Summer Accents for the Home

Every year it breaks my heart to see the kids head back to school in the hazy heat of August with weeks of swimming weather, potential beach days, and staying up late to catch fireflies still ahead of us.  I’ll never get used to summer vacation ending in what I consider to be the height of summer weather!  So I try to keep the sense of summer going a while longer in our house, even if its lazy days have technically come to an end.  A few simple color combos, seasonal textures, and fresh floral arrangements can help to keep the spirit of summer alive and well even if our beach days are behind us.

Photo: Lush hydrangeas and a classic blue and white motif bring a summer vibe to this dining space.

Blue and white, the most classic of summer color combos, is never out of style and is truly having a moment. Whether you introduce these shades through melamine dishes and pretty napkins when dining on the deck, or you’re able to mix it into your existing interiors with a few pillows, decorative trays, and other small accents, this palette never fails to feel fresh, light, and pretty.   Ballard Designs’ Chinoiserie placemats offer a beautiful, traditional take on the look, while their Perdido Watercolor Tablecloth paired with Juliska’s Al Fresco Splatter and Spin Melamine Indigo Dinner Plates would make for a high-energy, contemporary table setting.  Given this color palette’s surging popularity, you can easily source blue and white pillows, throws, vases, and other accessories everywhere from Target and Home Goods to Pottery Barn and Bloomingdales.

Introducing cottage-style textures is another simple way to keep the summer mood going strong around your home.  Seagrass, wicker, and rattan have been summer home essentials for over a hundred years, and they bring a breezy, relaxed vibe to any space.  Neutral in color, these materials work with any color palette and can be introduced into a room in a myriad of uses.  Try swapping out a small wool throw rug for a seagrass one or flank your fireplace with wicker planters topped with lush ferns for a seasonal update. Rattan glassware and tumblers are pretty enough to leave sitting out on a bar or sideboard and are the perfect way to enjoy a cool glass of lemonade.  You can find all manner of styles and price points of this stylish drinkware on, and Pier One Imports currently carries an attractive and super-affordable set.  Serena & Lily’s charming Cabo Woven Runner would look as fabulous on a formal dining room table as on a rustic picnic one, while Pottery Barn has embellished their perennial favorite tava charger with beautiful bleached sea shells for an extra-summery touch. Mother of pearl or shell finishes also add a touch of light, summery glamour in the form of trays, decorative boxes, or picture frames.

Perhaps the most beautiful way to retain a sense of summer around the home is with fresh floral bouquets. Nothing says summer like an overly abundant bunch of hydrangeas or a profusion of wildflowers casually displayed in a stoneware pitcher.  Whether you’re lucky enough to be able to clip these seasonal beauties from your yard or you scoop some up from the local grocer, fresh cut flowers thoughtfully placed around the house bring the look and scent of the season to every room.

Kitty Burruss is a decorator, writer, wife, and mother to a very busy five-year-old. Follow her at

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About the Author: Kitty Burruss