When should you start decorating for spring? 5 designers on how and when they start the switch

Feel the change of season in the air? We asked designers when (and how) they recommend switching up your interiors for spring

Dining room with larger windows and spring table decor
(Image credit: Future)

As February draws to a close, spring is most definitely in the air, and with March (the official start of spring) just around the corner, it does warrant asking if is it time to put away the heavy drapes and cozy throws and start decorating for spring. I certainly feel ready to be seeing lighter, more uplifting colors and spring-inspired prints.

Spring decor is best brought in slowly and steadily. You don't want to take your home from the depths of winter straight to mid-summer in one weekend, but rather make small but consistent changes as the weather changes. Give it a few weeks, and you'll notice that your whole home feels fresh and lifted as does the weather, without having to put in lots of time or effort. 

But when should you start making those changes and what changes should you be making? We asked interior designers when they start decorating for spring (spoiler: right now) and what small but impactful changes to make to your home decor. 

When should you start decorating for spring?

How to decorate your home for spring and when it should be done, will slightly come down to the climate of where you live, plus your personal tastes and style. Spring is my season for example, and I like my home to feel fresh and like there's been a shift as soon as the Holiday decs come down. But if you enjoy cozy decor, or the weather means layers and heavy fabrics are a must for the first few months of the year then decorating for spring might come later. Essentially, there are no hard rules about when to decorate your home for the change in seasons, do so when feels right for your space.

Dining room with fireplace and beaded chandelier

(Image credit: Future)

With that in mind, designer Bethany Adams suggests ' I usually wait until after Valentine's day to start shifting my decor towards spring. I'll start by forcing bulbs indoors – this can take a month or so – and placing them in lovely shallow planters covered in bright green moss. Just that little hit of green is enough to perk up a room, but once the bulbs start coming up, it actually feels like spring indoors!  

'About this time is when it's safe to put away the heavier blankets – the faux fur, the velvet, the cashmere, which remind one of winter,' she continues. 'Pussywillow branches are usually out early, and these last a long time so I'll grab a bunch from the grocery store and put them in a statement vase on the mantle. I also start swapping out my tropical plants for the evergreens that take their place in my indoor planters in winter.  All of these little things add up to a lovely progression towards spring, well before the trees bud outside.'

I love the idea of looking to nature as a way of knowing when to start decorating for spring. Bringing in greenery is such a lovely and easy way to give your rooms just a hint of that change in season. This is the perfect thing to do right now to make your home feel just slightly more spring-like. Tulips in a vase, daffodils, even branches of blossom will also bring in those vivid colors that we associate with early spring and are so desperate to see after winter. 

living room with yellow and blue accents, pair of blue matching armchairs, cream couch, ottoman with upholstered top, shiplap walls, artwork, vases, table lamps

(Image credit: OKA)

'To amplify the springtime ambiance, incorporate changing floral arrangements –whether faux or real – and introduce the delicate beauty of spring branches adorned with buds, my personal favorite,' explains Jennifer Davis. 'Fresh flowers not only bring a burst of color but also infuse your space with delightful fragrances.'

'Elevate the ambiance by transitioning from candles with earthy scents to ones that offer brighter, fresher fragrances. Nature-inspired elements can be further integrated by introducing botanical prints into your decor through artwork, or throw pillows. These additions will create a seamless connection with the outdoors, evoking the essence of spring within your home.' 

Switching out scents is something I do pretty much straight after Christmas. It's something so small but really changes the feel of a home without having to make any premature decor switches. Gone are the heavy baking scented candles and instead I burn fresher, more light floral or citrus scents. 

Blue bedroom with striped fabric headboard

(Image credit: James MacDonald)

Designer Kathy Kuo agrees that the start of March is the ideal time to start decorating your home for spring. 'The first official day of spring is March 20, so I like to start integrating springy elements into my home decor starting at the beginning of March so by the end of the month I'm fully transitioned to the new season.'

'Spring decor can take many forms depending on what your overall interior design style is. I love to bring out vases in lighter colors and fill them with seasonal blooms and also swap out my cozy winter throw blankets for lighter weight cotton ones, and swap my velvet and hair-on-hide decorative pillows for linen ones.'

'Typically, the best time to start decorating for spring is as soon as the snow starts melting and temperatures begin to rise, signaling the transition from winter to spring. Start by shedding the weight of winter fabrics like velvets and wool in somber tones, and welcome the season with lighter, brighter hues such as pastels, soft greens, and sunny yellows. Opt for airier materials like cotton and linen to replace heavy winter fabrics,' agrees Jennifer.

light and airy living room with textures, rattan pendant, sheepskin armchair, coir rug, wood, metal and glass coffee table, plants and greenery in vase

(Image credit: The White Company)

Making these more impactful switches is something I do over the weekends of very early spring. I have been caught out before changing bedding and drapes out too early as we all know how many false springs there can be in March and April. So I start with throw pillows and the throws on my couch and bed. Changing these for more spring-like colors and prints like florals and gingham give my living room and bedroom a change but the warmth is still kept in until the weather makes up its mind. 

'The first step in preparing for spring is editing the weight of fall and winter by swapping out plush throws and pillows with those of light-weight linens and cashmere,' explains designer Kara Childress. 'My favorite part about a spring home is using fresh branches and greenery throughout, such as cherry blossoms, French lilac, forsythia, and dogwood.'

'Extend this refreshing transformation to your throw blankets, swapping out furry and woolen throws for gauzy fabrics that exude lightness,' continues Jennifer Davis. 'Infuse the spirit of spring into every corner of your home with strategically placed elements in the form of throw pillows, blankets, curtains, and small decorative items like vases or candles.'

When you choose to decorate your home for spring is a personal choice. I have been doing it since New Year's Day. But the general consensus seems that from the end of February onwards you should start making (weather-appropriate) switches in your home. Don't change everything out in one go, start with smaller things like the scent, and let what's going on out in nature dictate what's going on in your home – bring in spring flowers and foliage as the perfect starting point and then slowly switch out fabrics, bedding and throws as the season progresses. 

Hebe Hatton
Head of Inteiors

I am the Head of Interiors at Homes & Gardens. I started off in the world of journalism in fashion and luxury travel and then landed my first interiors role at Real Homes and have been in the world of interior design ever since. Prior to my role at H&G I was the digital editor at Livingetc, from which I took a sabbatical to travel in my self-converted van (not as glamorous as decorating a home, but very satisfying). A year later, and with lots of technical DIY lessons learnt I am back to writing and editing, sometimes even from the comfort of my home on wheels.