Summer is that sweet, long-awaited season that somehow still manages to creep up on you. Before you know it, you're putting away your flannel, cranking up the AC, taking the cover off that barbecue and wondering what happened to spring (did it ever even come?) Getting your home (and your mind) feeling summer-ready, is as easy as these quick tweaks:
Swap out heavy throw pillows with bright hues and happy prints
Don't underestimate the power of a throw pillow: There are few ways more effective to liven up your living room than to rotate them by season. Fall and winter are ideal for knitted fabrics in muted, warm colors, but summer calls for lively shades and prints, like these spotted on Oh Happy Day. Some good budget-friendly resources include scouring the shelves of your local Home Goods, World Market, Target, Society 6, Zara Home and Urban Outfitters.
Bring in greenery
I'd argue that this one is applicable year round. There are many benefits to bringing the outdoors in with plants and flowers—air quality, spiritual well-being, work productivity (yes, really), the list goes on and on—but purely for the sake of this article, they just make a space feel like summer, don't they? Take a look at the above room spotted on Design Love Fest, designed in partnership with Emily Henderson. Maybe it's the bright colors of some of the furniture, but the plethora of plantings peppered throughout surely help the room look like it's frozen in a perpetual state of summer. Now who wouldn't want that?
Lighten up your bedding
Put away your heavy down comforter and flannel sheets, preferably in the far reaches of your linen closet, not to emerge until hopefully late September (or ever.) Fresh cotton or linen sheets will keep you nice and cool at night, but if you live in a locale that still gets a little chill in the air once the sun goes down, a light coverlet or quilt will do the trick. Opt for soothing neutrals, beachy blues or pops of citrus to wake up every morning feeling like you're on vacation.
Add summery curb (or hall) appeal
We aren't all lucky enough to have an outdoor space to call our own, but fear not. Take hold of whatever you've got and make the most of it, even if it's just a threshold or a patch of concrete in front of your door. Some ideas for you: a new, summer-appropriate door mat, potted plants, and, if space allows, a pretty bench or chair with outdoor pillows. Better still, if your front door is your own property and you have the option to paint it, make a weekend project out of it for major impact. Check out this past article for some color inspiration.
Prep your outdoor space (no matter how small)
Whether you have a petite plein air alcove or a full-on backyard and deck, it's time to dust off winter and spruce it up for a long summer ahead. At the very least, all you need to be enticed outdoors is a place to sit yourself and a drink. A colorful powder-coated aluminum seating set brightens up a ho-hum balcony, as does an indoor/outdoor rug. Short on space? These itty-bitty dining sets will prove you can dine alfresco no matter your exterior square footage.
Put some thought into your guest room
If you're anything like me circa two years ago, your guest bedroom is your de facto storage area/part-time office/laundry drop zone. But, living a few miles from the ocean leaves room for many basically unannounced summer visitors, so I had to shape up to avoid regular embarrassment. Some simple cotton bedding, a throw at the foot of the bed, a smattering of books and some homemade black-and-white abstract art later, and I had myself a proper guest bedroom (once I shoved all the odds and ends into the closet.)
Freshen up your bathroom
Is there anything like fresh, white towels to make you feel spatastic? Not to me! Create your own beach bungalow bathroom with crisp towels in either all white or a mix of vibrant hues, new plush bath mats, and a playful shower curtain.
Keep using your fireplace, just not for fire
Chances are, you won't be using your fireplace for the next few months, but there's no need to leave it empty, like a black hole that reminds you of the despair that is winter. Instead, treat it as a new nook for displaying a cheerful collection of coral (as seen above in House Beautiful), candles or even plants.