5 Easy Ways to Summer-ize Your Home
Tips to Brighten and Lighten Your Home for Summer
School's out, the sun is shining, and there are strawberries at the farmer's market. You might have your sunscreen-slathered and bikini-clad self ready for the sun, but is your home ready for warmer weather? Believe it or not, it takes more than pulling up the blinds to welcome summer into your home. But it doesn't have to be a big hassle. Whether you have a big home with a large outdoor area, or a small apartment with a fire escape, you can still help your home make the most of the sunshine. Here are five easy places to start:
1. Embrace your outdoor living space. If you're lucky enough to have an amazing outdoor space — garden, patio, balcony, what have you — it's time to start using it. This balcony is a great example of how you really don't need much outdoor space to take advantage of summer's fresh air and sunshine. A patio chair accented with a colorful outdoor rug and weatherproof pillow transforms a simple space into an inviting retreat. A window box on the railing brings a little more green to the space, while sheer curtains offer the option of privacy.
Dining alfresco is always a great opportunity to savor the gorgeous summer weather. Invest in a few pieces of good patio furniture for your dining area, and then accessorize with less expensive and more trendy pieces. Be sure to stick to your style: You want your home and your outdoor area to meld.
If you have a smaller dining area in mind, a small table paired with a loveseat is a great casual dining option. I love how this setup is nestled among the garden and accessorized with bird cages, bird houses, and other outdoor knickknacks. These accessories add a personal touch and can be changed out from year to year.
It's nice to include a water feature. If you have a huge patio, a stately cement multi-tiered fountain could be a great fit. If you have a smaller space, a simple, small, and easy-to-install bubble fountain is a great alternative.
2. Bring in some plant life. Even if you don't have the space, time, or energy to have a summer garden, there are still plenty of easy and beautiful ways to incorporate plants into your home. A container garden is a perfect way to benefit from the beautiful flowers and herbs that flourish in the summer. Choose a large pot like this for a landscaped effect using multiple plants, or create a grouping of smaller pots.
Summer is also the season of juicy, ripe fruits and vegetables. If you have the space, add a potted lemon tree or two to your balcony. You can also do container gardens or window boxes with herbs or a few berry plants, or raised beds of vegetables. (We all know how good homegrown tomatoes are in summer.)
If you're short on floor space, a few hanging plants can add a brilliant pop of green to a room. Just make sure they're in a place where they can drain without making a mess and can still get plenty of sunshine. (By the way, how perfect is this summery breakfast space? It looks like the perfect place to start your day.)
3. Add color. Summer decor can be bright, bold and cheerful, so use cheeky colors and patterns you can't always get away with during other seasons. This deck is simple in style, but by painting it a brilliant blue and accenting with lime-green chairs, it quickly develops a vivid and unforgettable style.
Pillows, cushions, and colorful accessories are fun and easy ways to brighten up an otherwise simple setup. Don't be afraid to mix and match patterns, contrasting colors and styles when it comes to textiles. Fabric can be a relatively inexpensive endeavor, so have fun with it and play around!
4. Bring the outdoors in. No, I'm not talking about plant life again. Allow your decor to reflect the beauty of summer, and work natural materials into your home. These rattan chairs not only display the natural beauty of the woven palm, but they're also extremely clean pieces that would feel just at home outside. Bringing outdoor furniture inside is a great way to blur the line between the two spaces. If you don't think your outdoor furniture will work inside, try using slipcovers or new cushions to help it blend with your interior.
Bring terracotta pots inside. These work well to hold indoor plants for a casual centerpiece, but you could also use terracotta pots to hold utensils, fruit, writing implements, or anything else that needs to be stored.
Using a seagrass or sisal carpet gives a room a slight beachy vibe, and is also practical for the entire year. These natural woven floorcoverings are extremely durable, help create healthy indoor humidity levels, and prevent the build-up of static. If you don't want to recover your floors anytime soon, try the material out with a small rug.
This bed just screams beach home. The clean and fresh linen bedding, driftwood headboard, seashell accents all incorporate some of summer's finest materials into a chic coastal look.
5. Use light and breezy textiles. Integrate light and airy fabrics into your home's design to give each room a bright feel, and also to cool it down on particularly hot days. Tablecloths, rugs, placemats, pillow cushions, and sofa covers can all be temporarily replaced in warmer months. If your home is full of plush velvets and lots of dark colors, it could be a good idea to give it a more summery feel with a few quick changes. The linen sofa cover in this room is a great neutral choice that is cool and refreshing in hot weather. I love the yellow and blue accents as well — the warm and cool tones work wonderfully with the beige couch and rug.
Gingham is a perky pattern that instantly brings afternoon picnics in the park and paper tablecloths at weekend barbecues to mind. Chosen in an unexpected color (rather than the more traditional red and white), it becomes a perfect way to bring summer into your home. This pale yellow would also be adorable used for cushion covers.
Replace heavy winter drapes with sheer or thin curtains to let more light in. Use the same ideas when approaching summer bed linens (especially for guests), throws, cushions and floor pillows. When it's 100 degrees outside, lounging on a fleece cushion probably won't sound like a good idea. More: 8 Elements of a Perfect Outdoor Dining Room Summer Nights Need Summer Beds Cool Off This Summer On a Screened-In Porch