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Summer calls for lighter, brighter home design

July 02, 2014

hardwood flooringIf you want your home design to embody the free spirit of summertime, a mix of collectible and contemporary styles will give it the eclectic, youthful look you're after. Having classic elements like hardwood floors that go with both traditional and modern decor helps to bring it all together. Anderson's Vintage Coastal Art collection, for instance, offers a sand dollar finish that works as well in an urban loft as in a shoreline cottage.

If your existing furniture is traditional, give it a casual twist for summer with the use of lighter fabrics and colors in soft furnishings and accessories. According to the Charlotte Business Journal, older pieces can be reupholstered or slip-covered in a bold color that will add energy to your decor during the warm months and still be used in winter to add a spark to a darker color scheme. It's another way to infuse some whimsy into an otherwise sedate room design.

Make over a bedroom
If you have an old headboard in your bedroom that's seen better days, HGTV suggested painting it in a bright summer color, which offsets white bedding beautifully. Replace your dark-colored bedding with a white duvet cover and add bright colors with decorative pillows in a mix of bright solids and coordinated patterns. They can be switched with pillows in darker colors when the weather turns colder.

Or, take an upholstered headboard and frame it in wood to match the floors as part of an affordable room makeover. The bolder the material, the more the bed will stand out as the focal point of the room.

Soft sheer window shades in white provide an elegant backdrop for colorful curtains, but also have the light and airy feel of the warm season when used by themselves.

Add accents
As in all decorating jobs, painting is the most affordable tool to create a new look. If you don't want to take on a full-fledged paint job, choose a new color for the window trim and moldings. With neutral-colored walls, a stronger accent for trim will add contrast to the room and brighten it in a way that suggests sunny days regardless of the weather outside.

Using recessed lights, lamps on dimmers and different soft-colored bulbs can also add a softer glow to your summer decorating efforts. Give a room several task lamps at different heights - a floor lamp in one corner, a small table lamp on an end table - to vary the effect.