Summer has finally arrived across the U.S., which means we're moving our lives outdoors – gardening in the yard, jumping in the pool, firing up the barbecue, dining al fresco and soaking up the summer sun.
Like the change of seasons, it’s important to change your home decor to reflect the time of year and refresh the space – both outdoors and indoors to show off at a moment's notice. Here are some ways to welcome the season into your home.
Curb appeal lured homebuyers and guests inside. If you have a front yard, make sure the door stands out with a colorful coat of paint. Plant flowers with contrasting colors to create personality. Add a decorative wreath and new welcome mat as a way to greet those at the door and invite them inside.
Create some entertaining space. Think summer barbecues, dining under the stars or a place to relax and catch some rays with a book. It’s important to dress up each section of the yard with a different function to create the perfect balance between a place to play and eat. Don’t forget to add pops of color in flowers, table linens or even a piece of artwork to soften the look of the space and actually attract the eye to that particular section.
Spring for a water feature. Many homeowners opt to install a water feature in their home in the front yard, back yard or even inside. The sound of water is calming and can be a way to drain out any unwanted neighborhood sounds.
Stay on top of landscaping. Speaking of water, keep the lawn and flowers watered daily to sustain their green, healthy look. A well-kept landscape tips off buyers and guests that the entire home is well maintained.
Prep the deck or patio. A deck or patio can be a positive feature when selling a home, and can of course be a great place to entertain. Fix any minor repairs that are needed, like cracks in the concrete or re-staining the deck. Dress it up with a seating area, a few potted flowers and maybe even a fire pit.
Keep up with clean-up. Outdoor spaces should be cleaned at least once a year with a power washer to remove any dirt or deep stains on the home’s exterior. It’s imperative that garbage and clutter be removed from the lawn, flowerbeds and near any entertaining areas by designating one place in the yard for outgoing trash. Bugs and animals can also be an issue outdoors, so use the proper treatment to deter them and remove cobwebs from doorways.
Maintain window panes. During the summer, clean the outside and inside of your windows to remove debris, maximize light and keep dirt from blowing into the home when the window is open. The window coverings should be surrounded by light, airy fabric like linen or silk, and keep your window treatments open to embrace the sun’s natural light.
Provide summer relief with a cool breeze. In some parts of the country, the summer’s heat can be unbearable. A home should stay at a comfortable temperature, so check you air conditioning equipment regularly during the summer months to avoid a melt down. If you’re selling a home, having a cool home can get buyers to linger around the home longer.
Change textiles throughout the home. The presence of a heavy blanket or furry pillow in a room in the summer heat can make a person start to sweat. An easy tactic to welcome summer into a home is by exchanging heavy fabrics for breezier ones. Change throw pillow covers, throw blankets, sofa slipcovers, bedding and even rugs. Mix in more neutral colors, floral patterns and natural material textiles. You may even decide to remove an object, like a rug, for the season to change the space.
Inject a summertime theme. What does summer mean to you? Use that answer to introduce a theme into the home. Some go-to themes are sailing, the beach, sea creatures, hiking, travel or even topical or tribal prints. Be unexpected by using bright colors, like yellow or hot pink. Try adding soft, airy colors, too, for contrast. You can even deck the walls with pictures of fun summertime activities.
Lighten up the walls. While dark colors can make a room feel dark and cozy, it also weighs down the space. If you have dark colors on your walls in the main rooms of the home, such as the living room and kitchen, take some time this summer to paint them a neutral color to refresh the walls, creating a light, bright space.
Play up use of white in the home. The color meaning of white is purity, innocence, wholeness and completion. Consider playing up the items in your home that are already white. Or you may want to create a white room that can symbolize a cozy Hampton beach house or Martha’s Vineyard cottage, complete with different white textures and distressed finishes.
Show off Mother Nature. Embrace nature by displaying summer flowers and beach finds such as shells, driftwood or even bottle up some sand to place around the home. Neutral earth tones can update a look and cherish the colors found in nature. Keep potted fresh herbs in the kitchen, add banana leafs in a vase or purchase some eco-friendly, multi-functional furniture pieces. For example, a tree stump that can be purposed as a small table or stool.
Rid yourself of clutter. Summer is a time to put your feet up, relax and take a break. That can be hard to do if you’re surrounded by clutter. Take a weekend (rainy is preferred) and sift through those clutter piles – it will reduce your stress and allow you to enjoy this time of year.
Use fresh summer scents. Put away products that have bold, rustic scents and opt for ones that smell like summer – including citrus, cilantro, basil, rosemary or fruity mixtures to use as an air freshener, candles or even bath soap.