Emily’s Tips for Bold Spring Color

By Kate Riley February 10, 2011

My friends, yesterday was such a great day.   Yesterday, I got my hands dirty with some revolutionary new DIY products from RustOleum (will share very soon).  Yesterday, I ate gumbo.  Twice.  Both servings were a little bit spicy and a whole lotta heavenly.  I am now obsessed with recreating that magical flavor at home.  

Yesterday, I walked the streets of Nawlins.  I savored beignets with café au lait.  I walked every cobblestone street in the French Quarter from Decatur to Dauphine.  I visited antique shops and drank a hurricane.  Thankfully I drank the hurricane after I visited the antique shops and not the other way around, or I may have done some serious damage to my bank account.  It was all so fantastic, I barely even noticed it was pouring rain.     

Today, I’m headed home, but here to take the reins is the lovely Emily A. Clark!  I had the pleasure of meeting Emily last November when I visited New York and have followed her blog ever since.  Emily is an interior decorator with her own design business ~ she has amazing taste, and I absolutely love how she uses bold color in fearless ways.  Emily is here to share a few tips on sprucing up your home for spring with intense pops of color. 


Welcome Emily!

Emily A. Clark

“I don’t know about you, but after a whole week of being snowed-in with my kids and one too many frosty mornings, I’m pretty much over winter and longing for the first signs of spring.  Thankfully, it’s not too early to start thinking about ways to infuse some life into your home.  While seasonal decorating this time of year often centers around pastels, Easter eggs and bunnies, I like to take a different approach when adding touches of spring to my home.

Spring to me means fresh and bold color.  There are lots of easy and inexpensive ways to incorporate this concept into your existing decor. 

For a quick update, I like to start by shopping in the produce section.  I recently gave my mantle a fast facelift using different shades and textures of green.

From Winter. . . .
To Spring. . .

I grabbed lots of green and mixed white and glass containers for a fresh feel.  This is a fun look for a party or guests.  However, if you ‘re looking for something with longer shelf life, you may want to opt for faux fruit. . . . (Hobby Lobby is a great source.)


There are other ways to breathe new life into your home.  Instantly freshen up an older piece of furniture by painting it a bold, unexpected shade.  I gave this old campaign dresser a makeover from gray to green by using Benjamin Moore’s “Fresh Grass.”  It’s a constant bright spot in our home office.

Incorporating bold color doesn’t always have to come in large doses.  Sometimes the simplest pop can make a big difference.  There’s been lots of talk lately about the color “honeysuckle” since it was picked as Pantone’s “Color of the Year.”  It’s a bright reddish pink and reminds me of spring blooms.  I used it to change up the bedding a bit in our master bedroom.  (Best of all, I recently picked up a pillow in this shade at IKEA for under $3!)
Botanical prints are another tried and true way to freshen things up.  They work in traditonal homes as well as more modern spaces.  I have filled our dining room walls with pages from this book that I ordered on Amazon. 
Framing botanical pages is an extemely affordable way to liven up your space with color.

Botanicals give you a wonderful color palette to pull from for the rest of your space.  Besides artwork, a beautiful floral-inspired fabric can work wonders for giving your room a more spring-like feel.  You may want to consider changing out heavier, solid drapes with a brighter pattern in a linen or cotton for the warmer months. 

I used Covington’s “Wilmington” pattern to create colorful drapes for our home office. If you prefer it in a smaller dose, use a whimsical botanical fabric for a couple of throw pillows, to recover storage boxes or even framed as artwork.
Don’t be afraid to step outside of the box this spring.  Go bold with color, even if you only use it in small bursts throughout your home.  Start freshening up now–warmer weather is (hopefully) just around the corner. 
Thanks to Kate for letting me share my spring vision while she’s away.   To see more ways that I’ve used color throughout our home, check out my blog!”
I’m with you Emily, I love using bold pops of color and botanicals to instantly freshen a space and get me in the mood for spring!   Isn’t Emily’s home so stylish?  She surely has the magic decorator’s touch, and I’m so happy she is here today to share her ideas!  Be sure to visit Emily’s blog for even more tips and decorating services available.
Hey, guess what?  I have a new kitchen backsplash behind my range!  I finished it last week and I’ll share it with you tomorrow, including the step by step installation, plus physical proof that I can now safely operate a tile saw.  
It’s those little things like keeping my fingers that make me oh so happy. 
See y’all tomorrow!


  1. Thanks for the tips! I’ve been seeing that green dresser around…love it. Changing something as simple as pillows can really update a room.

    I am in the midst of overhauling my bedroom and family room. Some of these pics from Emily are on my inspiration board now!

    Can’t wait to see what you have in store from the conference, Kate!

  2. Emily is always on the pulse when it comes to prettying up a space. Great post and love that green on the mantle!


  3. I changed out the drapes yesterday in my family room to hopefully inspire spring to come early. Great post! Love your blog, just been following a couple weeks!

  4. Kate- Glad you enjoyed New Orleans! I am a native Louisianian and live in Baton Rouge but I’m looking to move to New Orleans since I love the city. So much culture and personality! Gumbo is SO easy to make- if you’d like a recipe send me an email and I’ll share. :)

  5. Can you please pass along the wall color for the room with the fireplace?

    I am looking for the perfect color for my dining room and love that!

    Any help would be appreciated.

  6. I think you’ve got enough of us native Louisianaians here (Baton Rouge here too) to get you rollin’ on that gumbo for sure! My Mom often makes a big gumbo for Christmas instead of the turkey, ham, etc. sort of meal. Yummm.

  7. Great guest post! This is my first visit and I am here via Emily’s blog (love her). Im new to the blog world, but I certainly feel like I have missed out and need to catch up with you! Sounds like you had a lovely time in N.O. I look forward to future posts! Now Im off to read old ones…

  8. Thanks for the great colour tips – can’t wait to inject some more colour into my home to liven things up! I think I have a perfect spot in our entry way so it’s the first and last thing I see in the house. I will be heading over to Emily’s blog for more inspiration!

  9. Firstly – your New Orleans trip souns absolutley wonderful and gives us the travel-itch, which is very easy for us to get : )

    Thank you for sharing this post and Emily’s wonderful ideas on Spring decoration. We love to read about home interiors and have been catching up on your blog which we follow.

    We have just found the most amasing HOT fabric which is inspiring our new handmade pillows and looking forward to heating up the days.

    Fab blog!

    We would love you to drop by our blog when you get a chance. We have recently been posting about travel and color – which inspires us.

    With warm wishes

  10. So glad you had a great time! Eating is half the fun…. and you’ll be swamped with gumbo recipes…( if they don’t include the oven method for making the roux…. i’ll send mine…. easy peasy. )and in fact… we had ice and snow here yesterday, so of course…. chicken and sausage gumbo!
    Love the colors and am looking to add that wonderful Honeysuckle to my LR and music room with pillows! easiest way for a dramatic pop- other than those wonderful green accents on the mantel Emily shared ! thanks Emily, your pictures made the day brighter….. I’ll be visiting!

  11. I love good tips! It’s great that her simplest changes make such a difference! I laugh that you had gumbo twice in one day. I have a sweet tooth so for me, it would have been beignets!
    Lila Ferraro

  12. Two of my favorite ladies of style! Great tips, Emily– I love decorating with artichokes! And the honeysuckle pillow is so unexpected and fresh! Looks great with the white and black in your bedroom.
    Kate, so glad you enjoyed NOLA– my old stomping grounds and one of my all-time favorite places in the world. :)
    Thanks, ladies!

  13. Welcome home, Kate! And, thanks to everybody for your nice comments. To answer a couple of the questions–the paint in our family room is “Stunning” by Benjamin Moore and the sunburst mirrors came from random sources. My parents found the one in our family room at a decor surplus outlet near their home in Kentucky. I bought the one above our bed at another surplus store; it was originally sold at Target.

  14. This was a great guest blogger post. I enjoyed it immensely. Glad you were able to have a great day yesterday. There are those days that you just need some magic and joy in your day. Love the parsons table.

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