21 Simple Ways to Refresh Your Home for Summer 2021

updated Jun 17, 2021
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Credit: Erin Derby

The most wonderful season of all is upon us. To celebrate warmer days ahead, I’ve rounded up 21 easy ways to refresh your home, so that you can fully embrace the season and all it has to offer. Bring on the patio parties, lazy evenings sipping chilled wine on the sofa, and weekend afternoons by the pool.

1. Go natural.

“Adding in natural materials is a great way to beckon in the summer months,” explains designer Hallie Henley Sims, who’s a proponent of grasscloth, raffia, seagrass, and tropical foliage. Don’t be afraid to fake it ’til you make it, Sims advises. “If you don’t live close to the water, why not try a paper palm tree instead, or set out the ingredients for my favorite summer cocktail — ranch water!”

Credit: TJ Maxx

2. Upgrade your porch seating.

We gasped when we spotted this beautiful rattan chair — it looks like a vintage find, but is easy to scoop up in just a click. When the weather turns cool, bring it indoors and let it shine in your living room.

Buy: Melawi Rattan Chair, $199 from TJMaxx.com.

3. Get scent happy.

Candles aren’t just for winter, trust us. “My favorite way to refresh my apartment for summer is using seasonal candles and flowers to fill up my place,” blogger Carly Hill notes. “I believe scents really transform a space, so I love focusing on seasonal scents like gardenia, clean linens, and lavender. Current favorite candles include The Little Market’s Gardenia Candle and Otherland’s Clean Blossom Candle.” Blogger Megan Karp agrees. “I always have a light scent burning in my space during the warmer months,” she says. “My favorite is the basil candle by Jenni Kayne.”

4. Give your garden a glowup.

“A trip to our local nursery gives me so much inspiration and excitement,” blogger Amelia Leach of Amelia Styles says. “I love buying a new pot or two before summer and filling them with some fresh flowering plants. We spend a lot of time outside during the warmer months in Nashville, and having a few new blooms surrounding our outdoor dining area is always a special treat we’re able to enjoy all season long.”

5. Say hello to florals.

“The best way to refresh your home for summer is to bring the outdoors in,” designer Kate Smith says. “Fresh flowers and lush plants add so much texture and interest to a space. They add the perfect finishing layer to make a room feel inviting and fun.” You don’t have to spend a ton in the process, either. “During the spring and summer months, I’m able to score gorgeous bouquets for $6 at a local farmers market,” Instagrammer Erika Kikola says. For a stunning arrangement on a dime, you can even mix in extra greenery from your yard, she says.

Credit: H&M Home

6. Upgrade the everyday.

Switch out your placemats for something new and fun without breaking the bank. These rainbow placemats are made of durable jute and nod to summertime and Pride month at the same time.

Buy: Jute Placemat, $12.99 from H&M Home.

Credit: Lauren Bren

7. Make over your coffee table.

“To celebrate a new season, large spaces can be daunting, but the top of a coffee table is the perfect tableau,” Instagrammer Anna Weaver notes. “For summer, I replace my design books with travel and gardening ones, which inspire summer vacations and luscious gardens.” And don’t forget about your accent pieces. “The deep colors and textures of my fall accessories are swapped out for a lighter palette found in some of my Majolica collection,” Weaver adds. “Brass is the perfect sparkly touch for any season, but when it holds vintage French playing cards, it ticks the box for travel wanderlust that always seems to be strongest during the summer months.”  

8. Pare down your belongings.

Take some time to do a big clean-out and donate or sell any decorative items that no longer serve you. Not feeling inspired? Look to this calming apartment in Puerto Rico for inspo to clear the clutter.

9. Stay cool.

Give your skincare routine an upgrade by placing your fave products in a chic beauty fridge (you may have seen these on TikTok!). It may seem a bit frivolous off the bat, but you’ll thank yourself (and us!) when it’s time to slather on products as the days get warmer.

Buy: Cooluli UO Exclusive Mini Beauty Refrigerator, $49.95 from Urban Outfitters.

Credit: Angel Guzman

10. Rethink your textiles.

“Swap out darker, moodier pillows for lighter textures,” urges designer Wendy Mauro. “Replace your velvets and thicker weaves with cottons.”

11. Change your bedding.

“We put away the duvets for matelasse coverlets and go from cotton or flannel sheets to all linen bedding,” says designer Jean Liu. “The linen sheets are so nice to climb into on a hot summer day.”

12. Make it a double.

If you’re lucky enough to have a pool in your backyard, grab this float that provides twice the fun. Who needs a tropical getaway when you can kick back and relax without leaving the house?

Buy: Vera for Anthropologie Periwinkle Double Pool Float, $65 from Anthropologie.

Credit: Alexis Buryk

13. Organize the pantry.

Take some time to go through all of your dry goods and check expiration dates and ensure everything is stashed appropriately and in an organized manner. These types of projects always feel a bit daunting but will make such an impact when it comes to your day-to-day routine. This Brooklyn kitchen is major #goals.

14. Give your table settings new life.

Blogger Tiffany Barino is a big fan of changing up her dinnerware for the seasons. “These bright yellow lemon plates are perfect for summer entertaining and al fresco brunch, lunch, and dinners,” she says. “The cheerful pattern screams summer [and] lends itself to breezy days and evenings full of sun and good eats.”

Credit: Erin Derby

15. Make over the mantel.

Designer Kerri Pilchik suggests making over the mantel to celebrate the season. “Try a large shell or just lean some vibrant art,” she suggests. “Dress up that fireplace you won’t be using by placing a decorative screen in front of it. Finally, summer blooms, like gorgeous peonies, are a must!”

Credit: Target

16. Embrace your inner grandmillennial.

Get a bit grandmillennial with these darling seat cushions that are perfect for your next backyard garden party. We can’t get enough of their cheerful hues.

Buy: Round Back Seat Cushion DuraSeason Fabric™ Almond Finches – Threshold™, $25 from Target.

Credit: Nordstrom

17. Pour it out.

Treat yourself to a wine glass that’s durable and easy to use outdoors — it’s insulated, there’s no glass involved, and it’s easy to clean and reuse all year long.

Buy: Stemless Insulated Wine Glass, $27.95 from Nordstrom.

18. Add a pop of color.

Take the time to finally tackle the blank wall that you’ve been staring at for the past year, and install some wallpaper for a brand new look. Wallpaper is easy to apply in an afternoon and can majorly transform even the smallest of spaces — the bathroom is a great place to start. This Ontario home shows us how it’s done.

19. Bring the indoors out.

“I like to have my family enjoy the same pleasures we have inside while spending time at our outdoor spaces,” Instagrammer Kathy Messina says. “Simple touches, such as pillows, candles, throws on a chilly night, along with magazines and books all lend a cozy ambience to those areas… and yes, why not throw a hide rug down to pull it all together?” Instagrammer Joel McCooey is also a fan of this approach, incorporating “cozy pillows, lanterns, and even a rug to add all of those feel-good elements” to his outdoor space.

Credit: World Market

20. Shine bright.

Up your string light game with this tie-dye strand that will add personality to your patio in an instant.

Buy: Blue Tie Dye Fabric Orb Solar LED 10 Bulb String Lights, $18.74 from World Market.

Credit: Kim Lucian

21. Edit your wardrobe.

If you haven’t yet stashed away those wool sweaters and thick turtlenecks, do so now. If space allows, set out your absolute favorite pieces on a clothing rack, so that you’ll never have to go digging through your closet pre-date night.