Sometimes it can feel like our homes hibernate as much as bears during colder weather. Through the winter, we hunker down with heavy blankets and warm fires. As the seasons change, however, what seemed cozy in cold weather can suddenly seem dark and oppressive. While you probably don’t need a total home makeover, getting ready for summer can help your space feel lighter and brighter. Turn on the Beach Boys playlist and shake out your linens because summer is almost here. Be ready with these easy tweaks and to-dos.
1. Change the drapes
Your curtains probably pull double duty during the winter months. They give you privacy and help keep out any drafts. But warmer weather calls for lighter window treatments, so take down the heavy drapes and replace them with something that says summer. Opting for gauzy, sheer curtains gives you privacy and still allows light and air circulation. Or try a bamboo shade to add a natural element while still being able to block out the bright afternoon sun.
2. Think natural accessories
Summer-ready accessories can change the whole feel of your home, and what says summer more than natural materials? Bringing in natural elements helps lift the tone of your space, making it feel bright and airy. Try bringing in a few woven baskets to stash flip flops or kids’ outside gear. Bring in natural wood elements like cool candlesticks or bowls to brighten up your dining room table. Or accessorize with palm-printed pillows or light, natural-colored throw blankets.
3. Do a mini spring cleaning
Clutter can make a home feel heavier than it really is. Simply clearing the horizontal surfaces in your home can make it feel airy and summer-ready in just a few minutes. Head around your home and gather up excess knickknacks in a basket. After a long winter, you might have candles, holiday decor, papers and other stuff simply cluttering up your home.
Here are some other quick, five-minute tasks to spring clean your home:
- Open up your windows. Make sure they’re clean and opening smoothly while you let in some fresh air.
- Store extra pillows and blankets you won’t need until cooler weather.
- Run a dryer sheet along your baseboards to dust and freshen.
- Change the linens on the beds to fresh sheets and lighter blankets.
- Put seasonal stuff in storage.
- Check your home’s HVAC system to ensure it’s working well before temperatures get too hot.
4. Just add green
Plants don’t only serve up a fresh outlook on decor; they actually make the air in your home cleaner. Choosing easy-to-maintain plants makes adding green a total no-brainer that freshens your space. Head to your local nursery and ask specifically for plants that do well indoors. Plants like peace lily, snake plant and succulents require a quick weekly watering but repay you by breathing new life into your home.
5. Change the lighting
When you think of cold weather, you probably think of dimmer lighting: the glow of the fire or a candle or reading a good book by the amber light of a lamp. Summer, however, means brighter light and letting the sun in, so it’s a great time to change up your home’s lighting. Put bright white bulbs into your fixtures, ditch the candles and bring in as much natural lighting as you can. Have your windows cleaned and make sure to remove anything that could be blocking light, like large furniture pieces. Don’t have a lot of natural light? Bring in a few mirrors to reflect light and act as interior windows.
6. Move furniture
The way you use your home in the winter versus summer is probably completely different. In my family, winters mean more nights cozied up with the TV or having people over for holiday parties, so my furniture reflects that. In the summer, we spend more time outside and less time watching TV. My kids are more likely to play video games or read in their rooms.
Moving your furniture around helps get your home summer-ready. Think about the way your family lives during the summer. How do they spend their time in the house? What do you want to encourage? Then, reposition your furniture accordingly. I like to put some comfy beanbags by our bookshelves to encourage reading and move my couches so I can keep an eye on my kids while they play outside. I also ditch the formal place settings at the dining table since my kids are more likely to eat at the bar (and use the table for summer crafting).
7. Add summer scents
One of the best ways to freshen up your home for the summer is simply bringing in summer scents. Whether you love the comfort of a candle or you prefer scented oils, summer scents can brighten up your mood — no matter the weather. Look for bright, clean scents like lemon and orange. Or, if you’re more of a floral person, choose spring-ready fragrances like lilac or rose. Prefer something clean? Linen-scented picks are perfect for giving your home that just-tidied feeling.
If spring is a time for renewal, then summer is a time for simply enjoying your hard work. By prepping your home, you can shake out the dust and sluggishness of colder weather and love your space in a bright, new, airy way.