Freshen Up

- by

Photographed by Katie McGee

Spring cleaning can take many forms, from simply shelving any fir-scented candles to carrying out a full-blown deep cleanse (don’t forget to wipe away the ubiquitous yellow pollen that blankets Savannah this time of year). Whether your spring cleaning M.O. is thorough or just the basics, consider adding a few must-haves that make your house happy and bright. 

Practical woven placemats.
Time to come out of hibernation! Invite the friends and family over, and put out this down-to-earth set of eight placemats from the new Tapley’s Mercantile & Antiques. Dress them up on a solid linen tablecloth with white flowers and toile dishes. Just as chic with a patterned tablecloth and whimsical flowers or succulents, these placemats are perfect for casual spring gatherings.

No-waste napkins. Going along with the not-being-a-hermit theme mentioned above, consider adding a fun napkin to your entertaining or everyday rotation. I recently switched to cloth napkins in my house after realizing how many paper towels we go through a week. It’s less wasteful, and every time I eat, I feel like a real adult! I think these bandanas, also found at Tapley’s, would make a welcome addition to any spring table. 

Bonus idea: Make them into pillows as an inexpensive way to brighten up a sunroom or porch.

Won’t-fade-away artwork. Now that you’ve had a few cold and rainy months to stare at your walls, perhaps you’re realizing they are a little bare. I am obsessed with local artist Mary Margaret Monsees’ preserved botanical series. These pressed flowers won’t wilt, and the glossy finish is a pleasing twist on traditional. A large-scale version brings the drama to a foyer or family room while a few smaller pieces are great strategically placed in bookcases.


Sumptuous fresh flowers. This concept may seem like a no-brainer, unless you’re someone who never buys fresh flowers — I am told there are some of you out there. You survived the holidays and being cold. You deserve flowers! Nothing can perk a house up like a beautiful table arrangement, and Urban Poppy does a fantastic job of mixing colors and textures. I especially love their container selections, leaving you with no choice but to continue to fill it up.  

Tole flowers. So, you can’t keep plants alive and don’t want to buy flowers on a weekly basis?

May I introduce the tole flowers by Get the Gusto. Made of metal from centuries-
old techniques, these tiny sculptures are works of art. A grouping down the middle of a dining table or a few on a side table add the perfect amount of visual interest, all while being maintenance-free. 


Robyn Roberts is a Savannah-based interior designer (, @robynrobertsdesign).