How-to get your home ready for the summer season
Comes the first hot spell and all those “added touches” in a room… the velvet or silk cushions, the bric-a-brac, the very pictures on the wall… suddenly become clutter. Give them a vacation. For safekeeping, for remembering in September just where you put them away, store them in handsome wicker trunks. And leave those in their natural color or spray in clear, bright tones of soft pastels.
Stack them in the very room you “cleared”… a spot of summer decor now, and endlessly useful in the fall too.
Found at our local variety store and just as apt to be in your or the nearest glassware department… chubby beer goblets, inexpensive and sassy.
Found in our backyard but also available at the local nursery, thriving plants bearing mint leaves, basil, thyme. Found on our living room mantel, those plants in those goblets, all standing in a row.
For a dash of color and to distract leaf-nibblers, we like to fill one goblet with sourball fruit drops, gumdrops, or Jordan almonds. Figure — bad, plant — good, and very pretty.
What’s new in slipcovers? Big bandanna squares to slipcover your decorative cushions… as many different patterns as you can find or all one pattern in bright red, bright blue. You’ll find them at the handkerchief counter of your department or variety store. Inexpensive, easy to make, and highly dramatic when they’re tossed on a sofa slipcovered in snowy white.
Did we say white? We did… white terry or one of the new easy-care cottons that can take to the washing machine as needed.
Summer is for looking outdoors, so send the winter draperies to be cleaned and stored.
In their place, drape lengths of fabric over the curtain rod… or make “bead” curtains, very Mediterranean, out of ball fringe by the yard… or shirr sheer curtains on temporary rods, as full as you can get them. The frostiest white, the palest pink, the most cerulean blue are good choices depending upon your color scheme.
A trio of ideas here… a table-gone-summer, skirted to the floor in shiny, laminated plastic or a gay chintz… a white bowl piled high with one of the most decorative of fruits, lemons… a pitcher full of nothing but leaves.
Not shown, but positively icy-cool, a living room completely accessorized with glass — and all that usually requires is imagination and already-owned glassware.
The green of summer is indoors too. You’ll see it and enjoy it more if you collect all your scattered houseplants and mass them. Their green looks greener if their pots are painted white.
So you took down your “winter” pictures. Now what do you do about the spots they left behind, those odd-shaped squares of paint or paper that are shades lighter than the rest of the room?
You make a summer tapestry out of an India print… or hang a burlap-covered bulletin board and pin up kindergarten art, summer theater programs… or hang a pretty window blind over the offending area and use it as a background for your summer memorabilia… snapshots, vacation mementos, anything colorful. Just spend a few hours shopping for the most dashing cover-up devices.