Summerize Your Home :: Cool It Now

No one wants to walk in the front door of their home from the 100 degree heat and open the door and feel warm.  We want to be embraced with cool and I’m not necessarily talking temperature.  I used to struggle with the facts that I wanted my home to be warm and welcoming all year around, I had a natural draw to warm colors and how to integrate those without having a hot feeling home in the summer. I think cool toned people have the same issue in the winter.

Here are some words that help describe that cool feeling we are after:

  • crisp
  • clean
  • light
  • airy

These are all comforting words not like icy or frigid or cutting or severe, don’t let “cool” scare you my warm color loving friends.   Maybe in your home, it feels cooler just to turn off the overhead lights and take the centerpiece and place mats off the table. That can work.

Here are some ways I cool down my home keeping in mind, we are in search of a feeling, not a formula

1. Neutralize

If you have a lot of warm colors in your home consider neutralizing them by adding in solid neutrals or cool tones as accents. You can neutralized a toile sofa with solid color pillows.  You can neutralize a green wall with white slipcovers on a chair or even throw sheets over a round table.

Red Toile is Neutralized with tan/blues and crisp whites–it’s  more of a winter look but still shows how you can use colors and pattern to neutralize each other

In the comments of this post,  Angela mentioned that she had a log cabin full of wood and heavy, warm feeling items.  She could cool it down by neutralizing patterns with solid colors–whites and beiges for window mistreatments or fill a hutch or shelf with plain white dishes or anything white she can find while shopping the house.

Now, as you can see in the top photo of this post, I’ve tried to completely neutralize my home so I can easily add in different punches of color.  Remove the flowers, pillows, throw, dish on the wall and change out the photo mats and I have a completely neutral room.  I like to use neutral bases BECAUSE of the fact that I love color.  Neutrals let your colors shine.

2. Add Some Blue and or Green and or Gray

I figured out how to incorporate lots of cool tones in my warm home. It might not work in every home to add a touch of blue or green but, I was able to work in some cool tones even when I had a red and gold palate–I used pillows, throws, painted doors, colored dishes, all the things I listed above.  I don’t like to spend big money on accent pieces so, I’ll use a can of spray paint on a small plant stand or hang a blue green $5 dish on the wall for instant cool.

Black bench Saturday

Same bench Sunday after being painted white and adding a $20 cushion from Old Time Pottery it’s clean, crisp, fresh and cool

3. Incorporate White.

Every room needs some white. White gives that crisp clean feeling without getting out the cleaning supplies.  And, my bench will still look great up against our black table.  Does your room have some white in it?  Remember, you can mix wood and painted furniture in one room.

4. Change out stuff

I have a pair of white lamps in my bedroom that I switch out with the green lamps in my family room.  They are pure clean white and feel lighter and brighter.

When we slip covered our sofa, I bought a $20 white blanket that we keep in a basket under a side table.  I was shocked at how even a blanket can seem “cool” compared to the gold fur throw I used before.  I’ll pull the fur out again in the fall.

Remove heavy feeling pillows and go pillowless or search for some inexpensive pillows in cool tones or plain neutrals.

5. Lighten Up

Remove rugs. I love a big area rug but, one of the suggestions for staging a home for sale is to remove the rugs so the space feels more open and not chopped up.  If you have lots of rugs around that are just for looks, consider removing a few to open the space.

This is VITAL.  I beg of you don’t simply twist the blinds open, consider pulling them all the way up to the top to let fresh sunlight pour in. I’m not telling you that you have to do that even at 5pm on a west facing window but, I get depressed when I pass a house and the front blinds are always closed up tight.  Also, window treatments are there to enhance the window NOT to cover up the window.  Check to see if your drapes are blocking precious home cleansing light on the sides or top.

That’s how I keep it cool.

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  1. Great reminders!

  2. Great ideas – now I don’t feel so bad for not having a huge rug in my family room. I meant to do that…to lighten up for the summer. Thanks for freeing me from my rug guilt. Love the bench – it looks beautiful.

  3. your slipcovered couch looks AMAZING. sigh. Lord help me not to covet! ;)

    as a fellow mama of 3 boys, how’s it holding up to them???

  4. great ideas!!! Do you think it terrible to put sea shells in EVERY room? My Hubby thinks I have completely lost my mind…….

  5. Great tips. It is so nice ot have a light feeling inside the house in the summer.

  6. I think your new curtains add a lot of cool, crisp-ness to your home. LOVE THEM!

  7. I need SO much help with the whole warm-cool balance. My living/dining room is tan carpet, tan walls, tan upholstery, and wood! I’m thinking a field trip to Homegoods is in order. :)

  8. Love these tips! I’ve been looking for ways to “lighten up” for summer without completely redoing everything {or buying a bunch of new stuff}. I definitely have a warm-toned home!

  9. I am in love with your first picture totally!! So dreamy and relaxing and of course cool- the curtains are my favorite- but I love everything and the placement too! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Great advice!!! I feel cooler already! I did change out my drapery to all sheers at every window and picked up the rugs…I so wish I could slipcover my living room sofa & love seat affordably in white. What a difference that would make! Thanks for all the tips! xoxo Beth

    • You can slipcover them affordably–mine HUGE sectional was only $225 for the fabric! And If you click on the gray button on my sidebar, you can buy a $10 ebook that tells you how to make them!!!!

  11. Ah, your post is like a cool summer breeze! Love the pictures and ideas. You inspired me to ‘summer’ things up around here. I invested a little into sand dollars, starfish and shells and have vases filled with them set here and there. Only problem, it makes me really want to head to the beach!

  12. Cool tips! Your home is so inviting… I just want to curl up on this sofa with a good book!

  13. All of your suggestions are fantastic. I love that classic, white furniture is going through a bit of a renaissance. We live on the water, so it is fun to incorporate all of the pretty blues and greens into our home. Great post!

  14. Your tip on opening the blinds all the way up was one of the best I’ve ever read. I started doing that when I first read a post in which you talked about doing that and it makes a HUGE difference. It’s not that big of a deal to open the blinds first thing in the morning and then close them again at night for privacy. :)

  15. Love this post! Thanks for the tips. Off to open up my blinds… ;)

  16. Blue, green, gray, white…these colors are just so inviting this time of year! So fresh…Janell

  17. Love these tips and I have been working on many of them already in my home. They really do make a great difference! I have one question about the opening the blinds. What if your windows are old and dingy? Ya know, between the panes that I can’t clean? Do I show them, or hide them with blinds down but open the slats?

  18. Great tips. I am really into the bright cheerful summer colors right now, and yellow and orange just seem cool to me. Hugs, Marty

    • Oh I love yellow and orange too. Now I have to write a post about that.

      And I love pink and orange and red together. I need 8 houses.

  19. Your color palette is what I am going for at my house. I am trying to transition my husband from the dark colors to light and airy. One step at a time. I can’t tell you how many times i have just clicked over to drool at your “dwell” living room shot. I admit it… I am coveting right now!

    • No need to covet! I transformed my family room over the course of a few months with under $600–most of that was fabric and the rest pillows and two lamps and paint!

  20. I am obsessed with your striped curtains…where did you get them or how did you make them?

  21. Simple and inexpensive steps. I love it! Thanks for the advice. I need to get some major work done around here…

  22. Love those hydrangeas and the tan and white, refreshing.

  23. camille says:

    GREAT suggestions. I am working on taking some of the “warm” out of my home and lightening up. Now I have a better idea of what to do! Thanks!

  24. I love using grey, white and neutral colors, it really does have a cooling effect.

  25. All great ideas. And while I have always loved window treatments I also love naked windows. I don’t have any window moldings here but it’s nice to let them show and if you don’t need the privacy then let the moldings be your treatment. I took down our blinds to paint the dining room. The window looks out to the pool and no one can look in from the house behind. So I left them down. Who’s going to watch us eat?

  26. Love your post, you always have such great advice! Love having a neutral base …it’s so much less expensive to change up seasonally or whenever.
    Have a blessed day!

  27. Now I’m feeling grateful for my neutral base and uncarpeted wood floors. I’ve started painting my trim Behr’s Ultra White. It looks much more crisp. Thank you for my favorite blog! As a mom of 2 boys + infant, I love it.

  28. I love that first photo. Great tips. I love neutrals and blues.

  29. Good ideas! I have a question, I have been going back and forth on whether to add black into my home, I have the white slipcovers like you and I love how you have some black accents are you still enjoying the black coffee table and your hutch or are you going to paint them too??

    • I still love black, for a coffee table, it’s ideal because it doesn’t show scratches and dirt and junk as much as white. Can’t promise I wouldn’t paint some black things but, I have a TON of black and I like change!

  30. looks great. I’m obsessed with neutral colors as a base then accenting with blues and greens. thanks for the inspiration. I’m trying to find the time and energy to slipcover our sectional with white fabric. Hopefully I’ll get to it before the summer ends ….I’d love to have it white in the spring/summer and brown tan in the fall/winter. I love seasonal decorating.
    thanks again :)

  31. Nester, thank you for the tips! You’re so right about adding light elements into my log cabin. I think I’ve been stuck in a decorating rut and just kept thinking I had to decorate everything along the same scheme of what I already had. I found a piece of material (beige) and hung it up beside my window to see if the color would really work and lo and behold it did! Even changing the throw pillows on my sofa would lighten it up. Thanks for giving me the courage to think outside of the box – sometimes I just need a little nudge.

  32. Love love love these tips! I’ll be incorporating them along with another 1,598 Nester ideas in my home!

  33. what great ideas. I am a “warm” girl, so I struggle with this one (as you can tell from my blog)! Your tips helped me today!!!

  34. If I could do one thing over in my life, it would be to not buy olive green sofas with 4 separate pillows that make up the back. But I was a young newlywed. :) Now 7 yrs later I hate them. I’m anxiously awaiting pottery barn to call and tell me I’ve won a shopping spree!

  35. Kim Schlue says:

    I love all of your cool decorating ideas. I like to get sand from my kid’s sandbox and fill clear jars and add rocks or shells or any kind of sealife to my coffee table decor.

  36. “…let the fresh sunlight pour in” love it!

  37. Couldn’t find your email to email you but I wanted to let you know that I liked your frames on your stairs so much that I took that idea and did it going up my stairs. I will be posting about it on Friday and linking back to you.

  38. Thanks for these tips. As a lover of all things warm and earthy, I’ve been struggling with how to “Summer Up” my home. Time for some cool colored throws and pillows to brighten up the living room.

  39. Now I’m singing New Edition, and smiling.

    I love you Nester and your cool new look.

  40. Wow, lots of great ideas!! I’ve never changed a thing in our home for the summer other than the type of fresh flowers I buy. Maybe that’s why I like our home best in the fall & winter. You’ve got me thinking….

  41. Love those hydrangeas! Those are exquisite!

  42. Michelle Marsh says:

    Nester, please don’t laugh but where or where did you get those killer white lamps? If you have already posted the source, forgive me and just point me in the right direction. Thanks a million, you are SO inspiring!!!

  43. love this post. i am good about making it warm in fall and winter but i struggle much more with cooling it down; especially in the family room and kitchen. in the bedrooms, nothng beats white matlesse’ to cool things down. Add white towels, clear bottles…that’s easy. but my downstairs would take a pretty big overhaul. warm reds, golds, plaids, florals, chenille, browns, dark wood, LEATHER for pete’s sake! it works great for the cooler seasons. looking to buy a BUNCH of fabric for slip covers…i think i can, i think i can, i think i can……

  44. Hey,
    I LOVE your curtains. Can you share where you got them or where there might be some similar ones that you looked at?

  45. I have a dining set with that same exact bench that I have been wanting to paint white! You may have just helped me talk my husband into letting me! So pretty!

  46. Loved this post. My wife and I are all about dressing our house for season, we change out the throw, pillows, rugs, window treatments, the bedding , yes even the bedding for each season. Our friends call us crazy and we have become very good at storing things in crazy places but we love it. It is always nice to go into someone’s home and see that they have taken the time to spruce it up for the season. Out with the warm and fuzzies and in with the light and airy…. we love to bring each item out and remember where we got it and most of our stuff is from garage sales and thrift stores. And most of our things have had previous lives and have been painted at least one time by us, so keep up the good work, enjoy your home, give it a quick change over it will do you all good!!!! Blessings to all Curtis and Sherrie

  47. what a pretty room…and very ‘summerish’!
    I have the same problem…I like to completely redo my rooms for spring/summer and then again in fall/winter. It’s fun but it get’s a little old. I’m also obsessed with adding red accents and there is nothing really “cool” about red. Do you have any suggestions for making red look cool?
    Great Blog…I will definitely return!

  48. I love how summery your house looks with the new slipcover and everything. I linked to this post today in my weekly round-up. Thanks! Have a great weekend. :-)

  49. Hey Nester,
    What is the name of the color that you painted your room? I like how it is warm without being too dark. I’m getting ready to paint our white living room and have been looking for a nice taupe paint to use.
    Love your blog,
    Mrs. Sensibility

  50. I have just bookmarked this post because it may be the key to help solve allllll of my decorating dilemmas. I was going for a straight styled look, and wondering why it didn’t always feel right. Duh. Life is seasonal. I’ll ponder that thought for a long while, I think…

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