Bring Summer Inside

Rather than seeking warmth and coziness as we do during the fall and winter months of the year, summer is a time to bring cool breezes and a lighter feel to our home.

Light, neutral cotton slipcovers or a cotton throw can lighten your color palette, especially if you add a lighter/cooler version of your wall color as accent pillows. They also protect your fine furniture from the tendency of bringing the ?outside in? with sand, grass stains, etc.

Roll and carefully store your area rugs and replace them with sisal or jute rugs if floor coverings are a must. Or leave them bare. Summer can be the time to really show off your beautiful wood or tile floors. The clean, uncluttered look will create a cool effect and feel delicious underfoot on those sweltering, hot days.

Heavier drapes can be replaced with sheers or light linen panels that flutter in those cool summer breezes. If you have drapes or panels hung together with bamboo or woven blinds, remove the panels, for a cleaner, lighter look. Tie a summery scarf at each end of the exposed rod or wrap it with a string of shells or beads for a light enhancement.

Replace your elaborate floral displays with simple greenery such as ferns, palms and ivy. Bowls filled with shells, colored marbles or interesting stones can be calming and cooling. Don?t forget to change your potpourri to a lighter floral or citrus sent.

Change your bedding to lighter coverings, perhaps a neutral or pastel matelasse coverlet or spread. Or, use your prettiest sheet set and just fold a light coverlet across the foot of the bed. If your coverlet allows, remove the bed skirt to facilitate cool air movement. Simple cotton accent pillows without heavy ornamentation will lighten the feel of your room.

In your bathrooms, change your shower curtains to a neutral cotton pique or linen. Add a cotton rug and towels to match. Create a ‘summery? window treatment by removing your valance or curtain and replacing it with several cloth table napkins in a cool summery print, eyelet or pastel, draped diagonally over the rod. Clip a summer earring (shell, or bead, for example) to the point at the center napkin to jazz it up.

A pretty pitcher, some tall drinks glasses filled with plastic ?ice cubes,? and a faux-fruit slice arranged on a bamboo tray makes a summery centerpiece for your kitchen or dining room table. Or, assemble a few potted flowers and some small birdhouses or garden finials on a woven mat to bring summer to your table.

Tip submitted by:

Christine Fetter, IRN

The Refined Room, New Castle, CA