Summer Style: 20 Fresh Ways to Bring in the Season
From surfboards and seashells to mason jars and hammocks, keep that laid-back vibe going through summer and beyond
Laura Gaskill August 3, 2012
Houzz Contributor. I cover decorating ideas, Houzz tours & the monthly home maintenance checklist. My favorite pieces to write center around the emotional aspects of home and savoring life's simple pleasures. Get my bi-weekly email: https://www.lauragaskill.com/thesimplelist/
Houzz Contributor. I cover decorating ideas, Houzz tours & the monthly home maintenance... More
If summer seems to be slipping by, and you haven't yet made any changes around the house, now is the perfect time to do so. Whether you are looking for projects to tackle during a staycation, or hoping to hold on to the memories from your beach getaway, there is sure to be a snippet of inspiration here that fits the bill. From summery centerpieces and interior styling ideas to eye-catching ways to display vacation photos, take your pick from these 20 ideas for decking out your home this summer.
1. Do something amazing with your best vacation photo of the year. Instead of letting those gorgeous shots languish in a drawer (or on your hard drive, more likely), have one supersized and framed or printed onto canvas.
2. Driftwood and succulents spell summer in California. Even if you don't live in the Golden State, you can evoke the laid-back vibe of coastal Big Sur with this effortless pairing. Try decor made from driftwood, or simply use pieces salvaged from the shore. Sculptural succulents look best in sleek, mod pots.
3. Does someone in the house surf? Bodyboard? Display it with pride! Rig up a unique wall display for the entryway that is equal parts practical (grab your gear on your way out the door) and decorative. Enhance the effect by adding a cool, textured grass-cloth wallpaper backdrop.
4. Give your kitchen a quick update with sea glass colors. Unfurling a rug is one of the quickest ways to completely change the look of a room. I adore the beach-inspired color palette on this Angela Adams rug, and it looks incredibly soft.
5. Summerize your bar. Set up a relaxed, help-yourself drinks station on a console table, stocked with the makings for your favorite summer drinks. Anchor the arrangement with a large object (like the gleaming silver lamp shown here) and accessorize with decor that hints of the sea (hint: check your local nautical supply store for authentic, but cheap finds).
6. Set up a sunny centerpiece. A row of cheerful, potted sunflowers or zinnias will make everyone smile — plus, they last far longer than a cut bouquet.
7. Change up your usual (heavy/giant) coffee table for something a little different. If you have the room to store your big coffee table for a few months, why not try something a little different? Ceramic garden stools make great little perches and double as a place to set your drink. A small table placed between two chairs can be the perfect spot to play games or cards. Lighter weight and smaller in scale, these options feel fresh and fun for summer.
8. Add a hammock ... indoors. Hang a hammock in the living room, basement or play room to bring that summertime mood inside, and enjoy it long after the last vacation day fades from memory.
9. Make a simple summery "tablescape." Fill clear glass vessels with sand (top with tea lights if you wish) and line them up down the center of your dining room table. Fill in the gaps between the vessels with pretty shells and smooth stones.
10. Bring in natural fibers and textures. Sea grass, wicker and rattan furniture; coir and sisal rugs; and grass-cloth wallpaper are all wonderful ways to bring natural shades and textural interest into your space.
11. Use outdoor furniture indoors. Have some extra porch furniture lying around? Try pulling it indoors for a change and giving some of your heavier, upholstered pieces a rest until the first hint of fall is in the air. Not only do they look airier, they can put up with a lot more in terms of spills and stains.
12. Re-cover your bulletin board with fun fabric. Give your home office or entryway a lift with this quick and easy DIY project. A staple gun makes quick work of covering a basic cork board with fabric; add decorative nailhead trim if you want a bit of extra polish.
13. Swap out pillows on your bed for a fresh look on a budget. If you keep your sheets and coverlet neutral, it's easy (and cheap) to change the whole look just by changing the pillow covers. I am partial to fun, colorful patterns in the summer, like these monkey print boudoir pillows from Rikshaw Design.
14. Use your mason jars as drink glasses. Calling to mind screen doors, peach pies and the county fair, mason jars make a great summer stand-in for glasses — and you can pick up a whole flat of them for a few bucks at most grocery stores, so stocking up for large parties is a breeze.
15. Get kids involved in curating collections of summer treasures. Little ones are known for bringing home all sorts of treasures, some beautiful (look, a seashell!), some less so (look, a dried-up worm!). Help them choose the best items to keep and work them into a seasonal display — add labels with the date and place collected, and you will also have made a memento that will last for years to come.
16. Get creative with seashells. The beautiful colors and varied shapes of seashells can add a welcome organic element to your decor, but why not think beyond the tray and apothecary jar for more creative ways to display these treasures? Try stringing sea stars from a length of rope and hanging it on the wall as seen here, or use small shells along with bits of sea glass and driftwood to create your own wind chime. Mix it up, have fun and you might surprise yourself with what you've created.
17. String up photos like a clothesline for an easy, rotating display. Have a big blank wall in the hallway just begging for an artistic display? Try rigging up a few rows of twine or fishing filament between small nails, then use clothespins (mini or regular size) to clip up a selection of photos from your summer. For a cohesive look, try choosing photos based on a color theme: all black and white, for instance, or blue sky and sea pictures.
18. Perk up your breakfast nook. Give a little extra attention to this space, and you'll enjoy those leisurely summer mornings with extra helpings of coffee, fresh OJ and the paper even more. New seat cushions for comfort (try before you buy — the quality of the stuffing can really make a difference) and a few new accessories are all you need to make a big difference. Go ahead and be a little matchy-matchy — mugs and breakfast plates that coordinate with your pillows makes the small space feel cozy and pulled together.
19. Light the way ... indoors and out! Is a space in your home missing something, but you can't put your finger on what it is? Try adding a lantern or three — they can be tucked in just about anywhere, adding a romantic glow in the evenings, and look cool and sculptural even when unlit.
20. Buck the all-white trend and go dark for summer. If you already have a lot of white in your home, consider painting an accent in black. Black shelving makes a striking backdrop for green plants, white pottery and sun-bleached shells, and will look equally appealing come fall when filled with books and baskets.
Tell us: What is your favorite way to savor summer?
Tell us: What is your favorite way to savor summer?
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