As summer lingers, here are a few simple tips that will breathe fresh life into your home.
Open the drapes and let in some light! If you have heavy window coverings, opt for some sheers. You’re not limited to the poly blends of grandma’s days. There are more patterns, colors, materials and variety available than ever before. Linens, cottons, gauzes and silks all come to life in the summer heat! Their lightweight, natural fibers soothe the senses and lighten the mood. Open the drapes or blinds and let the beauty of nature filter in through easy breezy fabrics and colors. If you long to be outdoors but find the direct sun too intense, investigate the marvelous range of fabrics suitable for outdoor draperies. You can block or filter the harsh heat of the summer sun and enjoy the easy, breezy shade of a patio or terrace.
Nothing suggests shade more than a few cool green leaves of tropical plants in a vase on the table. Philodendron leaves, palm fronds and elephant ears all send the message that it’s cooler in the shade. Cut a few stems of fresh flowers and toss them casually in a vase. No fussy, full arrangements; just some happy bright bits of nature to lighten the mood. An orchid from the grocery store is a long-lasting accent of exotic color and an inexpensive trick to make any room a tropical paradise!
Change the outfits
You wear different clothes in the summer, and your home can do the same. Replace the warm solids and heavy textures of winter with some easy, breezy florals and bright cheerful solids and patterns. Stick with your favorite colors but choose lighter, brighter shades. No need to replace all your furniture. Pillows, towels, table linens and rugs are a great place to put summer colors without spending a fortune or doing a complete remodel!
Get the blues
Every shade of blue is cool! Even dark navy reminds us of sailing cool tropical waters when combined with bright whites, sandy shades and tones of coral or sunlight.
Weed the garden
Ok, it may be too hot to spend much time outside, but it’s always the perfect time to mix a cold drink, turn up the fans, turn down the air conditioning and clean out the closets. Give away the good and trash the debris. Life always seems lighter when you carry less around or have more room to maneuver. You can lose some weight (in terms of your home) and never break a sweat! You’ll feel better about donating unused items to a worthy cause. An added bonus is that when you clean out your closet (or living room), you may find it’s time to go shopping for something new!
Put up your feet
Replace the old coffee table from your college days with an ottoman upholstered in something sturdy enough to take abuse. There are great fabrics and leathers that can handle all that you and your family can dish out. Large ottomans are also an ideal place to place a tray of cold drinks, popcorn and snacks while you enjoy your favorite summer movies, games or other family activities.
Put it on ice
Trade dark colors for dazzling whites, icy crystals and soothing sky blues. Icy colors of white or creamy pottery, crystal or glass bowls and accents of light and bright blues and blue greens suggest cooler temperatures. Art glass accents and bright, colorful pieces of art in cool shades are a great way to brighten your surroundings.
Replace old lamps with new exciting shapes, materials and colors. Replace incandescent bulbs with LED equivalents to cool off the hot spots of halogens and traditional lighting. The light of a few lamps can “feel” cooler than all the bright overhead lights of ceiling cans. Put a chandelier on a dimmer or add shades to bare chandelier bulbs and enjoy the light without feeling overheated.
Consult a professional
If you’ve ever had a good travel agent, tour guide or restaurant suggestion, then you know it pays to talk to someone who knows. If you can’t figure out where to start or are afraid you won’t know when to stop, then a professional interior designer can be your guide. If a designer can save you one expensive mistake, it will be worth the time and money you pay to consult them. I’ve not only sold a lot of home furnishings, I’ve also talked clients out of making unnecessary or inappropriate purchases when their money could be better spent elsewhere with longer-lasting results. A talented interior designer will save you money by making the most of what you already have before suggesting you add to it. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or just need a little encouragement or reassurance, visit one of the design professionals at John-William Interiors. Experience Design for yourself!