The arrival of summer is a most welcome transition. It’s the time of year to shed the dark colors and heavy patterns of previous seasons, to embrace the freedom of longer days and warmer nights, and to brighten our homes in a way that’s unique to the time of year. It’s what summer is all about: the light and ease of it all. Here are a few easy changes that can be made in your home to reflect the airy and carefree attitude of the season.
1. In the kitchen, try swapping darker dishes for place settings with vibrant prints and colorful palettes. They’ll brighten up the space instantly and easily. Local and handmade glassware adds a uniqueness to your home not to be seen elsewhere. Now is also the perfect time to update your kitchen towels, napkins and table runners. Choose fun patterns for a bold ambiance, or seashell-white for a crisp, clean look.
2. Revamp your fireplace. Since you won’t be building a fire in there any time soon, place white coral in the firebox for a beachy feel, or add candles for romantic nights. Replace dark evergreen décor with driftwood pieces intermingled with rope tied into various sailors’ knots.
3. Fill your decorative candle holders with colorful sea glass. It’s a quick and inexpensive way to turn those cozy winter candles into bright and fun centerpieces for the summer.
4. Prep your windows by cleaning out sills, replacing screens, and swapping treatments. Sheer or linen curtains are a welcome change. Get ready to have your windows open all summer—the warm breeze flowing through your home is a great recipe for the perfect night’s sleep.
5. It’s time to hang your clothes on the line. Now that the spring rains are dying down, you can use the all-natural clothing dryer. While you’re outside, make sure to plant bright flowers or your favorite veggies in the garden. Don’t forget to mow your lawn for that fresh-grass smell, and think about investing in a new patio set or bench to draw you outside. You’ll want to spend as much time as possible enjoying the sun.
6. Organize your garage so you can access everything you need without hassle. No one likes having to dig through a mess to go on a simple bike ride. Put your beach chairs, beach cruisers and beach bag (filled with your favorite books or magazines) in an easy-to-reach place, so you can quickly grab everything for an impromptu weekend along the coast.
7. Empty your freezer to make room for hamburgers, hot dogs and popsicles. Nothing says “summer” like a laid-back barbecue.
8. Change the style of your bed linens. Opt for sunny colors and light fabrics—perfect for warm nights.
9. Fresh flowers are an instant way to brighten your space and embrace the season, even during a July thunderstorm. Pick them fresh from the garden or head to your local florist for a personalized bouquet that fits your style.
10. Start an herb garden. Grow your own cilantro, basil, rosemary and parsley to add to your favorite sauce or salsa. The best part? Herb gardens can be small, portable and indoors, for year-round pops of taste (see this issue’s Garden column).
11. Switch out your cableknit throw pillows, cozy blankets and wall décor for lighter colors and textures. Try a watermelon- or pineapple-pattern throw pillow to channel summer barbecues and neighborhood block parties, a bold Mexican serape blanket to wrap up in during cool summer evenings, and beach-palette art to bring the ocean to you.