By Caitlin Kelly
I’m so much happier finally shedding all the heavy wools and blankets and duvets of winter.
Every spring, usually as the temperature suddenly climbs into the 70s or beyond, I change up our apartment decor, taking away winter’s dark colors and heavy textures — until late fall when the days shorten and the temperature drops and I’ll welcome them all again.
It’s a good time to have your rugs professionally cleaned, maybe your curtains, and get the duvet dry cleaned where (yay!) they store it for us for months as well.
While bare floors are easier to clean, if you live in an apartment you may have to keep some quiet. Rugs help.
This rug is dead simple and so elegant — and it’s made of a synthetic so can be used indoors or out — a copy of a classic Moroccan style, from Anthropologie.
Two years ago, I found a completely plain pale gray cotton rug, with no texture, perfect for summer, which is a nice foil for our new silver velvet sofa; our winter rug is this one (bought at an online auction.)
There are so many fantastic options, but a nice cotton flat-weave, aka a dhurrie, is always a good option as it’s easy to clean and can sometimes just be tossed in the washing machine.
We love this diamond sisal rug (the gray version) from Ballard Designs, and it defines our dining area. Very soft on bare feet!
Our winter ones, in linen, were a huge splurge, from Stockholm’s gorgeous store Svenskt Tenn. For summer I have custom made ones with some designer fabric that was a gift.
These aren’t cheap at $100 apiece — but are 22″ square, linen and such a gorgeous crisp blue (also red and white and beige and white.)
Love this pale dove grey nubby version from West Elm, 24″ square — $25 on sale.
Sun really bleaches the hell out of colored fabrics! Beware.
Three former outdoor pillows (NON outdoor cottons.) The vintage floral fabric was once a very deep blue and very
My favorite hack? If you can sew by hand, grab two great cotton or linen napkins and use them to make a pillow cover, like these ones — a fab oversize black-and-white check pattern from Pottery Barn; four 20″ square napkins for $32 means $16 per pillow fabric costs.
I’m a big fan of lanterns — whether pierced or slatted ones that throw lovely shadows or classic glass or crystal hurricane lamps.
These hurricanes are an investment at $195 each — but you’ll have them for years.
I bought a Moroccan one cheaply at a flea market and got it cleaned to the metal and painted it (of course! ) a great Farrow & Ball color, a soft red called Blazer.
I’ve bought lanterns in all sorts of places, from a cafe in Minneapolis to this great New York City store, Jamali Garden. These are perfect if you want a Moroccan vibe — without the travel. Their prices are excellent and they have a lot of amazing choices for all sorts of gardening needs as well.
I so love a pretty tablecloth, whether a pale lavender or gray or something bolder and fun.
I’ve gotten some wonderful ones — turquoise linen, blue embroidered white linen, blue and white checks, green and white checks — at flea markets.
This new one, an Indian print linen in white, pink and gray, is perfect; $85 on Etsy.
I ordered these linen napkins in navy, and in turquoise for a hostess gift.
Here’s a bright pink tablecloth for $124 U.S., from Aussie’s Pigott’s store.
Love this one, $90, in a crisp red and white block print.
We went away for a week in early March upstate to Woodstock, NY, which has some great shopping.
The second I saw this Indian print bedspread I jumped!
I do love Indian block prints.
Nothing’s better than cool, crisp white sheets, for sure. And I iron everything.
I love this creamy coverlet from The Company Store, $135.
And if you must wake up on time, this aqua bedside clock is gorgeous.
Our balcony in full flower
This gorgeous John Robshaw pillow, 22″, is made of outdoor fabric, in a rich blue paisley, $85.
Our balcony, on the top floor surrounded by trees, is only 12 feet wide and six feet deep. Not a lot of room! We use a small round metal table, have four vintage metal chairs and a bench six feet wide we cover with throw cushions; lots of hidden storage.
I chose a color scheme of bright green and deep navy blue and choose our flowers accordingly — no reds or pinks, but maybe purples and whites.
Choose a color scheme to make the space cohesive — as one would indoors! Crisp black and white can be a nice choice.
There are so many ways to make an attractive and comfortable outdoor nook, even on a small balcony.
Choose your planters and pots to match one another, whether metal, ceramic or plastic.
Our space is too small, really, for an umbrella but they can add needed shade and color.
An outdoor rug is a great start to cover up a stained or ugly concrete floor; love this one, in navy and white.
If you’re lucky enough to have a large garden, deck or patio — here are 30 ideas from the UK’s House & Garden magazine.