As the harsh winter sunlight shines on cluttered coffee tables, chipped woodwork and deflated pillows, it’s obvious that our homes take a hit in the long hard slog from Thanksgiving to February. ¶ “Historically, my phone starts ringing the week after the inauguration,” said Erin Paige Pitts, an interior designer from Gibson Island, Md. “People finally have time to look around the house and they are starting to think ahead.” ¶ Pitts has suggestions for some fast joy: Put green topiaries around the house. Treat yourself to a new throw in an unexpected color. Pop some evergreens in your front-porch planters. Of course, it’s still cold out. ¶ “In February, people want something that is fresh and crisp, that looks new but can also be a bit cozy,” said Vanessa Holden, creative director at West Elm. ¶ For inspiration, we reached out to some home retailers for their latest products and ideas:
“The Great Gatsby” and “Downton Abbey” effect
Taking a cue from fashion, the spring line from Arhaus reflects the influence of the Roaring ’20s, Art Deco, the upcoming “Great Gatsby” movie and “Downton Abbey.” TV’s popular British period drama just entered the Jazz Age, “so the English country-house look is going to start to change with a bit of sparkle and glamour,” said Gary Babcock, vice president of Arhaus. The store has mirrored chests, beaded pillows and faux fur throws, plus purple and lavender paired with silver and metallics.
The statement piece
The Patchwork Dresser ($1,199) by West Elm has the handcrafted appeal of a quilt, with five drawers and a cabinet, each done in a different wood front. In addition to the eye-catching design, it’s “a double-duty piece designed for small-space living but that will move along with you,” said Holden. “Maybe one year it will be in your bedroom, another in the living room.”
The Industrial Age
Who couldn’t use more file space? CB2 has taken a familiar form, the basic powder-coated steel file cabinet, and recast it in a nontraditional color: mint. Line up three of these ($159 each), which are called TPS (Totally Perfect Storage) and are on casters, and top them with a steel Go-Cart White Console Table ($169). “Something with such a familiar form, like a filing cabinet, done in an unexpected color, can change the look of an entire office or hallway,” said Ryan Turf, general merchandising manager for CB2.
The bedroom pick-me-up
Buying new bed linens is one of the quickest ways to refresh your look, said Pat Eckerstrom, executive vice president at Crate & Barrel. “Change the bedding, and you have a whole new room.” Jaipur linens ($35 to $230) inject a bit of global chic by layering neutral taupes and putties in various textures and patterns.
Holden believes that indigo interiors go with almost everything, just like a favorite pair of jeans. You’ll find indigo rugs, bed linens, pillows and upholstery, shown with other deep blues as well as grays. “We also like it with bright, clean, white in the bedroom or living room,” she said. West Elm’s indigo Everett loveseat ($899), upholstered in a velvet they call “ink blue,” “can anchor a living or family room.”
Louis XVI chairs, whether carved and gilded or clear acrylic, are decorating staples. At Wisteria, designers have updated the classic oval-backed chair ($389) in weathered oak with pastel Belgian linen upholstery, giving the chair an eye-candy appeal. It is also available in an armless version ($299). The lavender, aqua, sage and French blue “add a bit of color to a traditional space and give a room a more vibrant look,” Jean Blum, Wisteria vice president.
Grow up and get a bar cart
In the first episode of Season 2 on HBO’s “Girls,” Hannah and Elijah throw a housewarming party by corralling whatever booze they have onto their kitchen table. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a cart for bottles and bar accessories? Invite friends over for a cocktail party, and celebrate by splurging on a cart with a small footprint but a lot of storage. Arranging your liquor and wine glasses on it will also free up storage space in kitchen cabinets. One solution is Crate & Barrel’s Collins ($799) trolley-style cart with three shelves and two stemware racks.