If you were to rank your home-decorating projects, chances are “get new bedding” is low down on your list. We often sacrifice the style in the private spaces in our homes because they are out of the public eye. But think about this: Your bedroom is your sanctuary, and it’s up to your bedding ensemble to set the tone for this all-important space. I’ve found that remaking your bed with a new ensemble completely transforms the look of the entire room.
Marika Meyer, an interior designer, has been featured in HGTV, Home & Design and Luxe magazines, as well as on Martha Stewart Living Radio. She joined Washington Post staff writer Jura Koncius recently for an online chat to talk about how to freshen your home for summer. Here is an edited excerpt:
To embrace the blissful, mellow season of summer, I sweep through my home, gathering up winter’s rich, intricate layers and replacing them with light and breezy accents that let my rooms breathe. Giving your home a summer makeover can be as simple as weaving in a few key pieces of seasonal decor. Here are some ideas:
Live plants lend energy
I love what live houseplants do for my home in the summer. They refresh each room, bringing in new energy. All you need to do when decorating with houseplants is to add them to an existing display or create a simple summer arrangement that combines a plant with a few summer accents. You’ll be amazed by how poking in a plant will amp up the impact of a display. Consider adding a few pots of ivy to take a tablescape to the next level. It’s extremely easy to create.
With school out of session and summer officially here, now is the time for summer outdoor living. In light of the season, Manja Swanson, Chief Creative Officer at Lamps Plus, the nation’s largest lighting specialty retailer, offers ten tips for getting outside in style. Starting with outdoor lighting and diving into the finer points of outdoor decor, Swanson’s list reflects a progression in customer behavior and an evolution the outdoor decor industry has seen over the years.
“With a spate of new technologies and weatherproof materials and finishes, outdoor furniture and decor has seen an evolution in recent years, from solar LED lighting to all weather rugs and cushions,” explains Swanson. “This has made it possible to transform the back yard into a second living room. And we’ve seen a lot of interest in these new outdoor designs from customers.”
The sun-drenched colors and inviting textures of summer provide plenty of decorating ideas. The trick is doing it right: A summer-inspired interior can become a tacky, tropical disaster if it’s done with too heavy a hand.
But with a light touch and strategic choices, your home can be brightened all year long by the fleeting beauty of summer.
Above all, “do not be literal with summer,” said Los Angeles-based designer Betsy Burnham. Avoid putting up a sign that says, “Gone Fishin’ ” or displaying a collection of seashells on a table, she said.
“Do you have a lake home that’s been sitting empty all winter long? With the arrival of the summer season, it’s time to dust off those cobwebs and renew your home’s summery appeal. I’m often asked how to spruce-up relaxing getaway retreats without breaking the budget, and here are some of my catch-all tips that can work for any second home, regardless of its architectural style.
When deciding what to bring into your lake home, it’s important to keep its purpose top-of-mind. We go to the lake to relax and hang out with family and friends, escaping busy city life; so, simple and straight-forward décor does the trick to bring this vibe to your private escape.”
Celebrate the season by giving your mantel a 15-minute summer makeover. Your mantel display is the eye-catching focal point of the room, so trick it up for the season. But don’t spend much time. Light and breezy — and super-simple — is the name of the game when it comes to summer decorating. That way, you can get outside and enjoy the sun! Here are three simple but stunning mantel displays to inspire you this summer.
– Soft and serene, an asymmetrical display can be intriguing yet delightfully simple. We started by creating a strong visual element on the left side. Pillar candlesticks were the perfect pick. They bring in arresting height, yet because they are clear glass, they don’t overwhelm. Together, the three of them make a statement.