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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Lighten Up Your Decor For Summer

Welcome to a week long series of summer decorating. Everyday this week I will be featuring decor and bits of bliss that celebrate summer.

private garden. Sussex. Blue garden gate. Clematis 'The President'

First though I have to talk about the previous post. As I finished writing that post my finger actually hesitated as it hovered over the “publish” button. I imagine that anyone who places their heart open for viewing has had this fear. But given that the title was “Opening the Door to Possible Fear and Failure” I let my spirit lead me.

All that I can say is “Wow! You guys have richly blessed me with your friendship, love and support.


So, onto summer. Let’s begin with a dose of laughter and reality. Can you spot the fabric purchased at the Rose Bowl which will soon recover the dining chairs?

How about a mile long fabric garland to be sewn into something fabulous for an upcoming 4th of July post?

Please note how the furniture is stripped of it’s winter slipcovers to be washed. (Yes, I realize that they should have been changed out AGES ago.)

clothes 002

Yes, that’s right. School is out and it is 115 degrees here in Phoenix. This means my kids (and often their friends)are inside for most of the day. So projects tend to pile up.

clothes 006 Can you imagine if a local newspaper called and wanted to do a feature the next day? Yeah, um remember the reality part? That actually happened. A decorators worst nightmare. There was no time to plan for the ultimate in “Easy Summer Decorating Tips”.

So, here’s what I did instead:

1. All of the rugs were rolled up and put away leaving the tile floors cool and bare.

2. White slipcovers were put on the heavy furniture pieces.

3. A few seaside touches were added. There’s nothing cooler in the desert.


Here’s a close up of a small vignette. I think it softly whispers summer.


The table was dressed in cool whites and creams.


The wicker chargers give the table a feeling of an indoor picnic.


Do you remember when I told you that the shelf was going to get repurposed yet another way? As a centerpiece it does double duty as a summer filled conversation piece.


Summertime to me means lemonade and Rainier cherries. Yum!


Summertime also means travel. Who hasn’t brought home a few shells in their suitcase?


In other areas of the house I kept the surfaces free of extra fabric.


On a side note I am thinking about painting the antique bentwood cafe chairs this summer. Bright yellow? Glorious green? Yes, no, maybe so?


A simple floral arrangement consists of a circle of roses filled in with happy daisies.


Summertime at our house means lots of games. You never know when you’ll need extra dice, chips or vintage bingo cards.


Tomorrow’s post will show an easy seaside shelf made from old wood fencing that Mr. Decor was replacing.



Michelle said...

Lately I have become slightly obsessed with the home decor programs on HGTV ... and your blog is just as addictive for me! I love the way your mind works. Thanks for sharing! :)

Linda (Nina's Nest) said...

Love your summer look and ideas. Especially like the box on the table with assorted goodies and the white basket on the sideboard. I'm going to copy those! Also, great post about what to do with your life! Linda

Bonnie@Creative Decorating said...

I am so glad to see you live a normal life like the rest of us!!! Projects do pile up and the house isn't always "magazine ready"!! I put you and my friend Debbie up on my sidebar for your Oprah video. Best of luck to you!!

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

GORGEOUS photos Laura! I loveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee the YELLOW! :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

Willow Decor said...

Wonderful thoughts and insights!! Also I love the slipcovers on the couches - aren't they great with kids!! Been so behind in commneting, but wanted to let you know I added you to my blog roll, too!! Finally catching up!! Thank goodness for a week of summer camp!!

Carrie said...

Beautiful whites!!

White is not safe in my house... unfortunately. Life with a little boy and his dog is messy.

Someday maybe....

miss corner cape said...

i love those starfish in the little suitcase. what a great overall feel!

Teri said...

Hi Laura! It's very fresh and inviting! =)

Jane said...

Laura, I have been voting like crazy but sometimes it seems like my vote doesn't update on the vote count. Do they tally at the end of the day or something?

jewelstreet said...

Your blog always gets me in the decorating mood. I love that little box on the sideboard. So cute and such a great idea.

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Love your game pieces vignette and your shell and books vignette, Laura! Very relaxing and summery feeling. I'm glad to see that I am not the only one with shades or blinds drawn during the day. We've been having some humid days and I find that keeping them drawn helps keep out the worst of the heat from the sun. I love natural light so it kills me to do this, but why make the A/C work harder than it has to.

The Happy Homemaker said...

Love what you did with the shelf/centerpiece!What a great idea:)Your home looks very cool and comfy with all the seaside touches.

Fifi Flowers said...

Lovely change... LOVE that garden gate in first photo... FAB!!!

Kim @ Starshine Chic said...

Great ideas. I love the little wicker suitcase with the goodies inside the best. And the centerpiece of the dining table. Thanks for sharing & I did vote a bunch a times for you on the Oprah deal. Thanks for visiting my blog & leaving me a comment on my hutch.

French Basketeer said...

Love the slipcovers and all the crystal....with your shells, perfect for to vote now...

Lorrie said...

Your summer ideas are as pretty as can be. Now...if only summer would come in my neck of the woods.

Cathy~Mille Fleur said...

Laura...this is just gorgeous! It is hot here too and you really have the choice of staying inside or being in the pool...crazy! You have inspired me to lighten up my interiors...hhhmmm where to begin!

I was wondering if I could use part of your Sunday post on my blog? I would love to feature your Oprah audition and this post was so inspiring to me! I think it would make a beautiful tie in. Just let me know.
Thank you!


The Thrifty Designer said...

Love the little "suitcase" with the treasures from the sea. As for the chairs YES! paint them - I love that look. said...


I love the vignettes you've created using shells, especially the ones in the small wicker case. Looking forward to seeing your painted chairs.

Your Friend,

Yellow Rose Arbor said...

Wow! This is really beautiful! Great job!


Marydon said...

Oh, Laura, another FABULOUS presentation! I love the pastel chairs ... everything you do is beyond over the moon gorgeous!

I am doing my first Table Scape today with Marty ... hope you will pop by for a visit.

Happy 4th!
TTFN ~ Marydon

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

i love all the lightness added with the slipcovers. the room doesn't feel so heavy. i also think the chairs would look fabulous painted!!! i think yellow would be nice, but a soft blue would be really pretty, too! can't wait to see what you decide.

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Oh you have created such a wonderful summer look with just a few changes and some stunning accessories. I love all of it. The shelf, the suitcase and all your other touches just scream cool and beachy. I so hope it cools off soon. Thanks so much for joining TTT. Hugs, Marty

Kim said...

Great transformations, Laura. I say paint the chairs green! The shells, wicker and lighter fabric make a difference. It's the same here--we stay inside during the summer. (FL)

Bettie from Southern Thresholds said...

Love your blog and look forward to each one. So glad to see votes moving upward. You should be the winner in this venture. I will vote as often as allowed; we would love to see you win. Love your fresh summer look. A tip for those loving beach themes for summer - collect small amounts (perhaps a cup) of sand and display them on a shelf. Identify where the sand was collected and it will act as a good reference later. Plus it will look great.

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Laura, your blog always inspires me. Love your summer look. Wishing I could make some slip covers. Love your little white suitcase filled with summer pretties. I'm going back to scroll through this post again. I need all of the inspiration I can get. laurie

My Cottage Charm said...

Hi Laura! :)
I have projects coming out of my ears, so I understand! Mine aren't piling up, they just keep getting more added to them, but I work best under pressure. :-D lol(you must work best under pressure too, if you got a phone call from the paper and had to pull all that together!) I love all your shell vignettes, very summery feeling indeed! :)
Hope you have a great week, you're a blessing!

Sandra said...

Great 'quick' makeover for summer. I love slipcovers...just slip them off and they wash up nice and clean again. I voted for you...keeping my fingers crossed. Enjoying the 115 degress too...except my kidlet are all grown up so I don't have to keep them entertained for the summer anymore...those were the days.

Linda@Coastal Charm said...

Lovin' that added COASTAL look! Come by and check out my COASTAL GIVEAWAY...I think you will like it!


Sailing Simply said...

Thanks for visiting and your sweet comments! I love your summery vignettes! The slipcovers and your shells and games all scream summer to me! It all looks so relaxing! I love it!

Housewife Bliss said...

Such a lovely blog, I love the ideas I have spotted while surfing around.(...especially the award free sign you have). Stunning images on your header, I voted for you, cannot wait to see how it plays out.

Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria said...

Laura, this all looks wonderful my the cooler looking colors little wicker pinic basket is just too cute...I have one now I need to find it and maybe paint it ha ha!!
Good luck with your voting my Dear friend...I did vote for you...May you have a safe and GREAT fourth my friend...Hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

emptynester3 said...

Hello! I hope you end ups seeing this comment- I wanted to thank you for visiting me- and I also wanted to say, I really like both of your last 2 tablescapes!The tablecloth you remade is so cute! Just thought I would give you a little hint on ruffling/gathering that I learned several years ago. Sew a very long piece of fishing line (the fine is better, but it doesn't matter)zig zag over it onto your fabric that you want to ruffle or gather- when you are done, it will be easier to gather the fabric- it is usually sewn into the seam allowance so the stitching won't show, but in the case of your tablecloth, I guess the stitching showing wouldn't matter. Love, ~Nana