50 Of House & Home’s Best Summer Decorating Ideas
Make the most of summer with a home that celebrates living indoors and out — and maybe even blurs the lines between the two! Here are some of our best summer decorating ideas to get your home into an easy, breezy state of mind.
1. Incorporate rope accents. Rope brings a warm, tonal quality to whitewashed interiors in addition to dimension and texture. A sculptural rope lamp suits the laid-back style of summer homes.
2. Highlight Canadian style. What could be more Canadian than a canoe paddle? Bring a watery vibe into the home with paddles artfully hung on a wall.
3. Color block your space. Bright and cheery hues are an easy way to liven up your spaces for summer. A traditional library or sitting room, like this one here, can benefit from a healthy dose of color — it helps bring nature’s summery vibe indoors.
4. Bring accessories outside. To make an outdoor seating or living area feel even more welcoming, bring out accessories and little details. Here, blue and white pottery, candles and even a rug underfoot make this Palm Beach, Florida, backyard an extension of the inside.
5. Frame the view. When blessed with a view of a harbor, lake or even just a verdant backyard, make the most of the view by creating a focal point around it.
6. Use driftwood accessories. Nothing says summertime on a beach quite like driftwood. Here a coffee table base and mirror frame done in driftwood imparts a luxe casualness to an outdoor seating area.
7. Max out the windows. Walls of windows in a screened-in Muskoka porch blur the lines between outside and in, giving the feeling of sitting outside without the worry of sun or bugs.
8. Add in natural materials. For far-flung flair, layer in texture. Seagrass, rattan, bamboo and sisal, among others, bring warmth and depth to any room and liven up a mod black and white scheme.
9. Design with rattan and caning. French Country style has the timeworn charm of southern France. Open weave materials like caning and rattan help keep a room feeling breezy.
10. Use rich colors. To bring in a Mediterranean or South American feel, use deep terracotta to add depth. The clay-like color feels sunbaked and immediately transports a room to a warmer climate.
11. Elevate the fire pit. Bring a little bit of Palm Springs home with a retro enamel drop fireplace. It not only creates a focal point in the backyard but is usable year round — and takes roasting marshmallows to a whole new level.
12. Make a feathery statement. Feathery decorations, such as those on these DIY window treatments, give a light as air feel.
13. Choose iconic summer pieces. Pillows in a classic, thick-striped blue and white pattern are a go-to for a reason — they scream seaside escape. Paired with iconic Muskoka chairs (or Adirondack chairs), this deck has timeless appeal.
14. Make a fireplace a warm-weather focal point. To make the most of a fireplace during warmer months, treat it like a piece of art. Done in a bold matte black with simple accessories, this fireplace looks becoming whether lit or unlit.
15. Layer on stripes. Stripes scream summer — so why not go all out? Here stripes in all colors and weights play off each other in the rug, poufs, pillows and even in the wall panelling. The mixture adds depth to the room.
16. Go no-frills. In this cottage sunroom, the windows have no glass — just screens with flip-up storm shutters — which give the space a classic boathouse feel. The simple furnishings add to the rustic charm.
17. Whitewash the room. A clean, bright backdrop sets the stage and lets brass accents pop. The whitewash unifies disparate elements, bringing a cohesive look to the space.
18. Put the spotlight on blond woods. The pale tones of blond woods impart the summery, light feel of Scandinavian interiors, especially when set against whitewashed walls and floors.
19. Let nature inspire you. Classic, bountiful white hydrangea blooms match the white siding of this Nova Scotia coach house, where the landscaping and architecture inform each other.
20. Take the nautical theme literally. A vintage cedar canoe is the main event in this cottage living room. Small canoe sculptures and waterscape photos add to the nautical theme without being too kitschy.
21. Embrace a South Beach vibe. Colors and tropical patterns bring a Miami feel to a Toronto backyard patio.
22. Pair blue and white. Dive into the deep end of style and bring this classic summer palette to your space.
23. Go for open-frame furniture. A breezy canopy bed left bare has a tropical feel, which is enhanced by lightweight white curtains and whitewashed walls.
24. Incorporate sea-inspired accents. Here an ethereal chandelier that looks like a large piece of coral brings an exotic vibe to a lakefront cottage.
25. Maximize sunlight. In this bright and open kitchen, a skylight and banks of windows makes the most of long summer days. The kitchen is made even more light and airy with open shelves in place of upper cabinets.
26. Bring in vintage details. Authentic or retro-style fans make a fun design statement while also helping to keep the room cool.
27. Set up camp. In this Upstate New York living room, a settee is covered in vintage tents, giving an intrepid spirit to the space.
28. Say yes to gingham. Cotton gingham is summer’s answer to winter’s heavy, knitted plaids. A daybed dressed up with this punchy fabric has bold pillows to finish the look.
29. Make seasonal accessories a focal point. Why not put your collection of straw hats on display? This DIY hat rack project makes a statement and is practical, too.
30. Take a trip to the flea market. In this garage-cum-workshop, the whitewashed shell is brought to life with a mod safari-style chair. Folding teak chairs or wooden campaign chairs are also great options for injecting a bit of vintage flair.
31. Dress up an outdoor dining area. Layering up a simple picnic table and benches with sparkly and colorful throws or tablecloths adds a touch of glamor and softness.
32. Decorate with watery scenes. A vintage picture of designer Jennifer Scott’s grandfather sailing anchors the design of her Vancouver home’s bathroom.
33. Switch up your linens. Swapping out heavy winter knits and velvets for lighter cotton and linen pieces is a simple way to invite summer into your home. A mixture of textured and patterned pillows and throws are easily changed out for woollen ones come autumn.
34. Play with tonal colors. In this screened-in porch, shades of sandy beiges and bright whites set the scene for relaxation and calm.
35. Set sail. A vintage sailboat sets the stage for a beachy scene. Elevate the look with pieces of coral and shells.
36. Slipcover furniture. The family-friendly dining area here is dressed up with washable linen slipcovers — perfect for busy, and sometimes messy, cottage life.
37. Light the way with lanterns. In an indoor-outdoor space, or really in any room for that matter, a lantern light fixture is a casual take on the classic chandelier. With multiple bulbs set in clear glass, it still provides maximum wattage but with a more relaxed feel.
38. Do away with curtains. In breezy, summery spaces, you want the most amount of light possible. Eschew blinds or window treatments in favor of letting the sun shine in.
39. Put shiplap on the walls. When complemented with a bright blue and red color palette, white shiplap walls has a very nautical feel.
40. Incorporate exotic textiles. Layers of textiles have a breezy feel — woven baskets, hand-blocked fabrics and hamman towels are all ways to bring this look to a bathroom.
41. Add Provençal flair. A staple in the South of France, shutters, when closed, provide an effective way to keep homes cool during the day. Not only that, but they add a certain stylish je ne sais quoi. A richly hued rug underfoot adds a warm pop of color to ground the all-white space.
42. Embrace the indoor-outdoor trend. As a playful spin on indoor furniture, try some wire pieces. Not only do they blur the lines between indoors and out, but the open wirework adds an airy feel.
43. Mix indoor and outdoor furniture. Don’t be afraid to bring small outdoor furniture pieces indoors. A bright white metal garden chair and linen throw lighten the look of the dark wooden side table.
44. Swap out heavy bed linens. For a breezy and cool sleep, switch out heavier linens for summer-weight ones like linen, chenille and matelassé.
45. Mix exotic tiles. In a cottage kitchen, Mediterranean-style patterned tiles enhance the blue and white palette of this kitchen. A white subway tile herringbone pattern keeps the patterned tile from overwhelming.
46. String up a hammock. Even the smallest outdoor space — a narrow backyard or a condo balcony — can accommodate, and benefit, from a hammock — the ultimate accent of summer relaxation.
47. Embrace garden style. This garden-style wall-mounted sink is a cottage classic and perfect for summertime. Its built-in backsplash and tall faucet mount makes washing off sandy feet a breeze.
48. Choose pretty outdoor fabrics. A screened-in porch is a sure-fire way to enjoy the best of both worlds, and the hardy sun-resistant Sunbrella upholstery makes sure the furniture can stand the heat while still being stylish.
49. Frame a map. Create a one-of-a-kind artwork with a map, which imbues a space with outdoorsy vibes. Here a vintage map of Ontario’s Georgian Bay has graphic impact when cut up into six separate frames.
50. Let the views do the talking. This dining room eschews drapes and artificial light in favor of lake views and sun rays.