13 Decorating Ideas for Summer

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

Party Starter

Welcome summer by entertaining outdoors. Low tables, floor pillows, and strands of clear outdoor lights will set 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 mind-set.

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 unnecessary small decor items until it's time to cozy up for fall.

Natural Living

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

Set a Colorful Table

Consider buying accent dishes to add splashes 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, 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 and Center

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

A New View

While a fireplace is a great focal point, consider rearranging your furniture away from it 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.

Light Up the Night

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. 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. Because 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.

Summery Scents

For a continuous seasonal aesthetic in your home, switch out scents as the seasons change. Gingerbread and evergreen are great smells for winter months, but in the summer many people crave fresh scents, such as ocean breeze or cucumber-melon.

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 to help the paint adhere to the surface and 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.

Flirty Fabrics

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

Garden Fresh

Interject bright, summery colors in 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.

Going Casual

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

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