21 Summer Decor Ideas to Make Your Home Feel Cool and Fresh

Sprucing up your space for the summer doesn’t have to involve a hefty budget or a ton of your time. Sometimes the tiniest tweaks—such as swapping in lightweight throw pillows or incorporating breezy, organic textures—can make your home instantly feel more fresh and “of the season.” Plus, when you subtly reinvent your space it helps you fall in love with it all over again.

“When the birds start chirping and the bulbs start emerging, I know it’s time to think about updating my home for spring,” says Ami McKay, president and principal designer of Pure Design. “For example, just last week an artist came in and applied a lime wash to my living room walls, inspiring me to tidy up and rearrange my furniture.”

Not quite sure where to start? Follow these interior designer tips on how to make your home feel cool and fresh all summer long.

Put Heavy Blankets in Storage

Real Simple / Henry Wortock


Heavy cable knit throws and thick blankets feel cozy in autumn and winter, but they’re likely unnecessary in the warmer months. Tuck them away through summer. And if you like the feeling of cuddling up with a blanket, then consider swapping in a lighter muslin or linen throw. In addition to lightweight textiles, McKay says to choose lighter colors, since this visually helps make a space feel cooler.

Bring in Fresh Greenery

The Spruce / Michelle Becker


“One of my favorite ways to welcome a new season is to update accessories and bring in fresh, seasonal greenery,” notes interior designer Heather Fujikawa. “Because the kitchen is one of the most high-traffic areas in your home, sprucing up this space will really make a difference in your day-to-day by giving it some simple seasonal updates.” You can also place fresh greenery on your entryway table or in the bedroom. Along with adding color and a sense of earthiness, fresh florals or greenery can also help freshen the scent in your home.

Add Earthy Textures and Patterns

Jute


Color and texture play a big part in making seasonal updates around the home. “For summer we love natural textures—such as jute and tweed—and playful prints such as pin stripes and florals, as they help to bring a light and airy feel with a little coastal flair,” Fujikawa says. An easy and cost-efficient way to incorporate seasonal textures and colors into your home is with throw pillows, blankets, and art. Swap out heavy textiles and wintry details and replace them with accents that feel more of the season. 

Hang Breezy Drapery

Black & Blooms


Take down thick and heavy drapery and drop them off at the dry cleaner for a deep cleaning. In their place, hang breezy drapery “to enjoy the fresh air and movement when you open windows,” says McKay. If you want to help keep heat out of the house, choose a lightweight, but dense fabric that helps block out more sunlight during the hottest parts of the day. 

Ditch Heavy Rugs for Lighter Materials

Christopher Testani

A plush, heavy rug feels nice under bare feet in the middle of winter, but come summer it takes away from that cool and fresh environment you’re looking to create. Put that heavy rug in storage—and consider getting it professionally cleaned first—and swap in lightweight or flat-weave rugs made from cotton or jute.

Incorporate Summer Scents

The Spruce / Sanja Kostic


Visual changes can make a big impact, but don’t neglect your other senses. Candles and diffusers in citrus, floral, or beachy scents can create a sense of lightness versus the heaviness that accompanies sugary or woodsy notes.

“A few of our go-to pieces for pulling off this easy update are layering up a large, round charcuterie board, a pretty glass vase, a tea towel in a fun print, a fresh candle, and lastly, a pretty bowl to display fresh seasonal fruits,” notes Fujikawa. “By incorporating tastes, smells, and colors of the season, you’re bound to feel refreshed and inspired for the season ahead.”

Update Your Reading Materials

Ted Cavanaugh


If you’re looking for a great excuse to hit up the local bookstore, this is it. “I love to buy a stack of new design magazines and a few novels I’ve been dying to read,” says McKay. “This helps me to take the time and sit down.” Also, consider freshening up your coffee table books and whatever you’ve got sitting on your bedside table. 

Display Summer Memories

Julian Porcino


Summer is the season of travel and adventure, and it makes perfect sense to display those happy memories throughout your home. Fujikawa says, “Whether it’s displaying photos from a vacation, placing seashells in a bowl, or incorporating coastal textures, such as cane, rattan, and wicker, there are several ways to incorporate these special memories and mementos that will leave you feeling happy and inspired.” 

Connect the Indoors and Outdoors

Lulu and Georgia


Maximize your square footage by bringing the indoors outside and vice versa. The key to making your patio or deck feel homey is to incorporate comfortable seating, cushions, rugs, and lighting via outdoor furniture. Consider creating an intimate al fresco dining area that invites you to dine outside all season long.

“You can also bring plants outside to create a magical garden space,” McKay suggests. “Choose perennials for these spaces, such as hydrangeas and lavender, or a pergola with grape vines so you can watch them grow and mature yearly.”

Display Seasonal Blooms

Jim Franco


Showing off a bouquet of bright, seasonal flowers can be just what your home needs to look perked up and summery. And you don’t have to spend a fortune to get ’em! Look to your local grocery stores for inexpensive blooms (Trader Joe’s usually has a great selection) and then arrange them yourself when you get home.

Switch Out Your Throw Pillows

Lauren Bradshaw for Pencil & Paper Co.

If your sofa or bed currently has throw pillows that feel heavy or cold-weather adjacent, switch ’em out for covers that are bright and cheerful or light and airy. Stripes and linen both scream summer, as do shades of blue and white, for a beach-y vibe.

Liven Up Your Table

Rikki Snyder


“Change up your tablescape by incorporating wicker or rattan placemats, adding bright and cheerful linens, and popping in colorful glassware,” says Debbie Mathews, founder and interior designer of Debbie Mathews Antiques & Designs.

Add a Cute Fan

Photo by Windmill


A lot of fans aren’t exactly…attractive, and can be a bit of an eyesore. But finding a sleek, modern, one can add a summery pop to your space while also having a practical function. We love this one from Windmill—it’s under $75 and comes in five colorways.

Keep Seasonal Produce on Display

Erin Feinblatt for Hearth Home Interiors


OK, not all produce deserves to be out on your table as a centerpiece, but if you’ve gone to the farmer’s market and found some fruits and veggies that are display-worthy, consider filling a pretty serving bowl with them and keeping them on your kitchen or dining table.

Plant Herbs

Geshas / Getty Images

Start a little window herb garden! Not only does this add some greenery and more life to your space, but the lovely scents will also keep your home smelling summery and fresh.

Paint Your Front Door

 


So this one may be a little more of a lift, but adding a pop of color to your front door can immediately make your home feel more summertime ready.

Swap Out Your Doormat

Johnny Miller

Speaking of your entryway and exterior, a new doormat is a great way to freshen your space up and add a more summertime appropriate texture or color. Once fall starts back up you can easily swap it back out—easy peasy!

Add Some Climbing Plants

Konstantinos Livadas/Getty Images


Climbing vines, especially those that flower, always feel especially warm-weather appropriate. Plant some in your backyard to liven up even the most blah fence or wall. Bonus: your garden will smell even more fragrant if you plant something like jasmine!

Hang a Hammock

Getty Images

Nothing says relaxed summer days like a hammock. Hang one in your backyard or porch—there are a ton of options for stands if you don’t have suitable trees. If you have the space, you can even add a hammock indoors!

Add String Lights to Your Yard

Strings of lights across a patio at night.
hazelog/Getty Images

The perfect lighting is key to outdoor entertaining in the summer, and a lovely, soft glow from string lights will take your backyard to the next level. If you don’t have a way to hang them, you can easily get portable stands from Amazon that will do the trick!

Clean Your Windows!

Philipp Dimitri/Getty Images


This one may not be as fun as some of the other tips, but cleaning your windows at the start of the season makes a huge difference in how much natural light you get—and more sunshine in the summertime is never a bad thing!


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