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Have you ever wanted to unlock your door with a fingerprint? Control the indoor and outdoor lights with your phone? You can do those things and more with a smart home. We show you how to get a home with connected technology and remote-operated devices that are designed to improve and simplify your life. We sift through the many options, including smart appliances, new apps, and smartphone and tablet innovation, and only bring you those that can make your life better. We give you tips and tricks for navigating the new home technologies and help you with buying decisions.

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13 Decorating Ideas for Summer

Bring the colors and feel of summertime into your home with our best tips and tricks -- everything from rearranging furniture to the smells of the season.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • Pare Down

      Think of your home as a summer rental, and you'll see it in a whole new light. Throw open the doors and windows, pull back the curtains, and get rid of pieces that are dark, gloomy, or fussy. Stow away heavy accessories, throws, and any unnecessary small decor items until it's time to cozy up again for fall.

    • Set a Colorful Table

      Consider buying a set of accent dishes to add a splash of summertime color and pattern to your next dinner party. Mix bright floral-, tropical-, or nautical-theme dishes with your everyday plates and bowls. To ramp up the summertime look even more, clear a small table to create an impromptu bar and arrange bottles and glassware on a pretty serving tray. Fun elements such as stir sticks and paper umbrellas create a look that is perfectly seasonal.

    • Front & Center

      With warm weather and a few extra hours of sunlight, the summer months are the perfect time to eat on your front porch or picnic in your yard. Eating outdoors will ensure you and your family take advantage of everything summer has to offer.

    • A New View

      While a fireplace is a great focal point during any other time of year, consider rearranging your furniture away from that space during the summer. Rather than huddling around the hearth, shift the focus of the room toward a beautiful window or French doors. Stow away heavy draperies and hang gossamer sheers that flow with the breezes.

    • All Summer Long

      Summer is as much a state of mind as it is a season, so transform your spaces to embrace all the benefits it has to offer. Include a large umbrella for extra shade. String paper lanterns on tree branches around an outdoor patio to allow gatherings to last well into the night hours. Or, should the weather turn stormy, cozy up by lamplight on a covered porch. Since pleasant summer days sometimes fall few and far between, you'll want to take full advantage of the time you have to spend outside, rain or shine.

    • Update Old Furniture

      Give a tired chair or side table new life using high-gloss spray paint in a summery hue, such as sky blue or grassy green. The glossy paint creates a fun lacquered look and gives an old piece a fresh and modern edge. Make sure to properly prime the furniture so the paint better adheres to the surface and will wear longer.

    • Art Swap

      Brighten dark walls with colorful art pieces. Affordable pieces can be found just about anywhere online or at flea markets and resale shops. A large piece or a collection of smaller pieces also provides the perfect blank-wall solution for large, open rooms.

    • Natural Living

      To add organic appeal, consider planting succulents in an oversize shell. The tiny plants last for a long time and require little care, making them the perfect addition to a summery tablescape. The combination of natural elements also adds texture and character to this chic end table display.

    • Fun Fabrics

      Bright prints on bedding, for example, instantly lift a room's mood -- and yours. To allow the motif to truly shine, keep the wall color neutral and other accessories to a minimum.

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      Garden Fresh

      Interject bright summery colors into your home with freshly picked flowers. To make the biggest impact, stick to arrangements featuring warm colors, such as bold oranges, radiant yellows, or vibrant pinks, and save rich reds and deep purples for other seasons. Small clusters of bright color look cheery and create an undeniable summertime vibe.

    • 11 of 14

      Party Starter

      Welcome summer by entertaining outdoors. Low tables, floor pillows, and strands of clear fiesta lights will surely put everyone in a merry mood. Winning combos of bright colors, such as turquoise, red, and white, create a festive atmosphere and will keep everyone in a party state of mind.

    • 12 of 14

      Summery Scents

      To keep the seasonal aesthetic constant in your home, make sure you switch out scents as the seasons change. Gingerbread and evergreen are great scents for winter months, but many people crave fresh smells during the summer, such as ocean breeze or cucumber-melon.

    • 13 of 14

      Going Casual

      Summer weather offers the perfect time to find unexpected uses for formal serving pieces. A silver tray can hold pretty glassware and a pitcher filled with a delicious summery cocktail, while a champagne bucket makes a great container for an herb plant.

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      Next Slideshow Budget-Friendly Ideas for Outdoor Rooms

      Budget-Friendly Ideas for Outdoor Rooms

      Tour four bold and budget-minded outdoor rooms to find inspiration for your backyard.
      Begin Slideshow »



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