Decorate with Crafts
When it comes to knowing what she loves, Holly Gilmore is certain about one thing in particular: her passion for country decor. From fittings to furniture to linens and accessories, every inch of the Shorewood, Illinois, farmhouse-style home she and her husband, Don, built in 1985 showcases her style. "I love country; that's obvious," she says. "My mom did Colonial, and I've loved country since I can remember. I'm pretty passionate, and I don't stray too far."
Holly's decorating sense extends all the way out to a four-season porch built on in 2013, where barnwood-look laminate floors join light-finish wood trim and lots of windows for an airy, relaxing atmosphere. It's the perfect complement to the rest of the home Holly so proudly shares with friends and family whenever the opportunity arises. "People come into my house and feel the warmth and coziness when they walk in," she notes.
Thanks to its fresh atmosphere, the porch is also an ideal spot for spring displays. Holly doesn't usually do much Easter decorating, but she welcomed an opportunity to have Country Sampler stylists Nancy Borsodi, Debbie Plantery and Candy Garcia show her a few new ways to hop down the bunny trail. "Nothing ushers out those icy cold winter days like sweet springtime accents," Candy says. "Bunnies, eggs, Easter baskets -- everything works so well together to really freshen up a room." Read on for 20 more ideas that'll help you get a jump on your own refreshing spring makeover.
On the Softer Side
1. Find some bunny to love. Dream up a dynamic tabletop scene by seeking out a centerpiece item that captures your personal brand of country style. Here, a muslin bunny with a patchwork nose echoes Holly's preference for a simple look.
2. Get the blues. "We don't always think of blue as a spring color, but pastel or aqua shades are great complements for seasonal accents," Debbie says, indicating the gauzy cottage cloth and bunny taper in a matching basket.
3. Think outside the basket. Who says Easter baskets have to be woven? Fill the segments of an enamelware silverware caddy with green excelsior and top each off with a different painted egg.
4. Wrap things up. For a quick-as-a-wink change of scenery for your seating, wrap cushions in a pretty quilt and add a coordinating hooked pillow. "This is a great way to change up your look for every season," Nancy notes. "Go with lighter colors in spring and summer and darker hues in fall and winter."
5. Please continue. Similarly, bring pattern and style to a coffee table shelf by spreading a mini quilt underneath magazines, books or a simple grouping.
6. Lay everything out there. To create a vignette that's just a-drawer-able, crown a trencher-topped drawer set with faux grass and lettered blocks. Perk up one of the drawers with faux bulbs tucked inside, and arrange another artificial bloom behind the blocks.
7. Take it literally. Rest a small clay pot in a metal spring reinvented as an innovative booster.
8. Flip the script. Turn a weathered crate on its side to provide a display surface for wood accents.
9. Warm the (potting) bench. Holly's beloved birdhouse-themed potting bench enhances the wraparound proch outside the enclosed porch, providing an ideal spot for a spring vignette.
10. Figure prominently. Raise large bunny figures on unique boosters, such as an overturned pot or a clay birdbath.
11. Can it. For a vintage feel, incorporate rusty retro tins into your grouping. Whether filled with bulbs or birdseed, placed on candle stands, or resting in a faux nest, their graphics will bring loads of charm.
12. Go primitive. Position a grubby labeled jar nearby for an even more prim spin on the other old-fashioned fare.
13. Towel off. "Towel racks aren't just for the bathroom," Candy says. Here, she set one on a black noodle board base along with birdseed ornaments that attract feathered friends. To view an instructional video about making birdseed ornaments, visit www.youtube.com/CountrySamplerMag.
14. Sachet along. Thread a ribbon around the border of a crocheted doily and cinch it to create a pouch for sunflower seeds or other bird treats.
15. Narrow your focus. Enliven an otherwise empty corner behind a chair with tall, narrow furniture that maximizes display potential, such as a chimney hutch painted a springy sage green.
16. Add on. "I think these primitive butterflies are so cute," Debbie enthuses. "I wanted to give each one a special place, so I hung one on a hutch door by its wire antenna, set one in a bowl, and rested the other just on its own in front of a basket."
17. Plant yourself. When we're talking spring icons, along with bunnies and butterflies come blooms, especially hardy pansies. For an unexpected moment, open up a drawer, line it with plastic, and nestle a few pint-size potted plants inside.
18. Sit this one out. Holly's framed quilt square gets pride of place on the wall, so Debbie decided to prop up an inviting seasonal wood sign on the hutch’s shelf instead.
19. Cuddle up. Also lending artwork-status graphics to this sweet grouping is a too-cute hooked bunny pillow that, along with a quilt Holly's friend made her, turns a stiff wicker chair into a cozy spot for reading a good book.
20. Go around a few times. Top a pedestal-style birdcage with a multilayered spring vignette. Debbie set a moss-wrapped pantry box inside a bushel basket and added a bird's nest, pussy willows and faux pansies to complete the fresh scene.
For more information, visit our Craft Fair online.
ON THE SOFTER SIDE
Bunny, faux grass and eggs, Homespun Blessings
Cottage cloth and battery-operated bunny taper with basket, Glory Days Mercantile
Enamelware divided caddy, Home Decor For Your Style
Rabbit with tall ears hooked pillow, Williamsburg House, WI
Garden Dream quilt on settee, House to Home Designs
Spring block set, DMZ Designs
Push-through drawers with trench, Olde Farm Creek
Mini snowball quilt on table shelf (kit and pattern), The 13th Colony, LLC
Bunny in a rusty tin can and bunny doll with carrot, Raggedy Junction
Spigot soap and towel holder, Heart-N-Hand
Scoop stands and tea-stained doily, Raggedy Junction
Small noodle board and grubby "dried roots" jar, Kim's Kountry Kreations
Black-and-white bunny with blueberry branches hooked pillow, Williamsburg House, WI
Chimney hutch, Red Bud Primitives
Welcome Spring sign, 2 Chicks & A Basket
Butterflies and black bowl, Gainers Creek Crafts
Written by Elizabeth Preston Morrissey
Photographed by Maurice Victoria
Styled by Nancy Borsodi, Debbie Plantery & Candy Garcia