Cold, hard fact: It’s pretty tough escaping these über-gloomy February vibes. But with all the tunes, treats and style tips we’re uncovering, things aren’t looking so bad after all. And we aren’t through yet—we’ve asked three of our favorite decor-inclined shops to give us the ABCs of beautifying our abodes. Check out some fruitful tips from Sprout Home, Sycamore Flowershop and Belle Fleur NY.
(P.S. Keep a lookout—we’ve got cure-alls comin’ atcha all week long.)
Lay of the land: inside Sprout’s superlush Williamsburg, Brooklyn, shop.
Sprout floral designer Lea divulges five supereasy yet instantly home-brightening tricks to get you through the doldrums of winter.
1. “We love, love, love these bisque-finished porcelain vases, which come in an array of sherbety pastel colors. Stick a single stem of a sweet flower in them to light up any space.”
2., 5. “Scent is an easy way to freshen up any grey day. Blooming jasmine plants or a fresh bouquet of bright flowers can be an insta-escape. But if you’re a bona fide black thumb, we suggest going for a fresh currant Kobo candle—the cassis and citrus scent will get you geared up for spring in no time.”
3. “A windowsill full of plants! Go for an all-cacti landscape if you have adequate light—it’ll transform your apartment into a warm-weather getaway.”
4. “Of course, kidding around with flower eyeballs and hand faces always makes a winter day zip by.”
“Winter is a great time to add freshly cut flowers to your living space. Here’s a quick how-to for making supercolorful floral arrangements that’ll flood any space with light (and good energy). Since Sycamore’s in Brooklyn, we like to use local New York flowers whenever possible, and thanks to the many greenhouses in the area, we can still have lovely fresh flowers in the winter months.
For these two arrangements, we used a winter assortment of hellebores, anemones, ranunculus, pussy willows, heather, blue muscari (which smell divine), Queen Anne’s Lace and tulips.”
For the taller arrangement, you only need a few stems of each flower. For the shorter vase, use one bunch of muscari, one of hellebores and just a few stems of Queen Anne’s lace.
“All you need to make these lovely arrangements is a set of shears (or sharp scissors) and two vases. (At Sycamore, our vase of choice is a Mason jar, ’cause it’s affordable and highly reusable.)
• Begin by filling your vases with fresh cold water and adding flower food or five drops of Listerine®, which has sugar to feed the flowers and alcohol to kill bacteria in the water. You can also dissolve a little sugar in the water.
• Make a pyramid of flowers with the tallest blooms in the middle, surrounded by gradually shorter ones, with the shortest near the outer edges of the vase top. This will make the flowers look like they are bursting into bloom from your vase!
• Trim the stems of your flowers at a sharp angle, and score the ends of your pussy willows (cut slits right through the scored edge to make an X).
• Start with your largest blooms, the ranunculus. Position them so the flower is lying diagonally across the vase. Then add in tulips, anemones and the heather (in that order). Pussy willows go in last to add texture. (We used this same technique for the shorter arrangement of blue muscari and red hellebores.)
• Care tips: Change the base water daily and give the stems a trim every other day. You’ll be able to watch the multi-petaled ranunculus open to reveal their deep black centers, and your tulips will bloom open and continue to grow taller right in the vase. Your pussy willows’ soft fuzzy catkins will begin to starburst with little yellow-tipped tendrils. The delicate anemones open and close with the light when they are first cut. These gentle signs of nature’s quiet season always help me appreciate the winter.”
BELLE FLEUR NY
Belle Fleur cofounder and decor guru Meredith Perez lets us in on the sweet, happy-making things she can’t live without during the freezing season.
1. MYSON TOWEL WARMER: “Honestly, there’s no better indulgence for those bitter cold mornings when I need to head out at 5am to the flower market.”
2. OUR BERGAMOT CEDAR CANDLE: “It’s so cozy and warm with classic notes of cedarwood, violet leaf and bergamot.”
3. SADE: THE REMIX DELUXE: “Listen to this soothing record and you’ll forget your troubles on the spot.”
4. BALLET SLIPPER BLUSH BOUQUET: “These Juliet Garden Roses and Japanese Sweetpea remind me that spring is just around the corner.”
5. COCOA AT L.A. BURDICK: “Can’t forget my midday rush to this spot on NYC’s East 20th Street for a warm cup of hot chocolate!”