9 Summer Decor Ideas to Cool Down and Freshen Up Your Home
A few small swaps and upgrades can make your home feel ready for warmer weather.
Sprucing up your space for the summer doesn’t have to involve a hefty budget or a ton of your time. Sometimes the tiniest tweaks—such as swapping in lightweight throw pillows or incorporating breezy, organic textures—can make your home instantly feel more fresh and “of the season.” Plus, when you subtly reinvent your space it helps you fall in love with it all over again.
“When the birds start chirping and the bulbs start emerging, I know it’s time to think about updating my home for spring,” says Ami McKay, president and principal designer of Pure Design. “For example, just last week an artist came in and applied a lime wash to my living room walls, inspiring me to tidy up and rearrange my furniture.”
Not quite sure where to start? Follow these interior designer tips on how to make your home feel cool and fresh all summer long.
Put Heavy Blankets in Storage
Heavy cable knit throws and thick blankets feel cozy in autumn and winter, but they’re likely unnecessary in the warmer months. Tuck them away through summer. And if you like the feeling of cuddling up with a blanket, then consider swapping in a lighter muslin or linen throw. In addition to lightweight textiles, McKay says to choose lighter colors, since this visually helps make a space feel cooler.
Bring In Fresh Greenery
“One of my favorite ways to welcome a new season is to update accessories and bring in fresh, seasonal greenery,” notes interior designer Heather Fujikawa. “Because the kitchen is one of the most high-traffic areas in your home, sprucing up this space will really make a difference in your day to day by giving it some simple seasonal updates.” You can also place fresh greenery on your entryway table or in the bedroom. Along with adding color and a sense of earthiness, fresh florals or greenery can also help freshen the scent in your home.
Add Earthy Textures and Patterns
Color and texture play a big part in making seasonal updates around the home. “For summer we love natural textures—such as jute and tweed—and playful prints such as pin stripes and florals, as they help to bring a light and airy feel with a little coastal flair,” Fujikawa says. An easy and cost efficient way to incorporate seasonal textures and colors into your home is with throw pillows, blankets, and art. Swap out heavy textiles and wintry details and replace them with accents that feel more of the season.
Hang Breezy Drapery
Take down thick and heavy drapery and drop them off at the dry cleaner for a deep cleaning. In their place, hang breezy drapery “to enjoy the fresh air and movement when you open windows,” says McKay. If you want to help keep heat out of the house, choose a lightweight, but dense fabric that helps block out more sunlight during the hottest parts of the day.
Ditch Heavy Rugs For Lighter Materials
A plush, heavy rug feels nice under bare feet in the middle of winter, but come summer it takes away from that cool and fresh environment you're looking to create. Put that heavy rug in storage—and consider getting it professionally cleaned first—and swap in lightweight or flat-weave rugs made from cotton or jute.
Incorporate Summery Scents
Visual changes can make a big impact, but don’t neglect your other senses. Candles and diffusers in citrus, floral, or beachy scents can create a sense of lightness versus the heaviness that accompanies sugary or woodsy notes.
“A few of our go-to pieces for pulling off this easy update are layering up a large, round charcuterie board, a pretty glass vase, a tea towel in a fun print, a fresh candle, and lastly, a pretty bowl to display fresh seasonal fruits,” notes Fujikawa. “By incorporating tastes, smells, and colors of the season, you're bound to feel refreshed and inspired for the season ahead.”
Update Your Reading Materials
If you’re looking for a great excuse to hit up the local bookstore, this is it. “I love to buy a stack of new design magazines and a few novels I’ve been dying to read,” says McKay. “This helps me to take the time and sit down.” Also, consider freshening up your coffee table books and whatever you’ve got sitting on your bedside table.
Related:20 Must-Read Books Releasing Summer 2023
Display Summer Memories
Summer is the season of travel and adventure, and it makes perfect sense to display those happy memories throughout your home. Fujikawa says, “Whether it's displaying photos from a vacation, placing seashells in a bowl, or incorporating coastal textures, such as cane, rattan, and wicker, there are several ways to incorporate these special memories and mementos that will leave you feeling happy and inspired.”
Connect the Indoors and Outdoors
Maximize your square footage by bringing the indoors outside and vice versa. The key to making your patio or deck feel homey is to incorporate comfortable seating, cushions, rugs, and lighting. Consider creating an intimate al fresco dining area that invites you to dine outside all season long.
“You can also bring plants outside to create a magical garden space,” McKay suggests. "Choose perennials for these spaces, such as hydrangeas and lavender, or a pergola with grape vines so you can watch them grow and mature yearly.”
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