Decorate with Crafts

Bloom with a View

In a colorful kitchen, the Country Sampler stylists dish up a big helping of springtime character with a bounty of bunnies and garden goods.

Formerly a bit more on the neutral side, this Illinois kitchen underwent a hue-infusing transformation a few years ago, resulting in a cook space that always feels springtime fresh. Originally inspired by a showroom kitchen, the homeowner says that she wanted a family-friendly space for her husband and two sons as well as their frequent visitors. "When we designed the kitchen, we wanted a nice, bright, cheerful, upbeat place," she says. "We wanted to be able to ‘live' in the kitchen."

With its coral walls, sunny yellow cupboards and mint green accent furniture, the space is most definitely livable. Along with vintage-style cabinet hardware and dimension-adding paneling on the island, neutral granite and wood countertops and a buff-toned harlequin backsplash ground the bright colors found elsewhere. In designing and furnishing the room, the homeowner put family function first. "We have a lot of big tables and an attached sunporch where my sons do their homework," she explains. "It's a very open space."

For spring decorating ideas that enhance the room's already-bright bones, the homeowner invited Country Sampler stylists Sally-Jo Enstad, Nancy Borsodi and Debbie Plantery to share their advice. "This wonderful kitchen is so cheerful and welcoming that it was a cinch to decorate it for the season," Sally-Jo says. "We just added adornments that coordinate with the walls and cabinets." Read on to gather up a bounty of room-brightening hints!

To view a video about quick and easy decorating touches for spring, click here.

Fresh as a Daisy
1. Use the bunny system. Nothing says "spring" quite like bunny-themed accents, so make room for rabbits throughout your home. In this cute grouping on the countertop, a pair of veggie-toting rabbits with vintage style top a concrete pedestal surrounded by natural elements. Below, faux carrots tucked into a bed of moss continue the garden-variety charm. 2. Pile on the style. "The key to a great vignette is layering," Sally-Jo says. "However, make sure the eye has somewhere to rest." Here, the pedestal's solid base separates the textured moss at the top and bottom of the display. 3. Pick flowers. A daisy-dotted wreath around the cabbage-leaf bowl expands the vignette's footprint. In the background, bloom-like cabbages and daffodil bulbs add flower power to a basket.

Just Lovely
4. Color your world. To infuse freshness into your kitchen, bring in a colorful storage piece, such as this refreshing green sideboard with vintage handles. Pick furniture that contrasts with your walls or your other cabinetry; try a dark wood piece to juxtapose with light cupboards or a red one to pop against more neutral surroundings. 5. Be an individual. "Instead of bunching your accents together on a shelf, give them some breathing room so that your favorite decor and creative ideas don't get lost," Nancy advises. On the bottom shelf of this sideboard, she arranged three segments of decor with a visual pause between each item. At left, a distressed orange toolbox showcases a springy bird's nest. On the other side of a collection of books, a watering can with glued-on moss hosts a cheery pansy plant. 6. Coordinate your efforts. Although the shelf's resident decorations are distinctively displayed, a length of white wire garden edging helps unite the trio and brings in additional garden-fresh appeal. 7. Make it big. Utilize a large, sunny window to highlight an oversize accent. "We dressed up these metal 'Love' letters with potted flowering plants and a bird's nest for spring, but you could easily adorn the piece with gourds for fall or ornaments for Christmas," Nancy suggests. 8. Runner with it. Neutral furniture -- this armchair upholstered in buff-colored fabric, for instance -- is a breeze to transform: Drape a quilted or patterned table runner over it. To complete the mini makeover, set a seasonal pillow on the seat; this hooked bunny pillow ties in with the rest of the kitchen's Easter-inspired redo. 9. Play games. Add more colorful character to your walls with a vibrant game board, such as the Parcheesi board mounted behind the chair.

Hello, Yellow
10. Seat it to believe it. Provide a stylish sitting spot for friends and family who like to watch you cook -- reupholster an old armchair with a vintage-graphic sack for the back and coordinating fabric for the seat. Finish off the redo with cording and upholstery tacks. 11. Sweeten the pot. For a makeshift side table with oodles of garden appeal, stack two terra-cotta pots and top the tower with a firkin lid. "You can apply a bead of caulk around the rim of the top pot to cushion the firkin lid and keep it from sliding around," Debbie notes. 12. Get your fill. For quick and easy accents, arrange pussy willows in a pitcher or fill decorative jars with jelly beans or dried grasses. For a cute twist, remove a jar's lid and replace it with a faux bird's nest hosting candy. 13. Build out. Enhance a simple window valance with a leafy garland. 14. Take a bath. Relocate a concrete birdbath indoors and repurpose it as a scene-stealing accent by resting a birdcage holding a plant in the basin.

Island of Enchantment
15. Tier up. "We built this island display by stacking dessert trays and enhancing each with a contrasting plate," Sally-Jo says. A jar candle in a flower-shaped bowl crowns the top of the tower, which hosts colorful candy and cookies below. 16. Give the run-around. A berry wreath embellished with decorated eggs encircles the base of this visual treat for added texture. 17. Expand your footprint. As a companion to the tiered vignette, a pair of jar accents atop a short burlap table runner fill out the rest of the island's surface. 18. Contain your enthusiasm. Creative containers -- such as a vintage-style bucket holding forsythia branches and a whitewashed basket tied onto the back of the barstool painted to match the walls -- further any room's seasonal makeover. 19. Be in bloom. Enhance a narrow shelf with a collection of wood letters and decorative plates that spell out a spring word. Above the range, salad plates and a mix of green and white letters are in full "bloom." 20. Shine a light. "Even if you don't have a light installed, you can still illuminate your island stylishly," Nancy says. Here, an old chandelier stripped of its wiring was painted, outfitted with votive cups in grass nests and suspended from a ceiling hook by a ribbon.

For more information, visit our Craft Fair online

Spring garden rabbits figure, The Unique Black Sheep
Tea-stained daisy wreath, Kruenpeeper Creek Gifts
Faux carrots, Glory Days Mercantile, 888-265-1487,

Parcheesi board, CL Ltd
Oversize metal "love" letters, Olde Farm Creek
Folk-art white bunny with carrot hooked pillow, Williamsburg House, WI

Tobacco pin-up valance, Olde Farm Creek
Aged metal pitcher, Heart-N-Hand
Glass Hoosier-style canisters, Olde Farm Creek
Wall pocket basket with battery-operated bunny taper, Glory Days Mercantile

Vintage-style tin bucket, Country Mischief
Giant one-gallon mason jar, The Red Brick Cottage
Glass half-gallon mason jar candleholder with timer taper, Olde Farm Creek
Rosette and ruffle burlap table runner, Homespun Blessings
Spiced Orange jar candle, My Olde Kentucky Candle Co
Antique white pip-berry wreath, WildRidge Design
Grass on chandelier, Glory Days Mercantile, 888-265-1487,

Written by Elizabeth Preston Morrissey
Photographed by Maurice Victoria
Styled by Sally-Jo Enstad, Nancy Borsodi & Debbie Plantery
Produced by Dennis Morgan