I’m so excited to be a part of the Canadian Bloggers Home Tour yet again! This time around, it’s a one day, all the inspiration you can possibly handle, summertime extravaganza! So grab yourself a nice tall glass of iced tea, sit back, and enjoy peeking into the homes of all these great Canadian bloggers! Make sure to click through to the other homes on the tour when you get to the end of this post!
I thought it would be fun to share with you some of the specific little things that I like to do to give my home that summertime feeling at this time of year. I like to keep things simple, as always, but I find that once I do these few things, I really start to feel like “OK. now it’s summer.” If your home could use a little seasonal pick-me-up, you might want to try adding a few of these ideas to your bag of tricks as well!
When I think of summer decor, the first thing that always comes to mind is the advice that I used to read in decor magazines about how to switch your home decor up for summer.
And it was ridiculous.
And it kind of made me mad.
I always used to read suggestions like “Take down all of the curtains in your house and switch them out for flowy white cotton ones instead.” Or “Switch out your large area rugs for something more natural and beachy-feeling.” Or “Bring the outdoors in! Simply have your personal carpenter knock a hole in your living room wall and install 6-8 french doors, then install a patio made of imported limestone and create a second living room outside to create a flow between the two spaces.”
OK, I made that last one up, but still. None of those things are happening for normal people with normal busy lives and normal budgets. I always hate advice like that because it kind of suggests that if you can’t do it right, don’t even bother. And of course, there are so many, even better things that you can do to make your home feel summery in just a few minutes and without a whole team of stylists and hard-laborers to work for you.
For summer, it MUST be easy
One thing is for sure, no one wants to spend their summer fussing over decorations in their home. So all the ideas that I’m showing you today are really kind of “set it and forget it” types of ideas. They’re “do it once and enjoy it all season” kind of things, mostly. I like to use lots of leafy greens, like hostas or soloman’s seal in my vases instead of flowers because they last almost literally forever. I mostly leave the flowers for outside so I’m not having to change water and deal with dead flowers every few days and I stick with faux flowers instead. Unless it’s peony season. 🙂
The leafy greens are great because they bring an almost tropical vibe to a room instantly, but require almost no upkeep. Really, it’s almost strange how long they last.
I used some faux hydrangeas that I’ve had for a few years in the dining room. Hydrangeas definitely say “summer” to me and I’ve been asked on more than one occasion if they’re real!
The trick to making them feel fresh instead of old and dusty? Make sure you add water to the vase. It really makes you feel like they’re real and it brings and extra little bit of sparkle into your home.
Use what you already have
Summer is a time filled with so many traditions, whether it’s the family camping trips, the BBQ’s, summer camp, or anything else that your family does every year. Just like all of these activities, your summer decor should be a little personal and reflect what summer means to you. It’s great to bring out a few of the same favorite pieces every year, just for summer, because it instantly gives you a feeling of your place in time. And it’s cheaper that way too! If you find a summery piece that you really love, make sure you save it and bring it out just for summer every year. I have this blue-green glass vase that reminds me of beach glass. I bought it about 7 years ago and it stays in the cupboard until summer every year. I think I love it more every year that I bring it out and it definitely makes me feel like my home is looking its summertime best when I bring it out. 🙂
Add in something nautical
You don’t need to live near the beach or own a boat to add a little bit of nautical fun to your home. Nautical items remind us of days at the beach and the salty air in our hair even if we’re in the most land-locked locations. I live near a bunch of lakes, but nowhere near anywhere that you would collect seashells. I use seashells aaall over the place though in the summer because they just make me feel happy!
I just have a collection of old shells that I keep in a big ziplock back and use year after year, but if you don’t have any, just adding in a few things in navy and white here and there can give off that same “by the seaside” kind of feeling.
Sorry, that was lame. I couldn’t help myself! 🙂
I love adding in seagrass or water hyacinth elements here and there for summer too. They just feel beachy and outdoorsy to me. I use baskets or little place mats though to get that feeling, not huge natural fiber area rugs. 🙂 I love the use my place mats in a lot of different ways, such as in place of plates on my plate rack, or in the kitchen where they make great counter protectors for hot pots or scratchy-bottomed dishes.
Summer home staples that I love
Make it smell like summer
I feel like we always remember the power of scent during the fall and the holidays, but we often forget about it for the other seasons. Scent has such a great way of creating an atmosphere in our homes and making us feel like we’re somewhere completely different almost instantly. Heat and humidity can bring some really interesting smells out of the walls and floors of our homes, especially in a 120 year old house like ours, so I like to light a candle and let myself feel like I’m on a tropical vacation somewhere rather than cleaning up pet fur off the floors for the 17th time that day. 🙂
Display the fruits of your labor
If you have a garden, fruit trees, or a little berry patch, putting your harvest out on display can really give your home that summery feeling too. It just looks like you could whip up something delicious and fresh at any moment and make you feel like you’re really living in the seasonal moment. Even if you don’t grow your own, keeping a few fruits and vegetables out as edible decor means that you probably will actually enjoy them more often, just like you’re supposed to in the summer.
More like this
- The Creek Line House Easter/Spring Home Tour
- The Creek Line House Christmas Home Tour
- How to Love Your Ugly Kitchen
- How to Love Your Ugly Living Room
- How to Love Your Ugly Dining Room
- Grey and White Master Bathroom Before and After
Keep it clean
Well, even though we’re at the opposite time of year, my rules from my post about Christmas decor (5 reasons why your Christmas decor never looks quite right), still apply. One of the most important things listed in that post is that you clean up a little before you put out your seasonal decor. Especially at this time of year, when we want our homes to feel really crisp and fresh. So take a few moments to tidy up your clutter before you put out just a few summery items. After that, I just like to have a damp soapy cloth with me so I can wipe surfaces down as I put out my new decor. It makes all the difference!
When it comes down to it, the real joy of summer is being able to enjoy as much of the outdoors as we can possibly handle. That’s why everything that we do indoors to help us bring that summertime feeling to our homes is really stuff that reminds us of the great parts about being outdoors during this season. I find that the more time we spend outside, the more the inside of my home starts to feel like summer too. The feeling of coming inside into the cool house when you’ve been outside in the sun all day? That’s a big part of our impression of home during the summer too! Your home becomes a bit of a cool and shady oasis at times on really hot days.
This year, our garden has become almost like our second living room because we’ve just been out there so much!
I’m really just in love with it this year! It’s kind of a place that we all gravitate too. The grown ups are able to get a little work done and feel accomplished, and the kids can play with the hose or eat strawberries from our little strawberry patch. It’s a win-win situation. 🙂
If you happened to catch my post about growing grapes a few weeks ago, here’s an update for you: The grapes are growing! 🙂
OK, but seriously, in all honesty the garden isn’t all charming rustic barrel planters and cute stepping stone filled herb gardens. Most of the time, it actually looks like this.
Toys and tools everywhere! Just like the indoor living room. 🙂 This is still a huge win for us this year though because everything we planted is growing so well and the weeds are not!
If we aren’t in the garden, you can usually find us in our shady backyard next to the creek, hanging out in some old adirondack chairs and enjoying watching the fields around us grow.
And that’s pretty much how we get things in summer-mode around here!
Now let’s take a tour of my Canadian blogging friends’ homes:
Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.