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5 Cool Decorations for Hot Summer Days

Light and bright is the name of the game!
Light and bright is the name of the game!
iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Summer is here, which means it's time to put away those wintry curtains and woolen blankets. This time of the year is all about casual comfort encouraging us to slow down and spend some time doing things we enjoy. That means catching up on good reads, enjoying lengthy meals with friends and spending as much time outdoors as possible. And why shouldn't we do it in style? Here are some cool decorations for those hot summer days.

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Summer is all about color, and the easiest way to bring it into your home is to change out accessories. Switch out winter wool for summer cotton and brighten things up with items like colorful rugs and throw pillows. If you really want to pack a summer punch, opt for graphic florals and bright stripes.

Not sure what colors to use? Just look at the shades of amazing flowers and plants in your yard -- bright pinks and yellows, deep reds and purples, and every shade of green you can think of.

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Eat, drink and be merry -- outside.
Eat, drink and be merry -- outside.
iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Summer offers the opportunity to spend lots of time outside, so add lots of color and interest to outdoor lounging spaces so it's a place you and your family really want to be. Outdoor pillows provide the comfort of home with fabrics that can handle the elements, and they brighten up an outdoor room instantly. On a budget? Skip the pricey weatherproof fabrics and use an inexpensive vinyl tablecloth as a pillow cover. If you're good with a sewing machine, you can even sew them yourself.

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One of the easiest decorations that also makes a stunning impact is a vase of freshly cut flowers. Summer offers a wonderful color palette of florals that can be cut right from your yard. Early summer yields a plethora of lilies, while long stems of bearded iris make for a striking arrangement. A centerpiece of hydrangeas or magnolias floating in water makes a bold and sophisticated statement. For a unique twist, get crafty with your vase. Just set a drinking glass inside a colorful Chinese lantern and fill it with flowers in coordinating or contrasting colors.

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Grilling is a summer staple.
Grilling is a summer staple.
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One ideal way to enjoy those balmy summer evenings is with dinner on the patio. And to set the mood, it's all about lighting. Tiki torches make great light sources for evening gatherings, as do strands of Christmas lights. Luminaries are a wonderful visual for lining the pathway to your dining area and are easy to make out of paper bags and votive candles. Create easy centerpieces by floating candles in water, or adding tapered candles to sand in a pretty vase.

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You've created areas for lounging and dining, so why shouldn't you have a bedroom outside as well? A screened porch can easily allow you to sleep among the crickets with the addition of a bed. Daybeds make great couches during the day, and a trundle offers sleeping for two. If a bed isn't in the cards, bring out a cot, blow up mattress or even just a sleeping bag. You'll be amazed at the night's sleep you get when you step out of the air conditioning.

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Sources

  • "60 Outdoor Party Ideas." Marthastewart.com, 2010. http://www.marthastewart.com/photogallery/60-outdoor-party-ideas
  • Logan, Darcy. "15 Tips that Will Make Cut Flowers Last Longer." Doityourself.com, 2010. http://www.doityourself.com/stry/flowersavetips
  • McKay, Erin. "Sleeping Porches: Rest In Peace." Hobbyfarms.com, 2010. http://www.hobbyfarms.com/home-and-barn/sleeping-porches.aspx
  • "Summer." Bhg.com, 2010. http://www.bhg.com/decorating/seasonal/summer/

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