I love the changing of the seasons and especially the ushering in of longer, summer days and (hopefully) vacations. As we approach the summer, there are some practical things each homeowner should do to keep their home in prime condition. There are also some fun design ideas that each can do to visually reflect the changing of the seasons. (I don’t know about you but after having such limited travels and social gatherings, I’m craving change and brighter, cheerful décor.) I’ve made my list of eight things we should all do to make the most of warmer weather and incorporate summer into home décor.
1.) Schedule an air conditioning tune-up. Few things are as frustrating as returning home to discover the A/C isn’t working properly. Houston is known for its hot and humid summers, so I plan ahead to schedule air conditioning maintenance each year in advance of the summer. I’ve also found that having this equipment regularly maintained reduces the overall costs by avoiding bigger maintenance issues. I like the warmer weather but I also appreciate a cool and refreshing escape indoors.
2.) Put away blankets and accent pillows that are heavier weight and/or darker hues. With summer’s brighter days, we also see lighter colors incorporated into home accents. Now is the time to pull out the summery pillows and throws. A white blanket visually lightens the scenery and can remain within arm’s reach for the evenings when you want to snuggle up and watch a good movie or read a book. After all, we’re looking ahead to the infamous “lazy days of summer”, at least on occasion.
3.) Go coastal. Even if you’re not decorating an actual beach house, the casual nautical theme is relaxing. Plus, you can incorporate subtle changes to your interiors without going overboard on the anchors and sails. As we mentioned in a former post, soft blues emulate the caressing motion of the waves, so you can soak up the soothing elements around you. Incorporate the soft blues and greens along with crisp whites into your home with simple things such as updating a bench or seat cushion. Cloth napkins and tablecloths are an easy way to update a kitchen or dining room with lighter seasonal décor.
4.) Incorporate ocean blues and greens with paint or paper. (Remember: it’s not really permanent. It’s so easy to repaint a wall or bookshelf.) As my newsletter subscribers and blog followers know, I often look for small or unique areas in homes that can be accentuated with a pop of colorful paint or wallpaper. I’m loving the soft turquoise used to draw your eyes to the seaside-theme accessories in this built-in bookshelf, courtesy of Country Living and Aimee Herring. The owner has cultivated a collection of neutral seaside items that rest nicely on this cool bookshelf.
5.) Pull out dishes that are white or lighter in color. Don’t have a second set of dishes? Pick up some at a great price at a local estate sale. You’ll be surprised at the bargain you can find on really pretty pieces. Of course, popular stores like Pottery Barn typically promote seasonal tableware like these dishes. Even without the starfish dish, you can achieve that easy, breezy feel around your dinner table. I also like the votive candle holders that carry the soft blue theme even further.
6.) Last month, we covered tips for refinishing furniture. This is another way to incorporate a summer vibe in your décor. Perhaps you have an antique chair that is well constructed but is a bit plain. Why not give it a facelift by painting it either in an ocean blue or a vibrant, sunny yellow or popular coral tone? As shown here, these chairs were refinished in chalk paint for a rustic, casual feel. I can certainly see one of the lighter toned chairs being added to a side table for a private sitting area, perfect for writing thank you notes or working through bills.
I also found this new coral chair on Pinterest, available at Wayfair. While you could order this new, it’s also a good example of what you could create with a dated piece you may already have.
7.) Open your window treatments to let the sunshine emanate throughout the room. I love being able to look onto my lush landscaping in my backyard, especially in sunny weather. As I’ve mentioned before, it just brings a smile to my face. Mother Nature often creates such beauty, if only we’ll stop long enough to appreciate it. After a few months of brown foliage, greenery and flowers are emerging as the natural reminder that spring is here with summer close behind it.
8.) Extend your living space outdoors. Summer encourages us to spend more time outdoors, so we help our clients look at how they like to use their backyards and then we create outdoor spaces that are also well designed for our clients’ unique needs. As most Americans have access to the COVID-19 vaccine, I suspect we’ll experience more social gatherings in the coming months. Investing in quality outdoor furniture is a good step. I frequently hear that outdoor furniture is expensive and I in turn remind people that you can invest in quality pieces or spend less but must replace the pieces more frequently. I recommend buying furniture that will last a long time and that you love.
I invite you to see our online portfolio of outdoor entertainment settings that we’ve created for some of our clients. It may spur some ideas of your own.
Get ready to heat up the grill and celebrate summer with these tips to summer-ize your home décor. After all, a well-designed home inspires you to nourish yourself and those special visitors who grace your home.
If you enjoyed reading this article, you may find the following three blog posts of interest as well.