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Keep the bright look of summer in your room design year-round

August 19, 2014

Handcrafted Hardwood FloorsFor the same reason that people hate to see the end of daylight savings time, they may dread the switch from light summer decor to an earthier and often darker home design for the colder months. But some warm-weather looks work well all year by relying on soft fabrics and more casual furnishings. The pickle barrel finish on Anderson's Vintage Coastal Art floors is a great example of a brighter motif that can be used year-round.

If you have neutral colors on your walls, you're already one step ahead. Whether it's for contemporary decor or the quaint look of cottage-style decorating, a range of white shades from bright to antique tones fit these design traditions. Soft gray and sandy tones of beige are other neutrals that evoke the look of summer.

SheKnows recommended that with the neutral base, homeowners still bring in some seasonal colors as accents. A tan couch may look great with sunny yellow pillows in summer, but for fall and winter they can be replaced with rich tones of Mediterranean blue and rustic orange.

Consumers who want to brighten their decor can also substitute the deeper, more textured fabrics of winter with cotton soft furnishings in muted pastels. This approach is particularly effective in bedrooms where a new bed ensemble in can easily keep the look of summer going all year.

Map out a design plan
Before making drastic changes, mapping out your planned makeover on a concept board will tie together your ideas through magazine clippings and swatches of fabrics. This is also a good time to review whether big-ticket items like sofa and chair upholstery is worn and needs replacing or if chipped paint warrants a fresh coat.

Once the concept is decided, new accessories, lighting, rugs and other secondary items can be put in place. Interior designer Kari Henshaw told the Ottawa Citizen she advises her clients to take a long-range view of their how they want their homes to look by coming up with an overall concept for various rooms, then work in the details.

To make up for shorter periods of natural light in winter, homeowners may want to experiment with different light bulbs. According to Consumer Reports, homeowners who want something brighter than the yellowish glow from traditional incandescent bulbs should choose full-spectrum light bulbs that illuminate most closely to natural sunlight. Compact fluorescent bulbs and light-emitting diodes are brighter still, and energy-efficient as well.