Room design by RMD Designs, Hudson

Kitchen design by Woodland Design Co., Cleveland, Shaker Heights

When spring finally rolls around who isn’t ready for a bit of updating? Refreshing the interiors of our favorite rooms is a sure way to inject some much-needed relief from dull, damp days, overcast skies, and frosty temperatures.
Currents had the chance to talk with three design professionals who offered suggestions on tackling projects around the house – at small, medium, and large scale – to help us recharge for spring and look forward to summer. Our experts include Molly Machmer-Wessels, principal designer/owner of Woodland Design Company, Ingrid Porter, principal and owner of Ingrid Porter Interiors, and Marissa Matiyasic, principal and owner of Reflections Interior Design.
These experts agree that the ideal situation to start with is to have the biggest pieces of furniture, carpeting, and the largest walls in neutral shades, white, gray, or beige, and then add seasonal changes to adjust the complexion of the room. The lightest touch and the most budget-friendly way to do this is by working with small touches. A change in the pillows, throw, or area rug in the living room. Cover or uncover your dining room chairs. Changing the window treatment works for just about any room. Move over from heavier fabrics such as velvet or boucle and use something with a lighter hand such as linen, cotton, or sheers. A bedroom will take on a whole new look if you change out the bedding. And of course, using paint on one wall or an entire room will give an interior space a whole new feel.
“Going toward warmer white and away from gray is a trend now,” Ingrid states. “Adding more natural wood tones – light ones, like light oak, not cherry, gives a warmer, comfortable feeling to your room with simple things.”
“Just changing the accessories in the home seasonally makes a difference. Home Goods, Pottery Barn, and Target all have fresh items to go with the seasons for your living or dining room, or for the kitchen counter,” Marissa says.
“Generally in warmer months, we go with brighter colors. In winter we like rich, moody colors that lean into the jewel tones, especially for the holidays. But after that, we’re dying for some sun, Molly adds. “We want things that are bright and colorful, fresh and floral. Things that feel like a new beginning in a spring way. Botanicals are always a sure
Determining a middle-sized project took a bit more thought. Still, our creative trio had several suggestions. “A furniture reselection might work,” Molly says. “Or maybe a this could be the first step on a plan to start a larger project – going all in. The middle doesn’t feel like a storied space. We want to tell the story of a space – and have owners and visitors feel what we intended for them to feel about an interior.”
Ingrid echoes that sentiment. “A middle-sized project may be redecorating with comfortable, not-too-large seating in sofas and chairs,” she says. “There’s also decluttering a closet or any space, really. I think people get so bogged down looking at things, lightening up for spring gets all the ‘stuff’ out. Ask yourself ‘What do I use every day?’ I think people are less likely to have a huge bookshelf filled with things to make it look finished. Now, with people spending more time at home, they like to have things around them that actually mean
“In the middle are projects you can do easily – something quick and cost-effective. Entryways come to mind,” Marissa states. “Update your door by painting the inside or outside. Updating the hardware changes and refreshes the look. Change the entryway rug or mat and switch up the wreath hanging outside. There’s always wallpaper as well, and an entryway or foyer is easier to do than a full room,” she adds.
When it comes to larger projects Marissa starts with kitchens. “You can get a whole different look by removing doors and leaving the cabinets open. This totally transforms the interior. You can also wallpaper the back of the cabinets – I like DIY peel and stick for this look – and you can have it without major construction,” she adds. “Even changing out the cabinet door hardware gives a big bang for the buck.” Similarly, she introduces the idea of removing interior doors, leaving passageways open between say, a family room and a three-season room.
“We did a full house renovation last year,” Ingrid says. “We took out the walls between the kitchen and family room and ended up with a huge space. But then we added architectural details to carve out separate areas, so you could have a conversation in one area without everyone in the house overhearing. We used arched doorways in the dining room and kitchen, so things were open, but defined. The house was only about forty years old. It was a center hall colonial, and we incorporated the bones of the house, adding some updated elements in the cabinetry, flooring, lighting, and paint colors.”
“A full-scope project might include looking at how your house goes from inside to outside space seamlessly,” Molly states. “This is based on the architecture of your home. Starting with a kitchen or a family room, you may consider reconfiguring the space using French doors or glass doors. This breaks the hard divide between in and out and allows more open flow between the two spaces. You’re inside but you’re connected to the outside, using a patio or deck as an extension of your home in warmer months. You can create another room in the house, even though it’s outside,” she adds. Molly’s company is a design-build firm and her husband, Fritz is the General Contractor for the firm, which uses their own craftsmen from electricians to plumbers.
Final thoughts from Ingrid of Ingrid Porter Interiors: “I never get tired of blue and white together, and then adding green brings the outdoors in. Warmer whites are trending now, and they feel sunny and welcoming.” One of her favorites is a Sherwin-Williams color, Shoji White. “This is a beautiful neutral. Not yellow or brown or gray. There’s also Benjamin Moore’s creamy white.”
From Marissa of Reflections: “Lighting is very important even in the spring and summer when we have more light. There’s the ceiling light, task lighting, and then accent lamps. Think about the different hues of bulbs now, because you may want a warmer light for spring.” She also recommends two of her favorite colors for interiors – a rich blue green called Sea Salt from Sherwin- Williams and Pink Ground from Farrow and Ball. “These are versatile paints that feel like spring colors.”