After nearly two decades of living with off-white sofas, I was ready to welcome some brighter, bolder hues to my living room. But I knew I'm a "neutrals" girl at heart for furnishings. So, to get my color fix, I'm going to add just a few pops of vibrant hues to my decor. Here are a few simple ways to add seasonal color to your home:
Go green. I've got to have live plants in a range of emerald colors to give my home a fresh feel. I love sweet ivy topiary on my kitchen windowsill, on my breakfast table or in a display on my mantle. I adore a phalanx of maidenhair ferns in creamy ceramic pots marching down my dining-room table. And every year, my friends pot Kimberly Queen ferns — the only kind I don't manage to kill — in the urns near my front door.
Perky pillows. One benefit of having neutral furnishings is that the sky's the limit when it comes to adding colorful pillows. Whether you like juicy citrus hues or romantic pastels in the softest of tones, this summer add some jazzy new pillows to your living room, on your porch furniture or in your bedding ensemble.
Kitchen kitsch. It's easy to add bright summer colors to your kitchen with cooking gadgets and cleaning supplies. At discount stores or the big-box home stores (such as Target or Bed Bath & Beyond), scout for tools that make housework more fun, like sponge scrubbers in lively colors or playful designs. How about a straw broom in bright red or blue? Or maybe an ironing-board cover that's cute and clever? Some bright new kitchen towels are a must. (You'll be amazed at how worn and weary your current towels will look by contrast.)
Tempting table. It's not practical to get an entirely new set of dishes just for summer, but you can add a few pieces that celebrate the season. How about bright red tumblers? Lemon- or lime-colored salad plates? A serving tray in a summer motif, such as frogs, flowers or ferns? I like to welcome summer to my table through my table linens. Find a tablecloth, runner or place mats in a bright color or a delicate print to give a seasonal spark to your table. Then pick up some snappy linen napkins in a rainbow of matching or contrasting colors, like sky-blue, watermelon-red and lime-green. Tie them up with ribbons or scout for napkin rings that catch your eye.
Make a long-term commitment. If your summer fling with color leaves you yearning for a more permanent relationship, you may be ready to take things to the next level. Invest in a chair covered in a bold pattern or strong color, or get a piece of colorful artwork to display above your fireplace.