Although our deck is far from ready to decorate (I have strict rules to finish the interior of my home before I can start on the exterior), summer is here and I can’t pretend like you all aren’t outside enjoying perfect evening dinners on your perfect patios. But if you’re not, this post is all about how to build the perfect patio (on a budget!) for every one of your summer whims.
Whether you’re an alfresco dining connoisseur, urban dweller or beach bum, I’ve got a patio design for each of you. Just humor me while I live vicariously through you, OK? Deal.
You never have to sacrifice style for space.
For the Urban Dweller:
Short on space but large on style? Get the most out of your tiny terrace or mini-balcony by going modern with an elemental table, side tray and hanging planters.
Raise your hand if you’re glad it’s summer! I’m certainly happy the sun is making a stunning debut and so is my home’s interior. We practically skipped the spring season here in Knoxville, Tenn., so my home was still feeling the dreary winter blues when summer came along. Not anymore! After lusting over the collection of palettes from HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams, I’m ready to douse my place in paint. Goodbye, beige! Last week, I shared my top five summer design tips and ideas, from outdoor entertaining to decorating with flea market finds, and this week, I’m bringing you my top three ways to decorate with color this summer. Hey, your interior needs to enjoy June, July and August just as much as you do! So grab a paintbrush and take note.
1. Use Classic Palettes: Preppy Hues Aren’t Just for the Country Club Set Anymore
It’s true. You don’t have to be a blue blood to bring a preppy design style to your home. Color combinations once associated with early 80s yuppies, British gentlemen’s clubs and university sororities are finding their way into everyday homes. My favorite style? Subtle yet traditional stripes with a pop of yellow. But then again, my girly side totally adores the Lily Pulitzer-style pairing of pink and green.
More Summer Color Trends After the Jump
Memorial Day is when all the newspapers and free weekly rags come out with their official guides to summer. Well, cast those aside, and instead follow my guide to a summer bursting with style. Yes, that’s right. These are my top 5 picks for summer lovin’ of the design kind. Don’t let those summer days drift away. (Yes, Grease is my favorite summer movie.) With the long holiday weekend finally here, this is the perfect time to enjoy at least one of these. Tell me more, you say? Of course. Here you go:
1. Plan a Stylish, Fuss-Free Backyard Party
With sunshine in sight, I’ll be spending the entire weekend outdoors, and you should, too! Welcome summer weather by gathering friends and family for a backyard party. Fire up the grill and and give these summer-inspired recipes a try.
Click for the Rest of My Summer Picks
I’ve got spring fever – bad. Ever since Groundhog Day. Now that the sun is making a comeback and it’s not dark when I leave work, I’m ready to live on my patio. Unfortunately, my outdoor space currently consists of … well, nothing. And a naked patio is a boring patio. Do you have the same problem? Fortunately, with HGTV.com’s Fast Fix: Outdoors, I can give my patio some love, and so should you. This DIY outdoors design guide is packed with projects to match your skill level, schedule and style.
Lacking a green thumb? Well, in just a few hours you can turn into a natural-born gardener by creating your own mobile container garden out of galvanized metal trash cans and casters. Design Happens featured blogger Brian Patrick Flynn provides easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions that will give your outdoor space some green bling in no time.
In celebration of summer, I gathered ideas and images for one of my favorite summer night activities — sitting around a campfire.
The Cocoon Standing grill in black by Cocoon Fires. From Tréndir.
The Hemi 36 from Solus Decor is a great bowl of fire that can light up any party. From The Home Outside.
Even more portable, the Lighthouse Ball, designed by Christian Bjorn, fits anywhere s’more lovers gather. From GrassrootsModern.
Elle Decor features this rustic fire pit with attachable grill top for outdoor fun and feasting. From Chic Coles.
This contemporary fire pit has a sleek design — get your guitar and campfire songs ready. From Solus.
One of my favorite things about summer is the cool evening after a blistering hot day. Wouldn’t it be dreamy to sleep outside this time of year?
In the early 20th century, many people took advantage of the cool night air and slept on their screened-in sleeping porches. Luckily for us, these porches are being integrated into 21st century design and decor, and I couldn’t be happier.
Porch beds with rustic bed frames and mosquito nets make any space romantic.
Sleeping porches are popular at lake homes, and this one is beautifully cabin-esque.
Many older farmhouses are blessed with sleeping porches, and I love the simple style and decor.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be rocked to sleep by a swinging porch bed? Check out these vintage bed swings.
Quilt bedding reflects country style and decor of traditional sleeping porches.
These modern porch beds use straight lines and contemporary furnishings to make a fresh, new statement.
Discover more about sleeping porches and their 21st century comeback.
If you’re inspired to decorate this summer, HGTV.com has ideas and inspiration to get you started. Check out Fresh Summer Design Trends. Here are some highlights:
Take on a painting project using summer colors that will last long past Labor Day. I love this trendy ocean-blue wall color by Farrow and Ball.
More Summer Decorating Trends
Last summer, I had the opportunity to visit Wimbledon, a quaint suburb in Southwest London. The quietness dissolves for two weeks when June rolls around and the small town becomes the central place for international tennis champions to reunite. The championship glues me to my sofa, but it also inspires me to seek out Wimbledon-inspired decor.
Cold weather has disappeared, but that doesn’t mean your fireplace has to gather dust. Here are some decorating tips for making your fireplace the focal point of the room even when there’s no fire.
Arrange candles in the hearth for the fireplace glow without the blazing fire.
You don’t have to take wood out of the fireplace entirely. Arrange driftwood for a beachy, natural touch.
Put empty flower pots in your fireplace for a springtime flair.
I’m a major bookworm, but have little space to house my immense book collection. I love this idea of using the fireplace as book storage.
Greenery or spring floral arrangements in vases and urns brighten up an unused fireplace. These pure white ceramic ones from West Elm would be great in front of the hearth.
If your bedroom fireplace remains fireless, even in the winter months, consider turning it into a headboard.
Check out this HGTV.com photo gallery for more warm-weather fireplace ideas and inspiration.
You and your grandmother will both appreciate this crocheted cushion cover.
With my last semester in college almost behind me and graduation in May, I’m spending April updating the decor in my last college living space for the summer months. I’m especially energized by the colors of spring.