For some people, spring cleaning entails not much more than a good shake of the carpets. For others, it's an excuse to update room décor.
Here's a sampling of this season's new palettes, patterns and styles:
Neither boring nor drab, new neutrals are about bringing home a sense of calm and comfort. Some pastels are chalkier, like sorbet that's been given a whisk of cream. Then there are the organic hues of earth, sky and water.
We see neutrals most often in minimalist décor, like an unglazed, branch-shaped pitcher at CB2 the color of a stormy sea, or Ikea's trim Mostorp media unit in a soft, rosy hue. Even Le Creuset is offering its signature cast ironware in pale pink and lemon.
Los Angeles designer Joy Cho's new collection at Target is filled with fun, frothy pieces like an acrylic side table covered in polka dots, animal figurines in little party hats, and printed throw pillows and wall art saying, "You're okay." Warm neutrals — peach, blush, putty, mint and charcoal — contribute to the airy, feel-good vibe.
West Elm has partnered with Roar + Rabbit design studio on a home collection that includes a sexy, midcentury-modern swivel chair dressed in shades called lichen, nickel or dusky blush velvet.
The energy shifts with several bold hues that ride the current retro wave. Turquoise, acid yellow, emerald, pink and red are showing up, mostly in accessories and textiles.
Kirstin Hoffman, merchandising director for online decor retailer Dot & Bo, says hot pinks are trending: "Whether they're incorporated in an accent chair or a planter, the look instantly adds energy to a room."
A range of new baking items and dish towels at Crate & Barrel come in a yellow as cheery as a sunny-side-up egg.
And you'll be seeing lots of lush, green, tropical motifs for spring and summer. Beautiful blues — sapphire, navy and a variety of turquoises, teals and pale blues — are strong players on the spring palette. Wisteria has a settee in a rich jewel tone, while Ikea's got new loveseat covers in deep and delicate blues. Boston Interiors' Conrad chair is upholstered in a watercolor-blue abstract, while Farrow & Ball has added some lush hues, including Vardo, a teal, and Inchyra Blue, a dramatic blue-gray.
White — which Benjamin Moore named color of the year — is also trending. The timing's perfect, says Kimberly Winthrop of Laurel & Wolf: "Bright white is spring cleaning in its truest sense. There'll be a lot of focus this year on incorporating whites with natural elements and textures into one's space."
Consider painting an existing piece of furniture, bringing in side tables or lighting, or changing window coverings to white.
ON THE SURFACE
Surfaces are the focus in distressed rugs, textured throw pillows, and relief-patterned and pin-tucked textiles and wall coverings.
Printed, dyed velvets with flora or fauna-inspired patterns are luxe and painterly; Kevin O'Brien and Beacon Hill have collections.
Some furniture designs play with layers and lines. West Elm has a mirror named Tree Ring that fuses mirrored glass with a slice of Vietnamese hardwood. An Indian pouf at the retailer is crafted from chunks of jute and cotton like a 3-D rag rug.
Cork has popped up in lots of new décor. Accessories in particular lend themselves to the sustainable material's pleasant feel, but it's in furniture now, too. Ikea's new Sinnerlig collection from London designer Ilse Crawford includes stools and benches with cork seats, as well as coffee and dining tables. Cork lampshades at AllModern and Luxe Décor throw a warm light. And check out 1stDibs, Chairish and eBay for '70s-era vintage cork table lamps.
Metallics aren't going away, says Chicago interior designer Mikel Welch. But warmer versions are overtaking the chillier chromes and silvers.
"This spring, we'll begin to see a twist added," he says. "From warm, rich, metallic upholstery and galvanized wallpaper to shimmering coffee tables, luxurious metallic finishes in pewter, gold and bronze will command attention."
Look for brushed copper, soft rose-gold accents, and painted metallics on throw pillows and wall art.
MOD AND MODERN
On the heels of the midcentury revival, some retailers are banking on the 1980s Italian postmodernist style known as Memphis to be the next big thing. Characterized by bold geometric designs and often clashing colors, it's not for the faint of heart.
Musician Lenny Kravitz has collaborated with CB2 on a furniture collection inspired by '70s-era New York club culture and the California music scene. A white lacquered media cabinet with brushed steel doors and a round, walnut-topped, white coffee table with concealed storage are standout pieces.
Neon-hued acrylic fits the era's vibe; Land of Nod has flamingo and palm-tree nightlights, while Los Angeles designer Alexandra von Furstenberg displayed a suite of sleek, neon acrylic serveware at the recent NY Now show.
Crate & Barrel has launched ARTWORKS, a limited-edition collection of Modernist canvas prints.
BOHO COMES HOME
Free-spirited, colorful and often pattern-happy, bohemian style is easy to embrace. Its influences are global: India, Africa, Latin America. But the eclecticism often comes from a mashup of decorative styles and layered elements.
At NY Now, New York designer John Robshaw showed a collection of softly hued woodblock-printed textiles inspired by the gardens, crafts and clothing seen on his travels in Northern India.
Hudson & Vine stocks a whimsical collection of animals crafted from reclaimed oil drums. Urban Outfitters has African mudcloth-printed bedding from Deny Designs; medallion-printed tapestries, rugs and pillow covers; and a selection of eclectic headboards made from macramé, reclaimed wood, rattan and iron. Homegoods has some carved and painted African objets d'art, trays and vases as well as kuba cloth poufs.
One of Hoffman's favorite trends this spring is a combination of boho and minimalism. Designs are pared down to core elements — color, pattern and texture. She suggests getting this eclectic style by using neutrals and accenting furniture with hints of deep indigo.
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