Touches of Blue

By Kate Riley March 20, 2012

I’ve been in a funk for the last week and I think it’s a combination of too much rain and daylight savings time.  But I decided to thumb my nose at all the dreary weather and create a little bit of spring indoors instead. Over the weekend I brought in a new umbrella plant to replace the wintery branch that once stood in the corner and bright pink ranunculus bring a breath of spring to the living room.

I also added some touches of blue in the form of those paint swirl vases on the mantel, a bold but cozy throw, and some new blue and white pillows I scored at Joss & Main.

touches of blue in living room cg

pink ranunculus ikat pillow cg

cg living room club chair

kate living room with blues cg

spring is here ranunculus

Today is spring equinox, derived from the Latin meaning “equal night” so that today (and only once more in autumn) we experience equal parts daylight and dark – the bonus of spring equinox for us in the northern hemisphere is the longer days of spring and summer are just ahead. 

I think I enjoy the spring season even more than autumn now.  Is it age?  Perhaps, but the idea of everything growing again, of nature coming back to life in all its marvelous ways, gives me hope of great things in the days ahead.  

Linking up to Layla’s Spring Mantel Party today!




  1. Looks beautiful! I love seeing everybody’s mantels. There are so many different looks yet they all relate to the season. My mantel couldn’t be more different than yours (think Pacific Northwest) but the result is the same: Spring!

    And..fall is still #1 on my list but I am loving spring more and more as well. I agree with you – I think it is age. :)

    Have a great day!

  2. Love the mirror! I could sit for hours in the your room reading or just looking around enjoying the surroundings. Absolutely Lovely!

  3. Oh how do I love this room!! Always makes me happy looking at your rooms – so fresh and lovely, can’t imagine what it must be like to actually live there!! lol Being stuck in the Canadian winter I adore spring – specially since we’ve been seeing temps in the 70’s – which is unheard of for this time of year! Yay for spring and sunshiny weather!!

  4. I love your room, and your touches of blue are so fresh and spring-y. You’ve probably already told us, but could you remind me where you got your rug? I love it! :)

  5. I love everything from the chairs to the rug to the mirror! All the pops of white!!! Do you have somewhere on your blog that says where you purchased these items? For instance I LOVE the mirror and rug!

  6. I had to smile when contemplated age as a factor in enjoying spring more than autumn now, because I feel the exact same way! I think age might be a factor. While I love fall, the fact that it’s a prelude to winter has just become a bit depressing. I love watching everything come back to life in spring, and the warmer weather just brings brighter moods by default. :-)

  7. Hey! I’m contemplating those lovely nailhead chairs you have in your living room – it looks like the come with a back cushion and you took it off. Is it still comfy that way? I’d love a review from you – I looooove the way they look in your gorgeous home!

  8. That’s so funny! I decided last week to add some touches of blue too to our family room and made the same painted vases (except mine aren’t swirled)! Will be posting about them soon :D

  9. Ha! You should come to Chicago! We have had two weeks in the seventies and eighties (YES, it is still winter) and tons of sunshine!!! This has never happened here before! Kinda scary actually. We all have been thinking about global warming. We usually have days still in the freezing zone at this time of year. Now that you have two chairs in front of your fireplace, what did you do with the blank space where the sofa was?

  10. Happy spring equinox everyone! We can’t complain about weather this year in Maine, it will be 80 here on Thursday. I love the touches of spring. My wife just put tulips in all the bed rooms!

  11. @ Jenna. If you Google “Lenox Club Chair,” you can find it online at Amazon, Lowes, etc. I have been pondering the notion of them in my living room too. I am looking for one of the places that has it in stock so I can actually sit in it! I would love to know Kate’s take on them too.

    • Hi Jackie and Jenna, I’ve had the chairs for a few months – they’re well made and the perfect petite size for my home, but not so small that a grown man can’t sit in them comfortably. The cushions are firm, but not hard, and I did removed the back cushion to replace it wit a decorative one, I prefer it.

  12. Fall used to be my favorite time, too, but it has changed to Spring for me, as well, in the last few years. Like you, the return of life–verdant greens & cheerful blooms….AND sunshine–makes me happy!! Not to mention the pleasant temps. : )

  13. Beautiful pops of blue!! Where did you get the swirl vases, I would love to have those for our house

    • Hi Mandy, I made those vases, I’ll show the tuturial soon, there’s a little trick to it, but once you get it, you can make beautiful paint swirl creations with glass.

  14. Hi Kate,
    This is Ellya….You were always so kind answering my questions when asked you for an idea a while ago. I have been MIA for a while…but I am back. I always love your home and admire your creativity and hard work. I love the room above with the flower on the vase; and as always GORGEOUS…I love spring flowers as well. I have ton of questions for you {well I should start with one or two first} Do you consider in doing an e course for blogging ? I am a new blogger and I think I could use your talent for this ! And oh…what do you think about my blog. I am an artist {I paint} but I love interior, I also love sewing, photography, fashion. YOur comments about my blog is highly appreciated because you are my true inspiration. Feel free to comment about it in my email. And ohh…take your time because I know you a are very busy person. Thank you so much Kate….!! And Happy Spring Time for you and your family……!!!

    • Hello Ellya, thank you so much! I suppose I never thought about writing an ecourse for blogging…. hmmmm. Will think about it! I popped over to your blog, it’s lovely! You’re doing all the right things, writing about what you love, and your layout is bright and attractive! Keep it up, and thanks for the sweet words of encouragement!

  15. Hi Kate! Just lovely as always! Wondering if you can tell me where you got your carpet from? Thanks!

  16. Hi Kate,
    Ah, I, too, have been in a bit of a funk this past week and have found myself staring at anything yellow! Thanks for echoing those longing-for-spring sentiments. Your site is, by far, my favorite. Thanks for sharing all your great ideas and always brightening my day, no matter what weather we’re having!

  17. PLEASE tell me where you bought the carpet!! It would go perfectly in my new living room!!

    • Hi Kim (and others asking about the carpet) – I scored that transitional beauty on sale at World Market last year but sadly they no longer offer it anymore! I buy the same size rugs for my family room, living room, and dining room and switch them around with the seasons!

  18. How beautiful are those flowers? I always wondered what they were called! Love what you’ve done to the room to make it spring-like!
    Emma xx

  19. I hear you, Kate. I’ve been in a bit of that funk, too, with this weather. Seeing your pretty spring post is like a breath of fresh air! It’s really lovely with the touches of blue and pop of pink. Love that beautiful white vase!

  20. I have been so into blue lately as well! I just love all of the tones and how fresh it feels. It looks so lovely in your space, especially when paired with those lovely pink flowers.

    That white side table has me giddy. LOVE it!


  21. Another “idyllic” beautifully executed mantel…As I have said previously, you define the term “idyllic”..your creations are so serenely gorgeous that you just want to sit and enjoy the surroundings with a cup of tea and a good book…or decorating magazine for that matter!!….

  22. Wow sooo beautiful. What is the wall color above the paneling?
    It is gorgeous!!!

  23. Gorgeous! Love the touches of blue. Sorry to hear you’ve been feeling down and that the weather is dreary. I’ll send you some Chicago warmth and sunshine! (Yes, we’ve been having unusually freakish weather here.)

  24. hi kate,
    i love those chairs you have, i saw them on joss and main and one kings lane. i was wondering how comfortable are they? would you recommend them?

  25. So sad to hear that the rug has disappeared from the shelves…..but is there any way you can find out the name of it? Maybe the back has some info and the rug is sold somewhere else? Just wondering….. thanks!!

    • Hi Kim, I’ve looked for my old tag, can’t find it, and no tag on the rug, I’m so sorry! I’ve looked for it everywhere online too.

  26. I just love that ranunculus! Is it potted or are they cut? I’ve always wanted to try one, but haven’t. Have you grown them before?

    • Hi Tara, I buy ranunculus from Trader Joes and potted versions from Lowes. I’m never able to keep the potted versions alive, but I find them irresistable!

  27. The white vase with the cutouts on your side table? Wow, Kate! It is just lovely! I look forward to that post on how you made it. Thanks!

    • No I made the flower vase on the mantel. That’s a white vase filled with ranunculus is from Goodwill!

  28. Thank you so much anyway….I just thought maybe I’d be lucky. It really would have been perfect. I appreciate your time in searching!

  29. I enjoy reading your blog and your room in beautiful! Can I ask who makes the chairs by the fireplace? I lover them!!!!

  30. Kate,

    You are truly an inspiration. I just became your subscriber and I have to say, you have a great eye for decor. I LOVE your style and and cannot wait to keep following your blog.



    • Hi Jessica, it’s the Bardot Drink Table in white lacquer, I found it at Joss & Main, a favorite site for scoring deals on designer stuff!

  31. hi kate-
    LOVE LOVE LOVE this rug and i see that you haven’t been able to locate a tag or link to where you bought it. however, if you remember or come across anything that sparks your memory PLEASE post on here- i will be checking back!
    thanks for all your great ideas and inspiration!

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