Now that summer is here, it’s time to sweep out the corners, bring in some color and freshen up your home. We asked experts from across New Orleans for their best tips on creating a clean and summery transformation for your interior.
Susan Currie, Allied ASID, CAPS
Susan Currie Design, 233 Walnut Street, 237-6112
Summer is here. It’s time to lighten and brighten your home with colors that remind us of the beach — sunny yellows, oranges, and blues. I like to mix these with white for the perfect summer look. White slipcovers are a Southern tradition, and a great way to add a breath of fresh air to your room.
Now that we are all spending so much time at home, we can’t help but think about ways to spruce our homes up. Paint is one of the most popular DIY projects and it’s very cost efficient, too. Pick out a few paint colors, brush up some samples, and choose a favorite to brighten your space. While you’re at it, it’s a good idea to repaint your ceiling. They can start to look tired over time. Sherwin Williams’ Alabaster is one of my favorites for ceilings.
We also want our rooms to have a cooler feel in the summer. Consider temporarily removing dark-colored items. Maybe you want to order some new throw pillows online. Roll up the Oriental rugs in favor of a sisal, or try a hand-woven rug with great summertime colors – citrus yellow or marine blue. Then add fragrant flowers from the florist or better yet, your garden, in white vases to complement the room’s new lighter palette.
Here’s another easy idea – let the sunshine in. Clean that dust and pollen off your windows, inside and out, so the sun can really shine in your summery new room. If you have a ladder, this is something you can do early in the morning before the day gets too hot. All you need is a little dishwashing liquid in water, a squeegee, a rag, and some elbow grease.
My last tip is to find a playlist that takes you away to the ocean or lake. I think we are all going to have to dream of a faraway beach or water’s edge until the threat of COVID-19 eases up.
Penny D. Francis, Associate ASID, IIDA, Principal Designer/Owner
Eclectic Home, 8211 Oak Street, 866-6654
We all love being outdoors during the summer months, even in Southern Louisiana, mosquitos and all. Here are some tips to improve your summer outdoor experiences which also translate to indoors as well. Take the plunge.
Mix and match your outdoor furnishings. Gone are the days of matching all your exterior furnishings. Think of outdoors like you do indoors, reflecting a great collection of furnishings that reflect your personal style and taste.
Add a swing to your front porch or hang from a tree. Add a unique sculptural chair for a bit of wow factor to your interior. Remember a little goes a long way. A unique find, vintage or antique adds interest to your interior décor.
Don’t be afraid of color. Color evokes emotion and no better way than to add without a major commitment is in pillows and rugs. Colorful pillows with pattern and texture on your outdoor an indoor furniture adds a great deal of interest.
Add colorful pots and plants to your interior and exterior décor. I always say an interior needs “proof of life” plants, fruit in colorful unique bowls and pots are perfect additions to any interior and exterior décor.
No hard rules here, just don’t take it all to seriously, play and enjoy. You might just like it.
Leslie Raymond RA, LEED AP, Architect, Senior Associate
Albert Architecture, 3221 Tulane Avenue, 827-0056
Summer is a time to bring the outdoors in, and what better way than with displays of fresh flowers and produce. Cut a palm frond from your garden and put it in a tall slim vase in your living room as a statement pop of green. Find a large glass bowl and fill it with peaches or another colorful fruit. Not only is this a beautiful centerpiece, but it encourages a healthy and refreshing snack on hot summer days.
Design Antiques Maison, 5833 Magazine Street, 525-1131
What I love to do to make me feel like I have had a full makeover in my home is to move furniture around. Art that was at one time upstairs comes down and my console in the foyer can become my beside table and vice versa. Reupholstery on pieces that feel tired and adding new accessories keep your home feeling more current. If you can, add one nice piece of furniture a year, the treasure hunt is half the fun.
NOLA Rugs, 300 Jefferson Hwy Suite 401, 891-3304
Rugs bring more light, color, softness, and character into your rooms than any other element. Any or all of the above are possible with the variety and quality of rugs available today.
Brett A. Rector, Realtor, Broker/Owner
Witry Collective, 900 Camp Street, Suite 301, 291-2022
Plant that garden. Raised vegetable beds are a great source for fresh produce through the summer months. Plus, it’s a great project to keep the young ones busy with water, weeding, etc. Trim the shrubs, pop some colorful blooms into those beds. This will give the exterior a freshened look and it’s a good, low impact physical activity the entire family can participate in.
Freshen your paint. Now is a great time to touch up paint, from wall scuffs to chips in the trim. Try a lighter, brighter color with maybe an accent wall in the living area. I think there will be a trend away from grays and more neutral tones. Lighter, brighter colors lift your mood.
Buy local. Our local cultural communities have been hard hit with the quarantine and economic downturn. Now is a great time to purchase local, brighten up a room or two and give back to your artist community.
DIY grouting projects. YouTube has tons of DIY videos and is a great resource for small home projects. Reseal and refresh the grout in the shower, tub surround, kitchen backsplash. Not only will it brighten and freshen up the look but it prevents the potential for hidden water damage.
Athena Real Estate, 118 W. Harrison Avenue, #301, 507-8331
Freshening up your home for summer can be as simple as planting a few flowers in your garden, pressure washing or putting a fresh coat of paint on your shutters. Some other easy ideas are to change your curtains, re-arrange furniture, add summer scents throughout or maybe a pop of color with a throw pillow. If you’re thinking about selling during peak real estate season, consider sprucing up kitchens and bathrooms and possibly changing light fixtures. Small details can really go the extra mile in a competitive market.