Eight Summer Decor Ideas to Refresh Your Home's Interior

Decorating for the summer months after weeks of cold weather can be rejuvenating, refreshing and revitalizing. However, summer decor can also skew tacky if too many lemon prints or beachy accents litter the home. To freshen up your home’s interior without sacrificing sophistication and elegance this summer, follow below. From swapping out heavy drapes for flowy curtains to creating the perfect dining table centerpiece, learn how to decorate your home for the summer with eight tips from Element Homes.

Eight Summer Decorating Ideas to Transform Your Home

#1 Ditch Pastel Shades for Bright and Bold Hues in the Living Room

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While coral pink, baby blue, soft yellow and sage green are perfectly lovely in the summertime, bold tones are often left out of warm-weather design -- considered too extreme or intense to befit a stunning summertime display. However -- in her article “10+ Perfect Paint Colors for a Summer Home Refresh” for Good Housekeeping -- Monique Valeris endorses several bold shades for summery interiors. As such, the first in our list of summer decorating ideas is ditching pastel shades for bright and bold hues throughout your home. Valeris suggests abandoning safer shades like mint and lime in favor of a more saturated green like emerald or jade. Vibrant greens -- argues Valers -- “harken to the outdoors in any environment [recalling] lush fields, tropical trees, flowering forests” and so much more.”

Emerald and jade green -- whether in a stunning wallcovering or house paint -- evoke “the energy and vitality of summer.” Quoting Amy Sklar of Amy Sklar Design, Valeris advises homeowners to reject sky blue in favor of a bolder hue like lapis or sapphire. Sklar notes that “a bright saturated blue in the summer...has such a wonderfully cool vibe.” We love Sherwin Williams’ Emerald Interior Acrylic Latex Paint -- certified low chemical emissions for a healthier home -- and Beacon Blue P510-7 by Behr. Pair Beacon Blue with a dove gray or ecru for a fresh take on the typical beach house blue and white.

#2 Play Up Your Front Porch for Summer Dinners

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In the recent Element Homes article “12 Fabulous Screened-In Porch Ideas We Love for 2021,” we discussed the value of installing a screened porch -- particularly for entertaining from season to season. Screened porches and sunrooms are ideal for fall and winter seasons when the temperature drops. However, they are also perfect for muggy summer months when insects threaten barbecues and late night dinners.

Setting up enough seating while creating gorgeous centerpieces on each table goes a long way towards transforming your porch from winter hideaway to summer destination. For family dinners and small get-togethers, consider a dining table with a built-in fire pit to keep guests chatting late into the evening. When entertaining large groups -- particularly as we emerge from the COVID-19 crisis and everyone is still a bit on edge -- create intimate conversation zones with bistro tables and smaller dining sets.

#3 Layer Light Throughout Your Home

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Nothing makes aroom feel lighter and brighter than layering light throughout the space. Inorder to bounce natural sunlight from windows and skylights around your home,hang mirrors everywhere from your kitchen to your entryway and from yourbathroom to your guest bedrooms. In her article “How to Use Mirrors to Increase the Sunlight in Your Home” for SF Gate, Kathy Adams writes that“mirrors can make dark rooms seem brighter or a small space seem larger andmore open, all depending on placement.”

For maximumeffect, Adams suggests placing mirrors directly across from and right next towindows, along hallways beneath sconces and in any room above bright surfaces.Affixing a large mirror above a metallic, glass or high-gloss coffee table,bench or credenza will scatter light throughout the space -- drawing attentionto special features and enlarging the room. To take your home’s entertainmentspaces from day to night, consider investing in dimmable bulbs as well as avariety of fixtures -- from wall sconces in the hall and overhead pendants inthe dining room to table lamps and floor lights in the living and bedrooms.  

#4 Nod to Nature with Organic Materials in Your Summer Decor

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Tie together indoor and outdoor spaces by layering organic materials from the interior to the exterior. We love everything from rattan, cane and wicker to pampas grass, bamboo and flax linen. Summer decorating offers the opportunity to sub out all your cozy winter favorites for airy elements better suited to hot weather. Replace heavy brocade and crushed velvet curtains from the fall and winter seasons with breezy, sheer liners made from cotton or Tencel. Swap out shag rugs in favor of chunky jute textiles. To create the perfect all-natural interior befitting fabulous summer fetes, take advice from the MarthaStewart.com article “Our Best Summer Decorating Ideas.”

The article notes that “clean, modern pieces made from jute, rattan, rush, and other durable fibers are easy to find and look fresh indoors year-round.” Herb gardens are also ideal for summer decor. Editorial staff at MarthaStewart.com suggest fashioning an arrangement from a mixture of “shapes and textures” achieved through a variety of “edible flowers and herb blossoms.” Their favorites for summer include “dill, rosemary, mint, basil, thyme, lavender, nasturtiums, and flowering herbs.” For a sophisticated interior, consider antique porcelain vases or opt for mason jars and sea glass jugs for a farmhouse feel.

#5 Celebrate Summer with a Stunning Centerpiece

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Consider decorating your home’s entryway, mantel and bathroom counters similarly. In her article “Stunning Summer Centerpieces Using In-Season Flowers” for MarthaStewart.com Sarah Schreiber suggests using local flowers -- even those indigenous to your area -- to establish a sense of place in your home. Of all the options Schreiber proposes in her article, the most intriguing is her recommendation to use bold tones instead of the wedding white typically seen in summer centerpieces. She writes that “if there's any season to whip out the ultra-bright colors, it's summer.”

For a centerpiece with personality and style, consider “pink peonies and bright yellow dahlias, both of which...add vibrancy” and prove that “neon shades can feel refined.” The dahlia arrangement pictured above -- from Quince Fine Florals -- is the perfect example of an elegant yet easy summer focal point on any table. For dinners outdoors at your summer home, augment a fresh herb centerpiece with battery-operated or solar-powered tea lights for added ambiance. Place bouquets of flowers, wreaths, bundles of herbs and houseplants wherever your home requires an infusion of life and beauty.

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#6 Mix Metals in the Kitchen and Beyond

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Because metals easily throw light around a space, they are perfect for summer decorating. In her article “20 Mixed Metal Designs That Shine” for HGTV, Keri Sanders writes that pale and aged metallics -- e.g. antique silver, pale gold and white brass -- exude luxury without being oppressive or garish. Sanders suggests combining pale gold and silver in dining areas lacking enough light because they can create an elegant space with effective contrast. Silver is perfect for contemporary spaces while bronze and brass work for mid century interiors and antique gold is ideal for rustic homes. For a sophisticated interior, we suggest pairing typical summer color palettes rich with beiges, blues and greens with brass, bronze and gold.

#7 Accent Your Summertime Interior with Animal-Inspired Prints

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In her article “12 Summer Home Decor Ideas” for The Spruce, Ashley Knierim recommends rethinking the way you use animal prints in summer decor. Rather than opting for exotic cheetah print pillows, zebra print throws or cowhide upholstery, hang art prints of butterflies or birds. Calling the outdoors inside will make your home feel fresh and fun without any of the kitsch associated with large-scale animal prints. Wall paper with a foliage, floral or tropical bird motif is another colorful way to change up your home's interior for summer.

Opt for a peel-and-stick wall covering for easy removal come Fall. Knierim writes that “mixing prints and patterns is a fun way to lighten up—and freshen up—a room during summer months” without going too crazy. The bedroom pictured above -- curated by The Hoss Homestead -- successfully blends mid-century modern furniture with nautical stripes, organic art, a bold foliage wallpaper and rich textures.

#8 Scent Your Space with Summery Citris

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Each and every one of us can tie scent to memory -- from a fabulous dinner to an exciting trip and from a backyard wedding to a special walk in the park. According to Marta Zaraska in her article “The Sense of Smell in Humans is More Powerful Than We Think” for Discover, scent influences our mood and behavior. Zaraska writes that while our vision can override our sense of smell in some situations, information constantly “feeds from the nose to cortical areas to arouse emotions and memories without our awareness.” Our sense of smell evolved over time to alert us to danger -- from predators to wildfires -- protecting us from impending doom. Though humans still use their sense of smell to avoid disaster, scent also directs smaller unconscious behaviors -- including consumer choices. Today, companies use scent as a significant aspect of their in-store marketing -- harnessing information gleaned from psychological studies to affect the way people behave towards their merchandise.

Similarly, homeowners can affect the mood and behavior of their guests by altering the scent profile of their home’s interior from season to season and event to event. Choosing scents that encourage comfort and reduce social anxiety could be essential to successful entertaining this summer -- particularly after the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic. In her article “18 Scents That Can Make You Happier at Home” for House Beautiful, Caylin Harris suggests opting for “orange, grapefruit and lemon” during the summer -- particularly when entertaining -- because they are “energizing and uplifting scents.” Because citrus scents are associated with cleanliness, such smells make us feel calmer, cleaner, “more confident and in control.” For an all-natural grapefruit-scented candle, try P. F. Candle Co’s Sweet Grapefruit candle with grapefruit, yuzu, and lemon essential oils or their Golden Coast candle with eucalyptus.

Bask in the Summer Sun All Year Round with

California Custom Home Company Element Homes

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As a design-build company based in Southern California where the sun nearly always shines, Element Homes offers expert indoor-outdoor architectural and interior design. By creating connections with nature from room to room throughout each home, every design references the surrounding landscape. Organic color palettes merge with ancient earth materials like granite, marble, glass and solid wood. Open floor plans encourage homeowners and guests to effortlessly glide from bedroom to kitchen to outdoor oasis. Consider Element Homes when building your custom home for a space that echoes the ease and joy of summer days no matter what the season.

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