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Living Space: Decorating touches that celebrate summer

By By Kathryn Weber
May 30, 2013 at 12:30 a.m.

Fill a jar with sand and shells, then trim with rope to evoke a beachy feeling.

After a long winter and dark, cold spring, you're ready to give your home a bright and cheery summer look. But what does that look like?

Rather than painting the whole house Bermuda pink or a beachy shade of blue, take a cue from the season itself and, like bursts of flowers in a field, add touches of summer throughout your home. You'll get that sunny, summery feel everywhere you look.



Lighten up

Pack away heavy fabrics and add some brightly colored pillows, towels and comforters to your style mix. Replace dull brown and beige bath towels with bright stripes or stacks of cheery colors, especially neons, which are so hot right now.

Grab a space-saver bag and put all those blankets, comforters and warm, fluffy robes away until fall and save space while you're doing it. Consider taking down blinds or curtains and having only one or the other to bring more of the summer's glory in the windows.



Be crafty

Liven up dull window panels or slipcovers with a stamped pattern. Look for a large rubber stamp in a simple design, such as a poppy flower, and stamp the fabric following a pattern. Mint is a super trendy shade.

For another quick craft project, sew long, brightly colored summer scarves into bolster pillows. Add small tassels at the corners, and you have a fun pillow unlike anything you can buy.

Fill hurricanes, jars and vases with sand to evoke the beach and add white candles. Shells, beach glass or pebbles from the shore will add even more seaside ambience. Or add water and beach pebbles to glass jars and top them off with floating candles.



Get a rope

Nothing says nautical - or summer - like rope, jute or sisal. Adding a touch of their natural feel in any room instantly evokes a beachy atmosphere. Replace bathmats with sisal rugs, swap carpets with sisal, add cut pieces of sisal into empty white picture frames to create a focal point or message center.

Cut a 15-inch length of half-inch rope and slip two fish eye hooks onto it. Knot each end and screw the hooks into a cabinet, wall, barbecue grill - anywhere you need to hang a kitchen towel or store barbecue tools.

Use rope as a handle on a garden gate, wind it around your hurricane candles, or fashion it into handles for a wooden serving tray.



Go for pattern

Certain patterns say summer, and this summer the pattern is Ikat. Ikat is a dyeing technique that creates a bold, tribal-looking pattern that's often triangular in shape. Whether you choose a cool Dylan Ikat bath towel or rooster-red Ikat cushions for your outdoor furniture, your home will look stylish and pulled together.

Don't be afraid to mix patterns. Summer is all about putting multiple patterns together to create a fresh and unique twist. Pair an Ikat print with a bold zebra stripe or zesty neon to create some summer sizzle.

Kathryn Weber is a home and decorating columnist and publishes the Red Lotus Letter feng shui ezine. For more information, contact Weber through her website, redlotusletter.com.

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