There is something so special about the arrival of spring: the fresh breezes, warm sunshine and blooming flowers. Spring evokes the idea of new beginnings — a fresh start and an overall feeling of optimism that extends from nature into your home. Springtime is the perfect time for a home revamp, whether it’s swapping out various accents or adding in fresh pops of seasonal color.
With approximately 50 individual stalls featuring local, regional and national vendors and makers, The Mercantile has all the makings of a spring refresh. From new and vintage furniture and antique reproductions to frames, ceramic work, florals and home goods — not to mention the clothing (for both adults and children), jewelry, purses, candles and even artisan foods — the shop is the go-to spot for major room design renovations or a spring decor swaps out.
The store with seemingly endless options was the brainchild of owner Kay Miller, who has spent nearly 40 years in interior design. Having lived and worked from Alabama to California and a variety of places in between, she brought her knowledge and experience to Brook Highland Plaza through her shop’s incredible inventory and custom design services, whether you need floral design or custom orders of furniture, artwork, lighting and draperies. Now celebrating the store’s first anniversary in its current space, Kay shares her tried-and-true approach to refreshing any room for springtime with five go-to tips.
1. Add in flowers.
Nothing quite speaks to the spring season like fresh flowers. Faux flowers are a super-easy way to incorporate the look without maintenance. Kay and her customers love the faux tulips, which are available in a variety of fresh colors. “Bouquets of tulips make me feel happy,” says Kay. “I like to have the tulips sitting as many places as possible, especially in places I see a lot like my desk and the kitchen counter.”
The Mercantile also offers floral design services. Multiple vendors sell a variety of faux flower stems, and one focuses exclusively on floral arrangements — both faux and real. In addition to predesigned floral creations available for purchase, customers can also bring their vision, and even their own vase or container, and have an arrangement put together for them. “Floral design is a big part of our store,” adds Kay. “Those floral services also extend to weddings and special events.”
2. Capture the scents of spring.
Bringing in the scents of the season can rejuvenate any space, and doing so is as easy as incorporating fresh scented candles and diffusers. “Spring is all about fresh and clean, and that’s the scent to focus on to make your home springtime ready,” says Kay.
The Mercantile features its very own signature fragrance, Char-char, which is the most popular scent in the store. The exclusive fragrance is available as a candle, reed diffuser and now as an electric oil diffuser. “Char-char is a pomegranate-focused mixture that’s clean and refreshing,” Kay says. “It’s great for any room of the house and is such an easy update that will make a big statement.”
3. Small accents make a big impact.
Changing out some of the smallest accents in the home can actually have the biggest impact. For example, refresh the living room by replacing the darker pillows typically displayed during the fall and winter months with pillows that feature whites, grays and light spring colors. “Softer colors and even pops of bright spring colors can completely change up the look and feel of a room,” Kay adds. “It’s a great way to update a room without spending a whole lot.”
Another easy-to-overlook detail that packs a big punch is dinnerware. Just changing the color of the dishes is a great way to welcome spring, Kay says. “I always change out my dishes each season,” Kay says. “In spring, I love to bring out dishes with bunnies and little flowers.”
4. Lighten up the bedding.
During the winter months, beds can accumulate layers and thicker blankets, so for spring, Kay recommends lightening it up and putting the bulky blankets away. Changing out the decorative pillows, sheets or blankets to bright springtime colors will really change the overall feel of the bedroom. “It can even be as simple as removing the duvet insert and just laying the coverlet at the foot of the bed, which just makes it a little less bulky,” she says. “If you’re going to introduce a color this spring, navy would be a great addition with white because it’s a key color this year.”
5. Jazz up the entryway.
The front porch and interior entryway can’t be overlooked when updating the home for spring’s arrival. A new stone or ceramic urn with colorful spring flowers is a welcoming addition. No green thumb? Try some faux greenery. “The Mercantile now carries amazing faux greenery that looks real and is even UV-protected,” Kay says. “Adding a natural element to the front of the house or the inside foyer really adds a welcoming feel, and our new faux greenery makes it so easy to do.”
We hope you use these easy tips to make your home simply sing this spring!
The Mercantile is located at 5287 US-280 suite 249, Birmingham, AL 35242. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. To learn more, call (205) 769-6986 or visit mercantilebymiller.com.
This article is sponsored by The Mercantile.