Seattle Home & Lifestyle Magazine
Summer-ize Your Décor
WRITTEN BY RANDY ALTIG
PHOTOGRAPHY BY HANK DREW
HOW FUN WOULD IT BE if changing a room’s décor for each season were as easy as taking out a box of crayons and drawing color into the room? Well, if you look at your room as a stage and the walls a blank backdrop, then creating the rest of the scene is easy. Adding paint, throw pillows, art or flowers can give any room an exciting new summer look.
When I think of summer, I think of bright, cool colors in relaxed environments and the sweet fragrance of blossoms. Translating those thoughts into your home décor means giving time and creativity to each living space in your home while keeping in mind the room’s overall functionality. A great first step is to paint one wall a fresh and exciting new color.
“It’s only paint” is what I tell my clients. Hues such as persimmon orange, gardenia white, canary yellow or bamboo green make great backdrops for summer interiors. I recommend starting with an accent wall—perhaps behind the sofa in a living room—and making this the focal point of the room. Once painting is complete, my clients immediately feel a new relationship with the room from the impact of this block of color.
Slipcovers are one of my favorite ways to do an instant makeover, and they are an easy way to give your furniture a relaxed look. Sofa and chair covers in shades of white, ecru and cream help cool down the visual temperature of a room even on warm days. I also like to throw a remnant of vintage Hawaiian fabric over the back of a chair and tuck it into the seams to add a little tropical island allure. Consider buying new covers for last season’s throw pillows, or put them away and add new pillows in fresh colors.
Books from your library can stir the imagination, bring back memories of past summer reading and add a personal touch to your décor. I use them to decorate by choosing books in shades of blue, green, red and pink. I stack them under table lamps to create height and dimension, lay them on an ottoman over a lightweight throw or place them on a coffee table with a random scattering of seashells; it’s about creating an atmosphere.
Flowers such as freesia, roses, lilies, lilacs and honeysuckle add splashes of nature to my warm-weather designs. Loosely gather blooms into lazy bouquets, allowing them to drink from antique bottles in all shapes, sizes and colors—then use the arrangements for fresh spots of living color around the house.
Now, relax in your new environment of color and comfort. Take in the gentle fragrance of fresh flowers, and let your senses absorb your new surroundings as your thoughts drift, creating another memory of summer.