Before I begin this blog, I’d like to comment on one thing about the spring of 2014 on the eastern coast… I can only liken its glorious arrival to an eager, new mom-to-be, giving birth to her baby. She feels the first pangs of labor and immediately heads to the hospital to have her long awaited, “bundle of joy.” Upon examination, the doctor tells her; “Its not time, your are experiencing false labor. Go home, put your feet up and rest.” A week later, she has the same pains, travels back to the hospital and is told again “Its still not time, these are not real labor pains, go home, rest and try to relax.” With the next bout of pain, she really knows its time for her baby to enter into this world...and she is right, as this time, the doctor confirms its on its way. With a great sigh of relief, she shouts out a loud; “Hallelujah!” 10 hours go by…she is encouraged as the nurse assures her saying; “hold on, it will just be a little while longer.” Another 10 hours slowly saunters by, she is told once again, “ Its coming… just not quite yet.” Okay, to make a long story short, her labor has lasted so long that she is starting to believe that her baby may never come, until finally, the doctor says; ” OK, its time. You can go ahead and push.” Now of course, when that baby arrives and she is holding it tightly in her arms, she forgets HOW LONG SHE WAITED…she’s overflowing with joy, reveling in the fact her baby is here and all the waiting is over!
In all my 14 years living on the eastern coast, I have never experienced what the term ‘lingering snow’ meant, until recent. It seemed like overnight that the Vernal equinox had arrived…sitting on our front porch we were thoroughly enjoying all of its’ splendid bestowals. Dapper red headed woodpeckers and dulcet white doves perched upon our budding trees, their unique songs in tune with springs resplendent balled. Our azalea and rose bushes had all come alive, transformed with their verdant green buds upon each tiny branch, ready to burst with bright color. As I looked at our cozy street, I was happily surprised at all the bright pink and frosty white blossoms amidst an abundance of enchanting hues of green, as our quaint neighborhood was filled with Springs debut. The temperatures were in the 70’s and the rays of the warm sun felt like heaven upon our faces. We rejoicingly turned our heaters off, brought out our spring clothes , fully enjoying wearing short sleeved T- shirts and blue jeans once again. Our only tasks at hand were to decide where to take our first engaging, spring day drive to the country , stock up on some fresh chicken, steaks, seafood and vegetables for nights of grilling and what day we’d go for our bike ride. Needless to say, our spring gauges were on high, only to be interrupted in one quick moment.
“Honey did you hear that they are expecting a winter storm this evening?,” My husband asked, not knowing he was messing with my psyche. Sure enough, the next morning, we awoke early to a street blanketed in copious mounds of white fluff. Please do not get me wrong, I adore winter, but once you have had a taste of springs dawning, it just does something to your soul.Trying to come back to my place of peace, I thought, “OK, we can go through another week of snow … we will just enjoy this surprising last week of frozen fluffy ice, before spring really settles in.” 🙂 The heat was back on, we dressed in our layers and heavy winter coats, scarves and gloves, and accepted natures fete. (After all, as Barbara Johnson so wittingly quotes “Patience is the ability to idle your motor when you feel like stripping your gears.”)
There was one member of our family who had no need for patience. Grantham would love it if winter lasted 12 months of the year. 🙂
A week later…all the snow had melted. Our grass, once stark and brown was coming alive with sprouts of shamrock green, opalescent, yellow daffodils were blooming everywhere as were all the annuals, joyfully planted in years gone by. All our trees were budding and the temps hit 80 degrees… Joining our doves and woodpeckers were dozens of cordial, hospitable robins, delicate yellow finches, debonaire blue jays and my favorite, the charming and regal red bird. I even saw a rare, majestic eagle, blithely gliding over our home, without a care in the world… Yes, Spring was here. In my pure enjoyment of this elated season, I gave our home a spring makeover. It was more fun to bring out our assortment of bright floral pillows, soft, featherlight linens, buy some fresh flowers, take my bunny rabbits out and create our annual spring tree… Everything, looked and felt brand new.
This time I plugged my ears when the newscaster on the weather channel announced that yet another nor eastern was coming to the east coast, expressing it would be a “big one” so be prepared. I am not exaggerating when I tell you, this dramatic Playlet continued for over a month… (One week, spring would desperately try to make its grand entrance, only to be ousted and delayed the following week, by Winters refusal to leave.) About this time I was beginning to laugh , (instead of deeply sighing,) totally identifying with my fellow east coast dwellers as I began hearing numerous jokes as well as receiving e-mail forwards about Winter overstaying its welcome. 🙂 No matter where I went, the grocery store, Post office, bank, downtown boutiques, it was as if we were all speaking a secret language to one another…first the shaking of the head, then the word REALLY? ( All of us knowing we were talking about the incredulous weather.)
With Easter arriving this weekend and seeing all the breathtaking dogwoods and cherry blossoms in our city in full bloom, I think its safe to proclaim that Spring has officially arrived and is here to stay. Our windows have been open for over a week, we don’t need our coats or heavy jackets, nature is peaceful, (no longer confused) and the sun is brightly shining. Another sure sign of the new season’s entrance is that the undomesticated meadow behind our home has awakened from its winter slumber. Its Brobdingnagian trees, once bare and stark , are now beginning to show signs of new life with their tiny buds of green. The ‘soon to be’ sprawling, picturesque wild ivy has taken its first baby steps, where in a short while, it will be joined by springs breathtaking kaleidoscopic wildflowers, fluttering butterflies and families of deer that quietly promenade from the deep woods for their nightly and early morning visits… I guess you could say, we are now holding our newborn baby. 🙂 I can’t even imagine another storm hitting! (Except a fragrant, inviting spring storm with a beautiful rainbow at its end.)
There is just something about this blissful season that brings a smile to our faces as well as a new, childlike excitement, as we joyfully accept its welcomed invitation to come out and PLAY! Our winter list of ‘fun things to do’ is off of our fridge and a new Springtime list is awaiting us, to take on it’s sublime and summoning suggestions. (I can only imagine that all of you have already been enjoying an abundance of spring adventures, especially on the Western coast.) Our novel list begins with taking Grantham to the beach, ( the sandy shores no longer filled with crowds and so beautifully deserted,) walk barefoot in the grass, take a bike trip, enjoy birdwatching, have friends over for a BBQ and bonfire, plant some flowers, visit Pepper’s Greenhouse and nursery, the Farmers market and enjoy the soon to bloom, (most gorgeous site ever) mimosa tree outside our bedroom window. It is always a huge pleasure for everyone, when we begin to see our old familiar spring ‘friends’ in the yard, realizing just how much we’ve missed them these last 9 months. Who doesn’t fall in love with the wide eyed, smiling frogs, husky groundhogs, awe-inspiring flying squirrels, stunning pheasants, soaring sky larks, the faithful swallows as well as the adorable, fluffy, long eared bunnies with their little babies. And then of course there are a few ‘not so missed guests,’ but they are just as much a part of this epic season… The portly Carpenter bees, shady snakes, cunning red foxes and busy wasps building their spring nests. This awe-inspiring season brings our spirits a new hope and joy, adding a bounce to our step…giving us an abundance of inspiration to put all the decorative snowmen away, (without wistful sighs,) 🙂 and transmute our homes on the inside to mirror what nature is so graciously bestowing to us on the outside. We gladly pack up our dark wintry colors and bring out the bright hues of pomegranate reds, hushed roses, sage greens, alabaster whites, sky blues, and sunflower yellows. (And of course for some of us, our treasured collection of bunny rabbits.) 🙂 Its a time to celebrate, sit back and ENJOY natures resplendent show.
In writing this vignette, it is my hope that it brings you a little inspiration with some innovative ideas for adding some sunshine and the beauty of spring to your already inviting and lovely havens. After giving our home a spring makeover, I truly feel as if the sun has given our little abode a big kiss of splendid joy…each room is a little brighter, fresher and speaks LIFE to our souls. Perhaps we are more appreciative of this new arrival, as it took so long to get here. 🙂 All I know is, I want to treasure everyday of Spring that we have left.The picture perfect time of year, that is our rejuvenating interval between the arctic, polar winter and the (thank the Lord for air conditioning,) often times, sweltering summer. There is nothing like spring and all of its many gifts it graces our lives with…It truly is a consonance of all of nature joining together to bring about new beginnings, hope, life and a reminder to the soul that God is in His heaven and ALL IS WELL.
“Springtime is the land awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn.” ~Quoted by Lewis Grizzard in Kathy Sue Loudermilk, I Love You
“Spring makes its own statement, so loud and clear that the gardener seems to be only one of the instruments, not the composer.” ~Geoffrey B. Charlesworth
“Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night.” ~Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke
“I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden.” ~Ruth Stout
“The year’s at the spring
And day’s at the morn;
Morning’s at seven;
The hillside’s dew-pearled;
The lark’s on the wing;
The snail’s on the thorn;
God’s in His heaven –
All’s right with the world!”
“Every spring is the only spring – a perpetual astonishment.” ~Ellis Peters
“Under the giving snow blossoms a daring spring.” ~Terri Guillemets
“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.” ~Pablo Neruda
“The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.” ~Henry Van Dyke
“If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall.” ~Nadine Stair
“Now every field is clothed with grass, and every tree with leaves; now the woods put forth their blossoms, and the year assumes its gay attire.” ~Virgil
“The seasons are what a symphony ought to be: four perfect movements in harmony with each other.” ~Arthur Rubenstein
“It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want – oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!” ~Mark Twain
Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush. ~Doug Larson
BED AND BATH
How much fun is it to take a weekend off and go to your favorite bed and breakfast? Its not a luxury that most of us can afford to do all the time, but how about sprucing up your bedroom and bath, creating it to look like your favored Inn in the springtime…with a bouquet or two of colorful, fragrant flowers, soft, diaphanous linens, an array of pastel colored bath towels accompanied by glistening candle light and lavender scented bubble bath?
Between Winter and summer lies a beautiful, peaceful and calming fluffy bed, bedecked in the charming duo of blue and white!
An illustrious blend of colors… soft blues accompanied by beckoning rose, highlighted with a cool, refreshing yellow! I love this combination.
Not only authentic, but classy and resourceful… Perfect for adding your spring decor to your bathroom.
I could not resist this “chimera” bathroom… An “AH” moment , 24 hours a day. 🙂 I can only imagine.
KITCHEN AND DINING ROOM
A recent poll revealed that the majority of us spend an hour to 2 hours a day in our kitchens…and depending on WHERE you dine with your family, probably a little less time in the dining room. Multiply that by 30 and that is a lot of hours within one month…All the more reason to include these significant rooms in your decorating adventure.
These next two junoesque kitchens, keep the beauty of a sunny spring day even when the sun has set… I love the added touch of the rich greens accenting this rooms creative and sightly, overhead ceiling lighting .
Everyone loves a fresh bouquet of roses or flowers from the Florist…Whenever Kit blesses me with this gift, I thoroughly enjoy their brilliant presence in our home for a week or so, but I can hardly wait to dry them and display them with babies breath and fresh greens. They bring the ‘essence of spring’ into our homes all year long! 🙂
If you are “a little bit county,” these two kitchen are for you…all bedecked in the essence of a beautiful spring day.
A bit formal with a relaxed flavor…the bright, crisp white amidst the sunflower yellow and dark woods are a wondrous backdrop for the elegant, eye-catching spring floral arrangement. (Now, that centerpiece would definitely have to come down during a meal…Its what my husband would call, ” For pure enjoyment and display only.”) 🙂
The room inside our homes, that gives our guests their first impression of our decorating style as well as setting the mood for the rest of our cozy abode. It is also the room we favor and live in the most, thus I go all out with my decor when it comes to this special room’s seasonal flavor.
One of the most ingenious creations, (IMHO) is the invention of the slipcover…This gift allows us to change our seasonal ambiance very inexpensively. This spring time living room is strikingly arresting and welcoming with its striped, warm yellow and white over-sized couch, floral pillows and pastel green walls, inspiring our moods to be ‘creative, happy, fun filled and cheerful’…the color yellow is also eminently uplifting and illuminating, offering hope.
This inviting living room, ( a potpourri of country, shabby chic and cottage style with hints of spring) is the perfect ambiance to come home to after a long day at work…just kick off your shoes, grab a drink and enjoy a quick respite with the seasons extended daylight, before the dinner hour begins! 🙂
A classy display of the marvelous duo of the seasons blue and white…(I love the usage of the ottoman.as a coffee table.) This rooms foundational color of blue creates a sense of calmness, peace and tranquility…
The wonderful truth about decorating for spring is, its not eminently important what style of home you already have. It only takes a few vases of fresh greens or garden flowers, a medley of new pillows arrayed in bright colors and a pastel throw draped upon your favorite chair to bring forth the essence of bliss and renewal.
Looks like a Mary Engelbreit room to me! 🙂 I love her work as she openly shares with her readers her passion of decorating with bright COLOR and her mix and match style in each room of her exquisite, inviting home.
These next two living rooms embody a romantic, spring flare…adorned with softness, a perfect sunlit ambiance with a regal, polished and artsy flavor. (It reminds me of what the sitting rooms in a cottage, nestled in the countryside of England would look like.) 🙂
FIRST IMPRESSIONS (Outside the home.)
Whether it is our front porch, our wrap around verandahs or the land that our homes are built upon, it is the first thing we see as we arrive home. Springtime is one of the most gorgeous times of the year to make our havens shine with sublime color and style. When I think about our lawn, front porch and backyard, I liken them to ‘one more room’ within my home to embellish with the seasons bounty. We all have a differently shaped canvas to work with…use your signature style and the colors you love to create your piece of art for all the world to see.
What a creative deck with its abundance of radiant white, planked flooring and potted spring blooms… and this overflowing archway trellis looks like something out of a romantic movie. A wonderful show of amazing creativity and talent! (Of course with a little help from nature.) 🙂
“Spring is natures way of saying; “Lets party.” ” I totally agree with Robin Williams! 🙂
Vibrant colors and new life changes everything!
There is just something about white wood adorned with luxuriant greens and the soft blooms of floral vines that warms the soul… These beautiful and creative ideas bestow upon these ‘outside rooms’ splendor, grace, wonderment and magic.
This beautiful cottage home reminds me of the great American dream when a couple gets married…You know the one with the white picket fence, two kids and an obedient dog? 🙂 The lovely and flowing landscape transforms this berth into a magical and cozy dwelling.
There are so many ideas to express your hearts celebration of Spring…your favorite flowers, shrubs, trees and there is nothing that quite compares to a beautifully fresh mowed, lush green lawn.
Two of my all time favorite spring gifts…already made potted flower pots and a birds nest filled with eggs. (whether man-made or the real thing. 🙂
Creative, ingenious as well as magical. Both of these decorative ideas embody a sylvan charm that inspires a hearty celebration of this festive, once a year wonder.
FOR ALL OF YOU WHO LOVE DECORATING FOR EASTER AND ARE BUNNY-CONNOISSEURS… A few more wondrous ideas for you as you bedeck your home in spring attire… (I keep my Bunny decor up through the summer:) Remember; “Be faithful to your own taste, because nothing you REALLY LIKE like is ever out of style.” Billy Baldwin
This riveting, creative and showy kitchen bedecked for Easter is one of my favorite kitchens of all times. Its large enough to display all of these bright colored, animated characters and kaleidoscopic Easter eggs… fabulously stunning!
I have to admit…in between the snow storms and hints of springs arrival to our coast, I got a little stir crazy and created four different tablescapes for my spring-Easter dining room ambiance… It was fun. (My husband is happy that I have just settled for one. ) 🙂
My spring wreath for our kitchen and our annual spring tree for the living room… (Only did each one, once.) 🙂
My little chef’s wanted to get in on the springtime celebration too!
Topiary trees and three tiered plates are so much fun to spruce up for springtime!
A few added touches of this glorious season in our bedroom!
I fell in love with these two spring trees when I saw them…each one totally unique, full of bright, joyful color and celebration of the season.
OK, you know I had to smile when I found this photo of a beautiful , festive spring tree with a snowfall in the background… I do not think we will ever forget the spring of 2014 on the eastern coast. 🙂 The animated, earthy basket (don’t you love those creative homemade carrots) with the fetching bunny is a stunning addition for any homes spring celebration.
Enjoy this splendorous season… Buy yourself a bouquet of lilies or daffodils, visit your farmers market for some freshly picked fruits and vegetables, get a little adventurous and endeavor is some strawberry picking or go to your favorite boutique and find the cutest bunny you have ever seen, to add to your collection! HAPPY SPRING and I wish for you all a blessed Easter.
PHOTOGRAPHS: In placing your computer mouse upon any of the photos or graphics, it will display where the picture originated from.