By Shelley Levitt

Tweak Your Home Decor for Summer

You've stowed away the cashmere turtlenecks and taken out the cotton halters, swapped winter's berry and plum lipsticks for sheer pinks and corals.

Now, it's time to give your home a warm-weather makeover too. Doing this is easier and less expensive than you may think, says Stephen Tomar, a Los Angeles-based interior designer whose clients have included Barbra Streisand and Valerie Bertinelli.

"You want your home to have the look of a cool glass of lemonade on a hot day," he says. "And you can do that with a few small touches, some creativity and a very modest budget."

Roll up the heavy rugs

And put down a summery sisal, jute or sea-grass floor covering instead. If you have wall-to-wall carpeting, just lay your natural-fiber area rug on top. You can buy rugs with fabric borders at stores like Pottery Barn, or purchase sisal or jute cut to measure at Home Depot.

Rotate in accessories made of natural fabrics

Like raffia placemats, a linen table runner and bamboo serving bowls. Check out Pier One's affordable collection of home textiles.

Lighten up heavy upholstery

Like velvet, chenille and mohair by tucking remnants of cool fabrics, such as chambray or seersucker, around loose back and seat cushions. Find the remnants at a fabric outlet and use sticky-back Velcro tape to keep them in place.

Add tropical sounds and smells.

"There's a wonderful sense of sound in the summertime," says S. Lee Wright, a New York City designer who specializes in feng shui. "Adding chimes throughout the home when the doors and windows are open to the breeze helps create the feeling of well-being that comes with a beach holiday." Smells capture summer too. Choose a fragrance diffuse like Crabtree & Evelyn's India Hicks Island Living, with notes of casuarinas trees, orange blossoms and sea air.


Shelley Levitt, managing editor of The Style Glossy, is a former West Coast editor of Self and senior writer at People.


Available at

Cut Your Energy Bills Now: 150 Smart Ways to Save Money & Make Your Home More Comfortable & Green

It's Easy Being Green: A Handbook for Earth-Friendly Living

Sean Conway's Cultivating Life: 125 Projects for Backyard Living


Copyright ©. All rights reserved.

Home & Garden - Tweak Your Home Decor for Summer