hand-painted porcelains on your tea table, a rich floral-patterned French pillow on your settee—these all whisper spring in a beautiful way.
5. Set a fresh new table.
As the season changes, reimagine your table settings. Be daring and try something new! Combine your antique dishes with a new charger or plate, add a contemporary striped linen napkin, mix up patterns. Table settings are not about being perfect; have fun and create some new looks for entertaining that make your heart light up.
About the expert: Lidy Baars developed a passion for antiques at a young age in her native Netherlands. In 2007, she launched French Garden House, where she sells a wide array of antique items on her website, including much-coveted toleware.
Interview Cynthia Reeser Constantino
Photography courtesy French Garden House