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Seasonal Decorating: Summer

a rug

Relax—it’s summer! The days are longer, the kids are out of school, and those summer nights are warm and breezy. Reflect this laid-back season in your summer décor. Here’s how to set three summer scenes. 

Option 1: Bright and Beachy

Turn up the life in your home with bright, cheery colors such as sunny yellow, vibrant orange, and gorgeous turquoise. This 60s-inspired palette sets the scene for a good time in any room in the house.

Curtains, throw pillows, and blankets are easy places to infuse the palette. Look for 60’s style accents at your local thrift shop and, if you’re really dedicated, consider painting an old piece of accent furniture. For example, make a bookcase pop by painting the outside turquoise and the inside a zippy yellow.

Be liberal with florals. Bring real flowers in from the garden—dahlias, daisies, and sunflowers set a happy tone and are easy to come by in the summer months, whether from your own back yard or the local farmer's market. You can also decorate with floral fabrics such as on chair cushions and table runners. 

Option 2: On the Shores of Nantucket

Opt for a more neutral color scheme that brings to mind the rocky, New England coast with crisp white, sandy tan, and sky blue. This color combination has a calming effect that makes summer seem as though it will last forever.

Nautical accents work well against this backdrop. Decorative sailors’ knots are easy to come by online or in craft stores. Shop antique stores for old oars to lean against the wall and/or tack a small sail to the wall or ceiling. Fill clear vases or hurricanes with sand, stones, driftwood, and seashells. For curtains and accent pillows go for stripes and billowy whites, reminiscent of clouds.
 

Option 3: Put the Lime in the Coconut

Mix up a fruity cocktail and get the island party started with tropical lime green and fuchsia. Make the colors pop with black and white accents and add tiki-style accessories such as a grasscloth lampshade or bamboo placemats. 

For plant life, consider succulents, which should be at their best in the steamy summer. Orchids also are particularly healthy in the summer months and add to the tropical vibe. Papyrus, a paper-like plant material, is easy to come by at craft stores and has hundreds of uses. Wrap it around clear candleholders to cast a summertime glow; adhere it to a corkboard for a Hawaiian-inspired message center.

This scene calls for bold fabric patterns. Have fun with geometric prints, Hawaiian florals, and fruit-inspired designs.