By MARY CAROL GARRITY - Scripps Howard News Service
As soon as my holiday decor is boxed up and stored away, I'm ready for spring. By the time spring starts, I know exactly how I want to decorate my home to celebrate this season of fresh new beginnings. This year, I've zeroed in on five gotta-have tools that I'm going to use to create sensational spring displays.
Ferns are woodsy and wonderful and lush and a bit lascivious. Since I am the angel of death when it comes to houseplants, I buy fakes to tuck into existing displays on my mantel or in bookcases.
This year, I'm going to expand my tribute to ferns and use them outside. There is no easier way to do so than with a simple fern wreath. Wreaths are among the very best quick-and-dirty decorating tools you'll find because they give you a big look with almost no effort.
Outside, hang a wreath from the front door and - snap! - it's decorated. Place it atop those empty urns by your front door or that birdbath in your garden, then fill in the center with moss balls or a silver gazing ball. Presto: You have a lovely, lively, fresh display in seconds.
Inside, place a wreath at the center of your dining table, then insert a hurricane or lantern holding a pillar candle. Cute and easy, fun and fresh.
Decorative ribbons give you a chance to instantly infuse decor with seasonal colors, patterns and images.
Want to give guests thrills and chills? Hang things from the ceiling. It's unexpected and daring and super-easy to do with a few spools of spring ribbon. Use a mix of colored ribbons to tie up some moss balls or faux spring birds' nests and hang them at different lengths from the arms of a chandelier. Or, arrange some fallen branches in an urn and hang the balls from the sticks. If you really want to go for it, secure branches or garland around interior doorways or from the ceiling and dangle delightful things from the branches using spring ribbon.
Bring the garden in by using a few trellises in interior displays. Here's a fast-and-easy look I love: Take a garden urn or a large cachepot, then wedge in a small wire trellis, letting it rest on the bottom so it's secure. Then weave in a few natural-looking vines. Or toss an assortment of mass balls into the center of the trellis.
If you're entertaining this spring and want a table that's to die for, use some trellises in your centerpiece. Trellises are a fabulous pick for tabletops because they give the dramatic height you need to make a statement yet don't take over because they are thin and airy and see-through. I also love them for displays on sideboards and as the centerpiece for a buffet service set up on a dining table. Tou can transfer them to your garden and plant a climbing vine at their base.
Designers keep coming up with new looks for accent pottery, and I keep falling in love with them. Pottery is also super-affordable, so if you want to give your home a B-12 shot you can do so on a budget by getting a trio of colorful pots.
When you create a display using several pieces of pottery, don't treat an accent lamp like an outsider. Instead, try building the display around the lamp. Have any majolica plates or platters? Prop them in an easel and work them in with bright pottery.
A couple of yards of killer fabric can take you a lot of places. One of my favorite places to use spring fabric is on my dining table. Get a yard or two of spring stripe, floral or check. Then stitch (or iron on, if you're like me and don't sew) a quick hem to create a table runner or a table square that can serve as the base of a centerpiece.
Remake the look of a living-room sofa or bedding with a few new accent pillows in peppy spring trellis, chevron or floral patterns. It's a little splash that will make all the difference in a room.