Bright Outlook

March 13, 2013

At the slightest hint of a thaw, as soon as temperatures rise above the 50-degree mark, we start thinking about spring. After months of hunkering down, buried under heavy sweaters, down jackets, wool blankets and thick quilts, we begin to discard our layers. At just about this time, too, we want to shed deep, dark, jewel-toned palettes in favor of fresher, cleaner, clearer, brighter colors. Unburdening ourselves from the throes of winter we yearn to be surrounded by the shades of spring—Easter-egg pink, daffodil yellow, fava-bean green, clear-sky blue. We’ve gathered a collection of items to use at home right now to remind us that, even if there’s a freak snow storm in April, spring really is just around the corner.

Early Bird
Perhaps the most obvious signal that spring is on the way is the chorus of bird sounds that wakes us at dawn. Prolific painter and inveterate collector Hunt Slonem’s oil-on-canvas Finches reminds us of the glory of that singing, as well as the sartorial splendor of these winged beauties. 40″H × 30″W. $15,000. Quidley and Co., Nantucket, Mass., (508) 228-4300,

MA13 Early Bird

Checks, Mate
Fog Linen’s newest color for spring is as fresh as a bunch of daffodils and just as cheerful. Tablecloth, 51″ × 71″, $88; kitchen cloth, 17½″ × 25½″, $16. Pod, Brookline, Mass., (617) 739-3802,

Think Pink
…or the five other bright colors that this Verner Panton–designed chair comes in. Just like its adult counterpart, the pint-sized, cantilevered Panton Jr. is stackable, strong and flexible. It’s made of propylene and has a matte surface. 24¾″H × 14¾″W × 12½″D; seat 24¾″H. $145. Design Within Reach, Boston, (617) 451-7801, and Cambridge, Mass., (617) 576-3690,

Stress Less
Muddy messes and high traffic? No worries with the Happy Yellow Stripe Carpet. Meant for botah indoors and out, the carpet is scrubable, bleachable and UV treated so its bright colors won’t fade. 2′ × 3′–8′5″ × 11′. $38–$515. Antiques on Nine, Kennebunk, Maine, (207) 967-0626.

Security Blanket
In the event that an unexpected cold front passes by this spring, take cover under English designer Eleanor Pritchard’s aptly named Easterly Blanket, woven from 100 percent pure Scottish wool. 60″ × 70″. $400. Lekker Home, Boston, (617) 542-6464,

Spring Forward
Angela Liguori pamphlet-stitches each of her hand-bound notebooks using fine linen thread. The letterpress-printed cover comes in three designs, including chartreuse and gray and marigold and blue, shown. $18. Clementine, Middlebury, Vt, (802) 388-4442,, and Carta, Brookline, Mass., (617) 730-3788,

Go Green
From Designer’s Guild, a modern take on a classic: the Kediri drapery tieback is over-scaled, boldly detailed and freshly colored. Made of 78 percent polyester, 13 percent glass, 8 percent wood and 1 percent metal, the tieback comes in twelve colors including acid green, shown. 12.5″. $130. Osborne and Little, Boston Design Center, (617) 737-2924,

Precious Porcelain
…but not delicate, Mud Australia’s handmade tableware is meant to be used, every day in every way. The collection includes the cereal bowls here, in pistachio, ocean and duck egg. $66 each. Nahcotta, Portsmouth, N.H., (603) 433-1705,, and The Lion’s Paw, Nantucket, Mass., (508) 228-3837,

At Your Service
Handmade and hand-screened, Keith Waters and Susy Pilgrim Waters’s oversize serving tray, crafted of Baltic plywood and poplar, is anything but standard issue. 30″L × 18″W. $200. Simple Pleasures, Providence, (401) 331-4120,, and Bob’s Your Uncle, Boston, (617) 670-3789,

Ottoman Empire
Use the Blu Dot Otto Ottoman as a footstool, a side table, or as extra seating while adding a dash of color to the room. The ottoman is available in seven fabrics, including guacamole, shown. 16¾″ square. $160. Circa 50, Manchester Center, Vt., (802) 362-3796,

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