Bringing the Outside In: Summer Home Decorating Ideas

Vases and white flowers

Green grass! Blue sky! Bright sunshine! In summer, I tend to leave the house first thing in the morning to soak in the beautiful outdoors and I spend as much time outside as possible.

But at the end of the day, home is where the heart is. That’s why I’ve been motivated to let all that sunshine inside, figuratively of course, to give my inside space a more outside feel. I’ve been cooking up summer home decorating ideas — and here are my top seven. Read on and let me know what you think.

Summer Home Decorating Ideas

1. Choose a summer theme

Choosing a theme for your summer home decorating is like writing the thesis for an essay. It keeps you focused on the style you want, so your home doesn’t end up looking like a thrift store. Here are three easy summer decor themes to implement.

French countryside

Table arrangement in French countryside style

There’s something so romantic about French culture, n’est-ce pas? Add some rustic charm to your home with lavender plants, decorative pieces made of aged wood and pillows covered in toile floral prints. For the kitchen, choose a painted fruit bowl with a detailed floral pattern or a rustic teapot. And don’t forget the wine rack!

Beachside cottage

Table arrangement with a beach cottage style

Fancy a beachside cottage feel? You’ll want to move towards a generally muted color palette, so you can add a few brighter pieces that will stand out. If your home doesn’t have that neutral backdrop, brainstorm on how to remove or repaint colorful items.

Your brighter pieces might be shell (or shell-shaped candles) or a homemade wooden wall sign that you’ve painted bright-as-the-sky blue. Or, find your favorite photo from your last beach vacation, amp up the colors in Photoshop and have it printed on wood.

Mediterranean retreat

Mediterranean courtyard: summer home decorating idea

Bring a Mediterranean flair into your home with whites, royal blues and flowering houseplants. Look for smooth, plaster-like plant containers and accent pieces — bonus points if you can find some with a Greek key design.

2. Create a sunny kitchen

Summer decorating idea for kitchen

In my house, the kitchen is the gathering space, the work space when I don’t feel like going to my downstairs office and, of course, the cooking space. I spend A LOT of time in the kitchen.

Wall color

If your kitchen doesn’t feel sunny and cheery enough, you can make some simple changes to update the vibe. First, take a look at your wall color and ask yourself what mood it’s bringing to the table. Browns, greys and dark greens call all feel a little drab.

Is new paint an option? If not on all walls, maybe on one wall? If so, see The Reset’s list of happy colors for some mood-brightening color inspiration.

Window coverings

Next, consider removing all window coverings in the kitchen to maximize the natural light in the room.

Sunny accents

Try fresh fruit like limes, lemons and oranges as decor items. They’ll add a nice pop of color that screams summertime. I also like a countertop plant in the kitchen — I have a “money tree” which manages to live on even when I forget to water it.

3. Create a reading nook

Bookshelf with colorful books and vases.

Put anything colorful on a light-colored shelf and it adds interest to any unused wall or corner of a room. You can buy fairly inexpensive, wall-mounted shelves at Target and fill them with books, photos, candles or vases.

4. Create your oasis

Your oasis is a space where you can have a quiet moment to yourself. Maybe you sip coffee or wine. Or maybe you meditate or read. However you relax, this should be your solitary space to do it.

That space only needs a comfortable chair and a view. A small table to hold your coffee is a nice addition as well.

Ideally, that space is outside. But if you don’t an outside space, try setting something up next to a big window. You could even place a tree there to give you an outside feel.

5. Buy carnations

Bouquet of carnations

Ideally, I’d have fresh floral arrangements in every room all year long. But that’s not in my budget. *Sigh* A cheaper option is to fill those spaces with carnations. Why carnations? Because they smell fabulous and they last a very long time for a fresh flower.

7. Sheer Possibilities

Perhaps the fastest way to lighten up your home (besides paint color) is with window treatments. If you can get away with it, try sheer white curtains to maximize your sunlight inside.