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‘You don’t have to go crazy and do a whole renovation’

Carol Lee Kelliher sells home wares at Carol Lee’s Cottage in Rockport, and says bright colors, especially in artwork, can really help liven up a room.
Carol Lee Kelliher sells home wares at Carol Lee’s Cottage in Rockport, and says bright colors, especially in artwork, can really help liven up a room.Carol Lee Kelliher

With spring very nearly sprung, the changing outdoors often inspires the urge to change things up indoors as well. Three North Shore-based design and homewares boutiques weighed in on easy ways to spruce up indoor spaces.

Katie Rocheford is a cofounder at Salt & Grove, a design store in Newburyport that emphasizes its locally made inventory of home wares. The store’s name originates from Rocheford and fellow cofounder Sarah Landry’s bicoastal upbringings.

“Salt represents the East Coast and Grove represents the West Coast because I grew up on the East Coast [near] an ocean and Sarah, my business partner, grew up on a citrus grove out in California,” Rocheford said.

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For those looking to liven up their homes for spring, Rocheford recommends flowers and plants to bring a bit of the outdoors inside. Snake plants and monstera varieties are easy to care for, and they can be replanted into visually interesting pots.

“We think that plants are a beautiful way to liven up your space any time of year,” Rocheford said.

Sage Market + Design sells home decor through its Newburyport-based store.
Sage Market + Design sells home decor through its Newburyport-based store.Melissa Blythe Photography

Sage Market + Design sells home decor through its Newburyport-based store. Melissa Blythe Photography

Sage Market + Design is a Newburyport-based store founded by a two-woman team. Mother and daughter Beverly Fowler and Jordan Sage Cashman initially opened the business as an online shop in 2012, and created their first brick-and-mortar location soon after.

Fowler recommends that those who want to do a slightly more time-intensive revamp might want to put an accent wall in a room. Painting or wallpapering just one wall can help freshen up the space.

Then, add something simple like a new rug. “You don’t have to go crazy and do a whole renovation,” she said.

Adding new pillows and plants in addition to moving furniture around also could help make a familiar room feel new, Fowler said. “Small stuff can make a huge difference in the space,” she added.

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Carol Lee Kelliher is the owner of Carol Lee’s Cottage, a Rockport store that sells a variety of items including some home wares. Kelliher said that adding art can help change up a room. Most of the artwork in her shop is made by local artists who repurpose materials like sea glass and picket fences. Kelliher prefers bright colors for spring artwork, to help draw the viewer’s eye.

Freshening up a room might be as simple as replacing a painting dominated by browns and taupes with a new one that has springlike colors. “When you walk into the room [after the change], your eye will go right to that bright color,” Kelliher said.

Carol Lee's Cottage in Rockport sells artwork made by Robin Nichols from sea glass and shells collected on Rockport beaches. 
Carol Lee's Cottage in Rockport sells artwork made by Robin Nichols from sea glass and shells collected on Rockport beaches.  Carol Lee Kelliher