How quickly we’ve morphed from Spring to Summer. It seems like yesterday I was wearing sweaters and now I’m sweating. A change in the weather alters the affairs of daily life, so it makes sense to alter your home to match. Subtle changes in décor can turn a living room or bed room into a space that’s comfortable for different seasons. This isn’t about doing costly makeovers, but keeping the major furnishings and swapping in some versatile, seasonal accessories. You’ll find that your rooms are more appealing. Putting items away for half the year they look new when you bring them out again.
The idea that household embellishments should reflect the time of year is an old one. In eighteenth century France, wealthy people owned sets of curtains and coverings that were switched with the season. These transformations don’t have to be the stuff of royalty, of course. In fact, they can be as commonplace as it is to slip on a cardigan in winter or a linen shirt in summer. Throws and curtains in lush textures, for instance, offer warmth when the ground is outside is covered in snow and set a formal tone that is approiate for holiday celebrations. Fabrics in bold patterns are in keeping with the more casual lifestyle of spring and summer. In short, your decorating should be rooted in practicality.
Summer is the time for dressing casually and mixing things up in the fun way. Think seersucker, batiks and sheers and brighter colors such as shell white, ocean blue and green grass. Winter is layered in quiet and ice, layer the indoors in textures and heavy fabrics. Velvet, wool and silk are not only warm they’re dressy. Richer colors like forest greens, midnight blues and silvers are a perfect compliment.
When the cold weather arrives, have a collection of cozy, fluffy throws to place on your furniture for snuggling. Remove them or replace with soft cotton or silk throws for warmer months. Remove the toasty down-filled duvet from your bed in the spring and substitute a light cotton matalasse bed cover or a simple cotton blanket. Floral arrangements of pine and holiday colors can be changed for light, colorful ones for the spring and summer. Put away dark brass or pottery containers and bring out clear glass or crystal vases. Change dark-patterned decorative pillows by covering them with fresh, floral prints or plaids for warmer weather. Either change out the pillows with a second set or alternate the decorative covers.
If you have a collection of plates on display, put classic holiday designs away for the winter and replace with pretty floral china from grandma. Have your draperies made so they are reversible allowing you to easily turn them from lively to neutral with the seasonal changes. A plain ivory on one side can be a neutral option while a more colorful stripe on the reverse offers a fresh look for another season. Be sure to put garden magazines and flower books out on the coffee table in the spring and summer. That will help bring the outside in and add color to your interior.
Changing with the seasons gives you an opportunity to get out some long-lost pieces and make them the center of attention for a while. The change of decor can come all at one time, like spring house cleaning, or over a period of several days or weeks. You’ll be surprised what a difference just a small change can make. If winter seems especially long, forget the calendar and get your spring things out even if there’s snow on the ground. You may still need the warm blankets, but the look can be light and uplifting. My thanks to my associate Stephanie Jollie for authoring this article.