Summer Decorating on a Budget

You can easily and inexpensively update your décor to reflect the new colors for summer throughout your home with items you already have or by picking up a few affordable new things that have the simple touch of summer.

Add Color

If your existing palette is dark green, consider incorporating a light sage green into your room to create a fresh, summery feel. My first suggestion is to comb your house for items that match your room's palette. Can any of these items work as accents with your existing style? Don't be afraid to mix and match. For instance, a sage vase hiding under the kitchen sink might look great on the table next to your dark green couch.

If your colors are neutral, then try to help brighten things up a bit by adding spring pastels. I always tell my clients that the easiest way to brighten up a room (temporarily of course) is to add a light-colored throw. I happen to love the microchenille throws from Target because they come in a large variety of colors -- yellow, sage, lilac, blue or ecru. You can either layer a light-colored throw over existing bed linens or drape it over a wood rocking chair or a darkly colored couch.

More Summer Ideas:

  • Bring the Outdoors in with Garden Inspirations
  • Brightening the Bathroom
  • Giving the Bedroom a Boost
  • Another way to add color is by adding an area rug. Crate and Barrel offers fantastic jute/coir rugs in pastel colors. Keep in mind that area rugs don't have to be limited to hard wood floors. You can add flair to any room by just adding an area rug right over your carpet. Of course, the rug should have a hue similar to your existing carpet. For example, if you have a blue-gray carpet, give it a lift with an area rug that has sage, cream and light-blue tones.

    You can also brighten things up with a few new pillows. I happen to love silk pillows for the bed or the couch. Go ahead and combine the jute/coir rug and the silk pillows in one room -- the combination will provide wonderful texture and added interest.

    If you are on a very tight budget, these individual items will give any room a lift. (But I would start with the throw -- you'll get the most bang for your buck.)

    Use Garden Inspirations

    Don't forget to take advantage of gorgeous fresh flowers this season. Single flowers like gerbera daises and sweet peas look great in a narrow milk bottle. Or, try cutting your single flowers short, then add them to an old spice bottle (with the label peeled off) and place on a kitchen shelf for a hint of color. One of my favorite spring centerpiece tricks is to fill a large bowl up with lemons and just sit it right in the middle of the table. It's easy -- and cheap!

    Another way to bring the garden feel into your home is to use an old watering can (something funky please -- no plastic!) to display live flowers. An old but treasured watering can filled with tulips will bring a fresh feel to any kitchen table. This silver watering can is reasonably priced, has an adorable bee emblem on the side and looks like it's straight out of an English garden.

    Brighten Up the Bath

    Are all of the towels in your bathroom white or some other drab color? Investing in a few pastel colored towels is a quick way to brighten things up. I found Martha Stewart's Pima cotton pastel colored towels at Kmart to be a great bargain. But if you're not interested in buying new bath towels, then pick up a few less expensive hand towels and washcloths for a quick update. Or, roll up hand towels and washcloths that you already have and place them in a simple wicker basket for added interest.

    Another great addition for the bathroom (or next to the bed or in a small hallway for that matter) is a daisy swirl rug (28" diameter). It's an adorable and fun spring accent.

    Bring Cheer to the Bedroom

    Give your bed a completely new look by adding an inexpensive Siam bed canopy. This is one of my favorite finds because it will not only add drama to your bed, but the canopy will bring a fresh feel to the room.

    Do you have a dresser that needs a major face-lift? Try a simple sponge-painting technique to help brighten things up a bit. Or, stick with a pale-colored wash and add interest with Victorian-style clear glass knobs. For under $10, glass knobs actually look antique and could be a perfect accent to your newly painted dresser.

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