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Monday, July 5, 2010

Summer Decorating - Guest Post

Every Monday you can look forward to home decor posts featuring a range of topics. This is the first Home Decor Monday post, written by guest blogger Caroline Smith. If you would like to write a guest post related to home decor in some way, or have ideas for topics I should cover, please email me. 

Easy Ways to Add Summer Flare to Your Living Room
Peggy's Zen living room makeover, Seattle, Washington, USA
Photo via: Wonderlane
The warm months of summer evoke thoughts of light, bright colors and outdoor activities. Taking those ideas and using them to change the décor of a living room is not difficult. There are several simple ways of redecorating the main living area of a house to reflect the summer season. Here are some ideas to help inspire your living room’s summer makeover.
A Lighter Look Sofas, chairs and pillows can easily be given a lighter look and more comfortable texture during the warm summer months with the use of fabrics.
Slipcovers – Traditionally, homeowners used slipcovers every summer and winter to change the appearance of furniture to match the season. Now with so many coverings available made of lighter fabric and colors this is becoming a popular trend again. Those made from natural fibers, such as cotton, feel cooler than most furniture upholstery, and the brighter colors compliment the sunlight of the time of year.
Pillow Coverings – Similar to the slipcovers above, new coverings for pillows made of natural, lighter fabrics with vibrant colors will go along with the refreshed look of the furnishings. They will also feel more comfortable than the fuzzy versions preferred during winter months. If coverings are not desired, simply storing cold-month pillows and buying new ones for summer is another option.
Outdoors Inside
Not only is summer warm, it is bursting with a multitude of scents and sights. Bringing some of these inside not only brightens the room’s look, it can refresh the entire area.
Fresh Flowers – Place vases of flowers cut fresh from the garden around the room to add even more color and scent.
Plants – Live plants in pots are also a great addition. Even better, put them in see-through containers so the root system can be viewed. The plants can either be brought in from the garden or purchased at a local farmers’ market.
Candles – Candles scented with outdoor, summery fragrances can add to the overall ambience in ways even flowers and plants cannot. Look for those made with natural essential oils, such as lavender or geranium, as these have a cleaner, more refreshing aroma than those made with synthetic fragrance.  Try burning a citronella scented candle to keep insects at bay, if you like to keep your windows open on warm summer evenings.
The Seashore – Nothing says summertime like going to the beach. Making that part of the living room décor is easy and effective. Shells can be used to border photo frames and pebbles can placed in a clear glass jar or decorative bowl. Pieces of artwork depicting beach scenes can also be hung.
The Little Things
Even the smallest changes to the room can make it appear different or more open and spacious.
Photos – Go around the room and change photos in frames to pictures taken during the summer. Children swimming, eating popsicles or playing baseball and softball are reminders of the good times of past summers.
Furniture – Move your furniture around, rearrange seating or create angles to provide more space. Seats also could form a circle reminiscent to sitting around a campfire.
Giving your living room a makeover for summer will add some seasonal flare to the room and create a welcoming environment. Best of all, it can be done with a minimum of work, using items you may already have, meaning you don’t have to spend a lot of time or money to make your home look nice during the lazy days of summer.
This is a post from guest blogger Caroline Smith, who loves to try out new decorating ideas in her home.  She has a website that offers more information about using sofa slipcovers to give your furniture a makeover. Questions: 1) Do you decorate seasonally? 2) What are some tips you have about changes to home decor for warmer weather?