Summertime, and the living is easy. The flowers are blooming and the warm weather beckons us to come out and play. How about bringing some of summertime's outdoorsy feeling inside? Let's consider some easy and inexpensive ideas.
Fresh flowers always look great in the home. The vase you select can make a big difference in terms of the mood. Formal vases are great, but with the carefree feel of summer, something more whimsical might be in order.
Consider placing freshly cut flowers in an old-fashioned, tin watering can. Do you have champagne tastes on a beer-bottle budget? Well, don't throw all your beer bottles away. Keep three or five (remember, odd numbers are always more attractive) and fill them with flowers for a more interesting centerpiece.
Bowls filled with fresh fruit are a welcome sight anytime of the year, and summer invites us to partake of nature's fruits with more gusto. Choose bowls in colors that complement your decor. These can be inexpensive, too, if you buy the plastic kind at a home-decorations store. At this time of the year, these bowls can be displayed in abundance and in a variety of summer colors. Sometimes, the bowls are decorative enough that they look great displayed even when all the fruits have been eaten.
Since summer is such a casual time of year, consider using colorful paper plates once a week for dinner. It will be festive, fun and easy to clean up. Are white paper plates less expensive? Okay, go ahead and use white instead, but at the very least purchase inexpensive colorful napkins.
Sometimes, we can add simple accessories to a room that will change the feel. Consider purchasing a birdhouse for indoors. It will bring the outdoors in, and help a room feel like a part of nature.
What about those magazines on the cocktail table? Consider purchasing summer-inspired reading instead. Your local bookstore will have plenty of interesting subjects, with great book jackets to match. It's a simple and inexpensive idea that can help with summer decor — plus you'll have something good to read in your spare time.
The fireplace won't see much use in the summer, so why not clean out the ashes and fill the space with large, artificial ferns? You can use real ferns if there is enough sun hitting them. Simply rearranging the furniture can give a refreshing, new feeling to a room. Float the sofa in the center of the room instead of having it hug the wall. Put it on an angle, just for the summer. Get creative!
Rosemary Sadez Friedmann, an interior designer in Naples, is author of "Mystery of Color."