Monday, May 21, 2018

Do you have a summer house? Or do you just wish you did? This is the time of year when we might be scrolling through Facebook and notice that so many people seem to be heading off to their vacation homes or making plans for their summer vacation. Which is great! But even if you aren’t heading out of town your home is one of the best destinations of all! So how can you spruce it up to get the most enjoyment out of it this summer?

Hopefully work will be a little laid back in the summer. Maybe you have shorter hours or some extra vacation time building up. Even if you can’t get away and are planning on spending that time at home, here are some practical tips to help you set up your home and make the most of it during the summer.

1. Set up a relaxation corner.

When you are on vacation, besides the pool or ocean you are probably looking forward to that cool, quiet corner of the hotel where you can lounge with your cocktail, read a book or take a nap. Why not do the same at home? The lazy days of summer call for relaxation.

Steal a corner in your home and set it up for the same purpose! A cozy chair or window seat, even the comfy corner of the sofa, can be the perfect spot to keep a stack of magazines or books you have been trying to get to. Find a stool (a garden stool works great as an end table, is easy to move around, and can be used indoors or out) or end table to set your drink and snack and make sure you have a pillow or soft throw in case the air conditioning gets too cool! If you prefer to be outdoors find a quiet corner in your backyard and create the same oasis. A hammock is a great spot for this as well.

2. Refresh your indoor decor.

Bring a summer vibe to your home. Put away winter throws and linens. Roll up heavy rugs and swap out for natural sisal or seagrass. Clear surfaces of clutter and add some nautical or beachy accessories such as seashells, aqua-toned glass and casual, inexpensive, summer-inspired artwork. No need to change what’s on your walls but maybe place a new picture on the mantle shelf or add something small on an end table. New throw pillows in summer hues and patterns can transform your house to give you a fresh summer feel.

3. Start and display a collection.

Even if you aren’t going someplace exotic pick something that interests you or catches your eye and start a small collection. Any collection if artfully displayed can enhance a space. Maybe corks from the wines you drink this summer, seashells from the beach, postcards from local destinations. Take thought in how you frame or display them and even a small collection will seem special.

4. Flowers

Nothing says summer like fresh-cut flowers! Put a vase on your console or coffee table and make sure you fill it with fresh-cut flowers all summer long. Cut them from your yard or grab an inexpensive bouquet at the grocery store. A vase of flowers or greenery will make your house feel cheerier every day and is a great way to add a splash of color to a room.

5. Design your outdoor space.

Some of the best summer memories can be made right in your own backyard. Sitting on the hammock while the kids have a water fight; filling the kiddie pool with water balloons; of course, barbecuing and now the newest trend, sitting by your very own fire pit and making s’mores. Divide your backyard into activity zones to make it even more desirable. Of course the kids need space to run around and play, but a relaxation zone for adults is just as important. Clean off the lounge chairs and blow up the kiddie pool. Gather supplies for outdoor games to keep the family entertained. The best vacation is right outside your door and you didn’t need to sit in traffic to get there!

By Shoshana Halpert