Decorate with Crafts

Sunny Disposition

Our Country Sampler stylist offers ideas for introducing cheerful springtime accents and pretty pastel colors to a family gathering space.

You might say Tammie and Brian Imel's Markle, Indiana, home was "barn yesterday"—the charming family residence was built within the footprint of a 1940s dairy barn. In the years since the couple first moved in, a little more than two decades ago, they have come to embrace an aesthetic that is closely aligned with the home's origins. "We like rustic pieces, farmhouse decor and airy white spaces," Tammie observes.

One such space is the family room addition, which is situated where a former lean-to once stood. Once a hangout for the couple's two now-grown children, the room still gets a lot of use from these empty nesters. "It is our favorite room to spend time in," Tammie confides. "We love to sit in there with our morning coffee."

With its large windows, white walls and vibrant upholstery, the room is bright and inviting. A pass-through that was formerly an exterior window is flanked by two large cabinets that look like built-ins. The perfect-fit pieces were salvaged from a Masonic lodge and cost just $60 for the pair. The cute checked love seat came from a Vera Bradley showroom auction, and the patterned chair is an old piece that has been reupholstered.

These elements proved to be the perfect backdrop for springtime staging, courtesy of Country Sampler stylist René Haines. "The light-filled space was a natural fit for some playful Easter touches," she explains. Keep reading to find out how you can incorporate some of her ideas to give your rooms a sprinkling of spring zing!


Contained on a vintage tray, this centerpiece ushers green into your home as the earth is just beginning to reawaken. Here's how René put it all together:
For the large topiary, René used floral stakes and pins to secure a small grapevine wreath to floral foam placed within a decorative pot. She embellished the wreath with artificial ivy, torn strips of gingham fabric and faux daisies in small pots, gluing a wood pick to the bottom of each pot to insert among the grapevines. Pieces from a spring-themed wood stacking block set lend a finishing touch to both topiaries. Taping a wood floral stake to the back of each block holds them temporarily in place.
To create the tiny topiary, René stuck artificial ivy pieces into a peat pot filled with floral foam. Before filling the pot, she punched holes just below the rim with a small screwdriver so she could weave ribbon around the rim.
A mini watering can and a stacking block with a similar motif round out the grouping, which René positioned on fabrics featuring harmonious colors and patterns. A cute lamb sign provides a seasonal backdrop for the arrangement.


Situated beside a former window that became a pass-through when the family room was added, this snug spot was already cheerful, but René knew it could benefit from a few springtime flourishes and pops of color.
THINK PINK. For the armchair, she made a white pillow with pink pom-pom trim and enhanced it with a bunny stencil. A length of pink striped ribbon perks up a plain lampshade and ties in with the pillow. To creatively contain magazines, René painted a galvanized bucket with white chalky-finish paint, and added simple rabbit facial features and chenille-stem ears lined with pink paper.
CAST OF CHARACTERS. René topped the slim side table with a yellow napkin to coordinate with the chair fabric, and stationed a bunny decoration and handmade carrots (see page 59 for instructions) on top. A beribboned wood egg, part of a standing egg trio, fits right in with the vignette. The other two eggs from the set are tucked into a foliage-filled bowl, bringing attention to the pass-through, which the homeowners opted for because it admits light into the kitchen.
WARM REGARDS. A rustic pine Spring sign fits perfectly into the slender space between the pass-through and the adjacent cabinet and contributes a graphic greeting to the wall.


This comfy checked love seat lends itself to the palette René selected, which was inspired by the plaid pastel burlap wreath that she positioned in the window. With the addition of pillows and a throw, the upholstered piece appears to be decked out in Easter finery. A garland of stenciled gingham pockets (see instructions on opposite page) also coordinates with the wreath. On the coffee table, René teamed a primitive bunny with some painted and distressed papier-mâché eggs that she placed in paper cupcake liners to resemble confections. The eggs are nested inside a fabric-covered cookie tin on a bed of excelsior. A braided oval place mat draws attention to the display. Faux carrots poke out of a vase stocked with jelly beans for another sweet touch. To contribute additional color to the white cabinet and walls, René perched another primitive bunny on top of the cabinet, along with a ceramic lamp that echoes the hues in the church wall art. She also created "green space" throughout the room with fresh and faux foliage and flowers.

Spring Blessings stacking block set, Gainers Creek Crafts
Lambs Eat Ivy sign, Impressions on Market

Hello Spring stencil, Scrappin' Along Craft Stencils
Standing egg trio, DMZ Designs
Spring vertical sign, Hare Hollow

Spring plaid pastel burlap wreath, Simply Blessed Gifts
Kendall and Ella primitive bunnies and papier-mâché eggs, Pine Cone Gift Shoppe
Braided oval place mat, The Braided Rug Place
Ceramic lamp and church wall art, Home Decor For Your Style

Written by Lisa Sloan
Photographed by Scott Campbell
Styled by René Haines