It's that time again to get the home spruced up for the summer. Finally things have slowed down and I can give my house a bit of love. I recently found this a piece of art which had such a fun California vibe for my son's room.
Once I got it home I decided to keep it for our living room. It made me happy to look at it. (And let's be honest was it really going to be appreciated in the boy cave? Probably not!) The bright colors made me want to change everything.
I ditched my curtains, moved the furniture, and gave my beast of a ficus tree a haircut (I honestly had never even thought I could do that) and a new locale- away from my window. Now I have more window, more light and a another spot to read.
I love it and we are using that room nonstop now to enjoy the sun and just hang out. That's huge for a living room, which often goes unused in most homes.
That change up inspired me get the lead out, so to speak, in the main front room. First up was new counter stools for the kitchen. My friend Wendy, a decorator, has had some comfy counter chairs around her island for 4 years which get a ton of wear and still look new. So you know what? I copied her! They are all weather wicker from Pier 1, and I love them. Comfy and you can even hose them off. Let's hope it never comes to that...However, with all the men here in this house it's a possibility!
In the purging mode, I got rid of my kitchen nook table and chairs. Why do I need three places to eat in a my home? My home is modestly sized. Crazy. Now my main room has so much room. It's bright, open and the house feels huge. We can eat at the bar or the dining table. We are actually using the dining room instead of it gathering dust and enjoying it. Less is more! I am finding this is really the key to so much. Try it..
|Sorry throws are kind of sloppy here- no staging done prior!|
I wanted to share Jeffery Bilhuber's tips for your Summer Home from Vogue.
Jeffrey Bilhuber's top tips to get your summer house in shape:
Clear colors- like pink, chartreuse and daffodil yellow say summer.
Create as much openness and air as possible. Push furniture against walls, keep floors bare.
Simplify. Edit your belonging, put things away, clear tabletops.
|( I restyled my living room shelves for summer.)|
Bring in flowers - hydrangeas and roses from the garden. ( I clipped a branch from a tropical tree on the top photo.)
Add smells- a big bowl of lemons or summer fruits: tuberose or sea-scented candles.
|Diane Keaton's Wallace Neff Home via Architectural Digest.|
|For the living room mantle, I used two blue glass jars, favorite old books and driftwood we found and a Restoration Hardware candle.|
If you have children, relax about their stuff. Swimsuits, balls, flippers, surfboards are fantastic to have around.
|This Pottery Barn coat rack generously holds a ton of suits, towels and more for my pool area.|
Use workhorse furniture and fabrics Add white slipcovers for summer freshness.
|This white cotton duck fabric couch from Pottery Barn has been with us almost 10 years now. Washable and still holding up. Creamy white and brown accents is my color scheme in the front room.|
Put up a bulletin board where you can build a collage of memories: drawings, paintings, photographs and seashells.
|I found this bamboo and linen bulletin board at Aaron Brothers Art Supply.|
A few tips of my own...
Add striped cotton or natural fiber rugs like seagrass or jute. They feel wonderful under bare feet and are low maintenance.
Bring your inside furniture out when entertaining. It's okay to drag out lightweight chairs and couches, rugs to make your outdoor space more inviting and comfy.
I love adding my favorite piles of throws and colorful pillows to my chaise lounges and chairs. As long as you don't leave them for an extended time, they are fine and so much more comfy than outdoor pillows.
Bright or cozy throws are wonderful to protect your indoor furniture from little grubby bare feet. I want my kids to relax and when they pile on my couches with pals in wet swim suits, my upholstery is protected. I leave baskets of them next to the couch as well as on it. (Throw pillows also protect the arms of the couches by being a buffer from nacho cheese paws if you get my drift.)
I love these Pottery Barn cable knit throws. Like a soft sweater.
Add wicker and woven pieces to your indoors. Just adding a bit of a natural look will give you a lighter feel. I love the look of a woven chair around a dining table. They look fresh and they invite you to linger and relax at the dining table. They are also easier care. Everyone has them now, so check them out as an indoor option! I am hoping to do something similar in my dining room.
|via Cote de Texas|
Baskets look great as bar trays or to hold magazines. Baskets keep you looking organized even if you're not.
They also look good hung from the wall with plants. The natural color of them looks so summery.
I love the addition of ivy everywhere in summer months!
Change out the towels in your bathrooms to brights and lights. Add a fern, ivy or other plant to give the bath a bit of green. I love this garden stool from my grandmother in my bath and found this dhurrie rug to match. I like the bright yellow and sea glass blue mix in here.
Remove all the winter bedding. Wash everything and let it dry in the sun before you tuck it away. Then cover all the beds in white sheets and cotton blankets and a fun throw in a pattern or sherbet shade. I just changed everyone to white sheets and duvets and have cotton throws like this one on top.
I like adding summer postcards or maps to my kid's bulletin boards and clear away the clutter from school. My son Griffin's board below...
Display summer books, framed photos of favorite summer vacations, or shell collections. I like having a photo album of past holidays or a pretty bowl with photos to browse through. This is a great time to keep things light and bright and store away your usual accessories and photos.
Make sure your entry or mudroom isn't still loaded with coats and boots. It just evokes summer to have woven bags, caps and straw hats hung from hooks. Baskets for flip-flops and espadrilles look wonderful as well!
Change out your art. I love a vintage summer photo blown up. You find a something that says summer to you. A souvenir of a past holiday, like a print or a book may be wonderful as well displayed. I love this egret print and it's white tones so I just moved this from a bedroom to my family room.
Have fun to staging your home a bit. You are doing it for yourself. You have to look at it every day and be there.
Surround yourself with what you love!
For more inspiration, I started a Pinterest board called California Style and it's got some gorgeous examples of light and bright and natural homes I'm in love with.
Enjoy the summertime.
Images property of northerncalstyle unless noted.