Designer: Rebecca Van't Hull, Martha O'Hara Interiors, Hopkins,, 952-908-3150.

Mission: Turn a monochromatic sunroom into a spring-inspired retreat.

Tangerine dream: Van't Hull found a floral fabric with hints of tangerine to cover new accent pillows. "I went crazy for it," she said. "And decided to fashion the room around that tangerine color." The bold color palette grew to include shades of lime green, blues and honeysuckle, which are repeated in accessories and artwork.

Colorful advice: Don't go overboard with one hue, said Van't Hull. "You want it to look like it developed organically," she said. "Not like you went on a shopping trip and bought a slew of orange."

Simple switches: She traded a brass floor lamp for a small white side table topped with a fresh orange lamp. She took down the mirror and hung an oil painting above the cabinet. "The painting repeated the citrus tones but also added some blue," said Van't Hull.

It's in the details: "Accessories are an easy opportunity to introduce color and texture," she said. Her thoughtfully chosen items include an orange ceramic tray, tiny potted topiaries, pear-shaped candles and wire birds. The tangerine throw, paired with floral and dragonfly pillows, "is the best way to change the look of neutral upholstered furniture," she said. To keep it interesting, she mixed materials such as glass, ceramic and stone.

Floral finesse: To finish the space, arrange seasonal blooms such as gerbera daisies, lilies and tulips that complement your color palette.

Design on a dime: "Good design can be done on any budget," said Van't Hull. "But don't expect to breeze through HomeGoods and find everything. You need a good eye, time and patience to put together the right things to create a polished personalized space."


Designer: Scott Endres, Tangletown Gardens, Minneapolis,, 612-822-4769.

Mission: Eye-catching outdoor planters for early spring that combine tried-and-true pansies with other unexpected elements.

Recycle materials: First toss out the spruce tops from winter pots, but save the curly willow and yellow twig dogwood to use for height in your early spring pots, said Endres.

Pansy power: Pansies and violas are always a good bet because they can handle the cold nights and give pots bursts of color. For a change of pace, try pink bergenia, an early-blooming perennial. "It has a different texture and form," he said. "And you can plant it in the garden when you change your pots for summer."

More plant picks: Tuck in Scotch moss or sedum to fill in the edge of containers. Add trailing English ivy, which is relatively cold tolerant, said Endres. "But leave it in the pot -- in case you want to bring it inside." Plant moss orbs for a mounding effect and St. Augustine grass to cascade over the edge. Hens and chicks and dwarf variegated sweet flag are other options to mix with pansies.

Log layers: White birch logs (from a garden center or your back yard) add height, depth and draw the eye to any container arrangement. Endres adds color by planting yellow violas inside hollowed out logs.

Portable pots: In early spring, it's a good idea to plant small pots and group them together, rather than large pots. "If you need to protect them from severe frost, it's easier to lug them inside," Endres said.


Designer: Sabrina Soto, Target Home Style expert, HGTV designer and currently shooting the new HGTV show "The High Low Project."

Basic backdrop: "Start with a good sofa in a neutral color," said Soto. "That way you can switch out accessories to freshen up a space each season."

Paint or not to paint: Designers are always pushing painting as the easiest way to change a room, but Soto disagrees. It's too much work, she said. "It's easier to add accent color through accessories -- wall art, vases, tabletop items, pillows and photo frames."

Curtain call: Take down heavy drapes and hang inexpensive lightweight sheer linen panels to let in the spring sunlight.

Where did you get that? Soto often turns to to find one-of-a-kind handmade items, such as quilts, embroidered pillows and pottery, for many of the homes she decorates for her HGTV shows.

Flower power: Bring the outdoors in with fresh flowers placed on tables, shelves and in entry ways. Soto recommends separating the blooms from a market bouquet and grouping only one kind, such as tulips, in each vase. "It looks more polished," she said.

Lynn Underwood • 612-673-7619