Before the days turn really hot on the Long Island Sound, refresh your home for summer. Open all the windows and let the cool, morning air in and, while you are at it, wash your windows to let the sparkling sunshine through. Now is the time to make any repairs that need to be done both inside and outside your home. Spruce up your deck, terrace or patio. Freshen rooms that may need it with a new paint color or perhaps just some touch-ups. Consider getting some pieces updated with new upholstery or put up some new, lighter window treatments. One quick, easy fix is to add some new pillows in pastels, florals or even jewel tones to brighten your rooms.
Years ago, it was quite common to summer-ize your home by adding slipcovers to your furniture, especially in warmer, southern climates. The slipcovers, made of cotton and linen, are lighter than heavier velvet fabrics and give rooms an airier feel. Similarly, heavy wool rugs can be rolled up and more casual sisal rugs used instead in summer months. Now is also a good time to wash and put away the spring bedding and dress the bed with a floral summer throw.
The kitchen and the daily menu are other areas in which you can lighten up. We barbecue more, create summer salads and entertain with lighter dinners and refreshments. We tend to eat out on the patio more and add refreshing pitchers of iced tea and lemonade. When entertaining outside, I treat our outside dining table as if were an indoor one, only with more casual plates and glasses. If part of your entertaining includes days at the beach or lake, pack a picnic to include nice serving pieces and utensils. These add a certain chic to the festivities.
Beach days include coolers full of food and drinks. Decorate your beach party area with decorative umbrellas for shade, large towels or even an old kilim rug as a “floor.” Add plenty of large pillows for lounging, too. As the day lengthens, it’s time for sweatshirts and jeans and perhaps a small bonfire. Most beaches have restrictions on bonfires as well as picnics. It’s always wise to consider and care for the environment and follow all beach rules when enjoying beach days and nights. S’mores on the beach complete the evening before heading home for game night. Adding all the extra décor to your beach party takes time to set up and break down, but it’s worth the effort to create a truly magical time never to be forgotten.
Days along the shore also include biking and visiting farmers markets for fresh produce and flowers. I keep a basket on my bicycle to fill with all my market finds. Summer highlights feature garage sales and antique fairs as well. It’s great to browse through antique shows. I always come home with some must-have treasures. Arts and craft fairs also pop up throughout the summer months and prove to be great sources of beautiful, handmade products for your homes. Quilts, throws, tablecloths, napkins and pottery are just a few of the many pieces I have found at fairs.
Take some time to enjoy the summer with family and friends. You’ll be glad you did.
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