Decorate for Spring: 10 Tips from 10 Top Designers
Don't spend a lot of time and money updating your home for this sunny season. Instead, follow these financially friendly tips from top designers and update your home for spring with ease!
Room designed by Angela Min
Do a Three-Second Scan
For each room, I ask all my clients to do what I call the "Three-Second Scan."

With a pen and a small notepad, go into each room with your eyes closed. Open your eyes, and very quickly—in three short seconds—spot three objects in the room that visually bother you the most. Use that as your starting point for redecorating.

This forces you to prioritize the top things to change, rather than leaving you feeling overwhelmed with an long, taxing list. When you look at your lists from each room as a whole, a story begins to emerge, highlighting a stage or theme in your life that you are moving away from.

— Angela Min, a residential interior designer with Susan Serra Associates with more than a decade of professional experience working in New York City and the Hamptons
Room with white accents, designed by Kyle Schuneman
Bring in Fresh White Accents
White accents immediately brighten up any space. I love using a plain white canvas on the wall to really tie the color scheme together.

— Kyle Schuneman, an interior designer based in L.A. and one of House Beautiful's Next Wave of Top 20 Designers for 2010
Shelves with wallpaper backing
Add Simple, Chic Shelving
You can pack a punch with a great wallpaper by papering just the inside back section of a shelving unit. It's quick and easy to do, and you get the look you want without it taking over your entire room!

— Libby Langdon, expert commentator on HGTV's Small Space, Big Style and Rachael Ray's go-to interior design "buddy," with frequent appearances on The Rachael Ray Show for design makeovers
Lemons in a bowl
Play with Punches of Yellow
Nothing sings "spring" like the color yellow. A large white bowl or tall glass vase of lemons can bring instant and simple style into the kitchen for spring. I love using beautiful objects that have a dual purpose for display and function—lemons are a fresh, inexpensive style accessory that are also readily on hand for cooking!

You can also bring pots of yellow daffodils into your living area to make the space happy. Plants are more cost efficient, last longer than freshly cut flowers and the bulbs can be replanted in the garden at the end of the season.

— Kara Butterfield, an interior stylist/designer based in Boston
Room designed by Kishani Perera
Perk Up Your Pillows
Lighten up! Replace the throw pillows on your sofa or bed with brightly colored ones, and don't be afraid to mix in a bold print. One of my favorite sites for throw pillows is or, where you can find unique and affordable options.

— Kishani Perera, an interior designer whose clients include Ben Stiller and who specializes in eco-friendly design
Furniture repainted by designer Jillian Harris
Get Crafty and Repaint Furniture
Antiquing is a fantastic spring project and a great way to spend the weekend with the family. I encourage everyone to pick an item and use it as their "this week" project. If you think a project will take more than a week to complete, pass.

For spring, you can find and paint antique desks or dressers (you might even have one in the basement!) with a glossy crème and replace the hardware.

In the kitchen, paint old, outdated cupboard doors and cabinet framing with white or crème melamine, and switch out knobs for a new, updated look.

— Jillian Harris, interior designer and former star of The Bachelorette, recently appearing as a guest designer on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
Room designed by Nadia Geller
Add Accents and Simple Succulents
Adding a bit of life to an interior is a designer-must. Since my clients never want to add plants to their spaces out of fear of killing them, succulents are very friendly plants that are easy to maintain and easy to make.

In the photo, you'll see that a classic lady head vase now has the perfect hairdo!

— Nadia Geller, interior designer who has been on such shows as TLC's While You Were Out, Trading Spaces, Home Made Simple and Date My House
Table setting designed by Michelle Workman
Tweak Your Table Settings
Thoughts of spring make me yearn to eat outdoors, which in turn makes me think of the table and how to decorate it.

Spring place card holders can liven up any table and make us all think of nature and renewal! Budding branches and flowering branches are a quick way to bring the outdoors in. Renewal is something that brings hope for the future and life into the home.

— Michelle Workman, interior designer with clients such as Jennifer Lopez, John Travolta, Kelly Preston and Kirstie Alley
Kristan Cunningham with transformed slipcovers
Transform Your Slipcovers
To start, you'll need to invest in basic parsons chairs with white slipcovers. Yes, it's an investment up front, but it's one worth making because you'll be able to customize these chairs as often as you like!

Simply run a strip of Velcro up the back of the chair, then over and down the height of the chair. You can attach coordinating runners for different events, holidays or seasons. Think of all those color options and pattern possibilities! Line up the adorned chair with the runner on your table so that you further emphasize the visual line or band for maximum impact. The runners are a small investment—the ones in this project cost a mere $5.99 a pop—to achieve a completely different look that takes seconds to change out.

— Kristan Cunningham, decorating expert formerly from HGTV's Design on a Dime, now with
Room designed by Rachel Ashwell of Shabby Chic Interiors
Keep It Airy and Light
Remove heavy drapes and replace them with sheer materials such as voile or lace. You can find affordable materials at local fabric stores or use old pieces of fabric found at flea markets. Simply pin up fabrics with some tacks or sew a rod pocket at either end.

Also, check flea markets for summer-inspired paintings of flowers, cottages and beach scenes. You can also fill bowls and vases of inexpensive sea glass and seashells to bring a piece of the beach inside.

Rachel Ashwell, founder of the Shabby Chic® brand and author of several best-selling design books

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