The word “summer” conjures up images of beaches, lazy afternoons sipping lemonade, and balmy evenings by a pool. The hot months of the year seem to urge relaxation and a slower pace. When getting into summer mode, however, a more relaxed lifestyle does not mean that you must give up all style, for yourself or for your house. There are fashionable ways to get into that dog day spirit and surround yourself with the warm weather joys of the season. Here are five easy-to-follow tips for welcoming summer into your home.
Brighten Up Interiors
A few simple changes in interior décor can make a big difference in how your home feels. Pack away heavy curtains and rugs, and store heavy blankets with herbal sachets filled with sensuous dried plants such as roses and lavender. Extinguish heaters and fire logs. You may even want to replace some of your candles with vases and vessels for fresh flowers and herbs.
Think lighter colors and materials. Try white or neutral linen and cotton throw pillows or pillow covers. Incorporate neutral beach colors throughout your home—soft blues, greens, white, cream, grey. The great thing about these colors is that they are easy to live with year-round. Put white mats on the floor and hang sheers at the windows in light, fresh colors. Try white or cream with touches of gold.
Bring the Outdoors In
Even if your home lacks huge picture windows, you can still invite summer inside. Clean all of your windows with vinegar and water, inside and out. You will need a squeegee for a streak-free finish, and for the outside, you also may need a cloth or brush for larger debris.
Once the windows are clean, let the light shine in. Do not cover them up during daylight hours. Pull blinds all the way up, or keep blinds open. In situations where privacy is an issue, install sheers or lace panels and pull them across your windows. They provide privacy but still let in the light.
Freshen the Air
Freshen up the indoor air flow with an easy change. Switch ceiling fans to turn counter-clockwise. This directional movement pushes air downward to create a stronger draft to better cool your rooms. Keep indoor air clean by simple, healthy means. Eschew chemical-laden air fresheners for plain white vinegar. To remove stale odors or generally freshen the air, saturate a kitchen towel with white vinegar, wring out the excess, and swing it over your head, walking around rooms as you do so. This is an effective way to get rid of indoor odors fast.
Service Your AC Unit
Summer brings hot afternoons, making air conditioning an important component of a summer-ready home. You can prepare your home for the summer with professional air conditioning services from a reputable company. A seasonal inspection and tune-up will ensure that your unit is functioning at its very best. Regular checks and maintenance not only ensure maximum efficiency from your air conditioning unit, but they can actually help your unit last longer.
Decorate the Deck
Make the most of summer by enjoying the outdoors right outside your door. A deck or a screened porch can be a wonderful extension of your living space. When clean and filled with things you love, these areas are great places to relax, entertain, soak in the beauty of nature, and dream. Happily, much outdoor furniture can be cleaned with warm, soapy water and a hose, but be sure to check your particular furniture before cleaning. Decks, porch floors, hammocks, and walkways are easy to clean and rinse. Add small fairy lights and candles for a soft, nighttime glow.
The Bottom Line on Preparing for Summer
With a few simple steps and a little bit of elbow grease, you can easily transform your home from a cozy winter nest to a light-filled summer retreat. Warm weather invites lazy days. Summer is filled with good times rich in special moments that will later become cherished memories. With a few interior décor changes, air conditioner maintenance, and outdoor clean-up, your house will be summer-ready in no time.