Home is more than just where the heart is—it’s where we spend most of our time. There are plenty of ways to make our homes feel more comforting to ourselves and to our guests. Invite the influence of the new season to spend some time inside. Try implementing some of these quick and easy summer adjustments for your home—brought to you by local design experts.
JOHN KRENEK Owner/Interior Design Spruce Design & Decor High Falls
The easiest way to “spruce up” your home for summer is to add a splash of color. I find a lot of people are afraid to use color and shy away from it. Most tend to keep things very safe and monochromatic. However, I always advise my clients that color infuses the real personality into a room or home and creates a bit of unexpectedness. For a very easy and quick remedy, group a collection of colorful vases or objects on a table. Instantly, there’s a splash of color in the room. I also tend to switch out the decorative pillows on sofas and beds from season to season. This is such an easy way to change the vibe of a room. Another option is to hang a grouping of vibrant pieces of art on a white wall or, better yet, paint the entire wall a color first and then layer on the art. Paint is one of the easiest ways to create a major impact without changing the existing architecture.
DAVID PILLARD Tender Land Home Phoenicia
The best way to bring summer into your home is to do it with color! Small decorating touches can make a big difference—bright dishtowels in the kitchen, a vibrant vase in the living room, a bold runner for your dining room table. A lightly floral scented candle is the perfect compliment to summer color. And, of course, there’s nothing that says summer in the Catskills more than a vase or pitcher brimming with beautiful, freshly cut flowers.
CATHERINE GERRY Catherine Gerry Interiors High Falls
With the abundance of natural beauty just outside our doorways, it’s easy to change our interiors to reflect the seasons. In summer, filling a tall cylindrical vase with cuttings of long graceful branches, grasses or sunflowers makes a huge impact in the entry or dining room tables.
As a designer I love to recommend the Victorian habit of switching out the winter fittings for fresh, light, cool elements that absolutely say, “Celebrate, summer is here.” Start by taking down all the heavy or dark colored drapes and replace with simple gossamer cotton or linen sheers or shades. Replace heavy winter rugs with Sisal, woven grass, or cotton flat weave rugs or nothing at all. Cover upholstered furniture with white or light colored canvas or duck slipcovers. Switch the color and shape of lampshades. Choose throw pillows with your favorite summer colors.
Try this: leave everything bare for a week. See how nice it is to have removed the visual clutter, and then start to bring in truly favorite things. Most importantly, choose accessories that say something about you.
LARRY RUHL High Falls Mercantile, High Falls
There is no better way to usher summer into your home than by rejuvenating your bedding. Cool crisp cotton or linen sheets, a fun striped cotton throw, a fresh set of vintage French linen pillow shams, or even a vintage linen sheet to throw over a couch or bed. Bring a fresh summer feeling into any room with 20-inch square Belgian linen pillows available in eight colors, beautiful bedding from Pine Cone Hill, and a selection of cotton, wool, and linen throws. Sometimes all it takes is a simple layer to completely update a space.
WALTER MARQUEZ Antiques Barn at Water Street Market New Paltz
Bring summer into your home using your garden antiques. Bring in cool old planters and plant them with your favorite houseplants or summer annuals. You could also bring in your favorite old comfortable outdoor chair and put it in the living room for the summer. Put a coat of paint on your old wrought iron table and chairs and a bright flowery fabric on the seats—use them in the kitchen for the summer. Have fun indoors with your outdoor antiques.
LISA RISO The Greenhouse at Rhinebeck
Traditional floral arrangements aren’t the only way to brighten the indoors during the summer! Why not take what you love from your favorite spot in the yard or garden and make it the focal point of a room?
From lilacs and cherry blossoms in the spring to any combination of wild flowers and twigs in the summer, you can have an image of the outdoors in your living room at any time. For a vase, we recommend reusing a nonconventional container like a wine bottle, favorite glass, or even a watering can. Collect a few blossoms from your favorite plant, tree, or shrub and place it in a container to match the room. If color is not your style, cut a small bunch of tall wild grass and surround it with unique tea lights to give the ambiance of being outdoors on a summer evening.
JENNYWONDERLING Nectar, High Falls
What do we miss most in the long, gray absence of summer? The abundance of color, the whimsy of butterflies and flit of birds, and our family and friends who are suddenly willing to make the trek to visit us country dwellers! So to bring these elements indoors, and allow for their continued presence throughout the year, Nectar recommends finding art, strong colors, and home accents that represent summer with similar flourish. For example, bird candles, pillows, or platters and tabletop items that celebrate and capture our natural world at its peak. These are also great ways of bringing an affordable face-lift to a room. To transport the magical evenings of summer indoors, try using lanterns and votives for a more forgiving light.
HEIDI HILL-HADDARD HiHo Home Market, Gardiner
Summer is a wonderful time to lighten up the colors, fabrics and accessories in your kitchen. Mix and match placemats, table runners and even your dishes. It’s the time of year to bring in the colors from your garden and have fun. Break the rules, use your imagination and add some personality to your counters. Gather vintage bottles for single stems, add ribbon tie backs to the curtains, display some retro aprons, change out the dish towels and prepare to pour some lemonade.Here at HiHo we have a delightful assortment of fresh kitchen textiles waiting to add summer flair toyour home.