This year’s bright and easy summer living room is freshened up with new pillows, an arrangement of blue and white ceramic ware on the mantel, and shells…scattered everywhere!
To get my summer living room started, I was trolling Home Goods for fabric inspiration. I searched through table clothes, runners, napkins, placemats, and nothing jumped out at me as being pretty, light and summery. I was looking for fabrics that are subtle, floral, a bit classic and in the colors I like to use for summer. My favorite color to use in the living room for summer is a very light creamy aqua color; not quite turquoise, not quite teal, not quite sea-foam. But I finally found exactly what I was looking for – in the bathroom section. I picked up a shower curtain that was almost beyond perfect! (I may have squealed a tiny bit!) You can see the 3 pillows I sewed from the shower curtain in the picture below and further down in the post.
I have a foundation of 3 colors that are permanent in our living room.
Brown or wood tones
I have a lot of wood in our living, and none of it is light colored. The built-ins on each side of our fireplace, our mantel over our fireplace, the coffee table and our dining table are all dark wood. Oh, even the carved bar my father brought back from the far East (before my parents were married!) is dark wood.
Our carpet is cream color and all our crown molding and baseboards and shutters are Sherwin Williams Arizona white which is a warm white. I use lots of candleholders that I have spray painted with Antique White; I also collect, display and use white pitchers. These are the decorating elements that pull in that lighter color. I also have a large display of cream-colored hydrangeas in a galvanized French flower bucket; this bouquet never leaves the living room, except for at Christmas.
I love greenery and live plants, as all as faux leaves and topiaries. Green is flexible enough to be either a background neutral color or serve as a more predominate color.
The real challenge in our living room is the wall color. It is gold. Not just light gold; it’s a rich, warm, deep gold. During our remodel, we had endless paint samples going on the living room walls. (This was before Pinterest and home décor blogs!) While working at a job site, Sailor noticed the wall color in the lobby of the building and was able to find out the name and the manufacturer (Golden Needle by Dunn Edwards). So that is how we came about our wall color. And honestly, we get so many compliments on it.
The highlight color for summer that I add to all of this is the aqua. It fits in well with all of the above, PLUS it plays nicely with our gold walls. Keeping the color palette contained with the basics of wood tones, ivory, and greenery, and using the creamy soft aqua color makes for a bright and summery feeling in our living room.
Seashells are scattered about as part of the summer theme as you can see in the photos. There is a bowl full of them sitting on the coffee table. On one of the window shelves, a shell sits in a tray in front of a burlap lined tray (birthday gift from my stepson’s girlfriend). More shells scattered amongst the plants, chicken wire and a miniature woven chest on the other window shelf. (It reminds me of the furniture that Bombay Company sold.)
The coffee table was easily put together with a bowl full of shells, a shell candle on a candle holder and a white pitcher holding a clutch of arrowhead leaves growing in a water glass. Please read more about how I put it together here.
The couch is filled with light-colored summery pillows, including two pillows wrapped in dishtowels from Home Goods. The larger, back-up pillows are covered in the shower curtain fabric from Home Goods. The prints over the couch were a splurge last year; they are a bit unusual, but they bring in a nice pop of brighter, summery colors.
Here are a few pictures with a closer view of the pillows. I like pillow arrangements to have a sense of symmetry and rhythm, and that is what I attempted to do here. In this picture below, the back pillow is made from the shower curtain; the front pillow is a made with a Waverly fabric from JoAnn’s.
In this picture, again you can see the back pillow is the from the shower curtain fabric, the green buffalo plaid pillows are covered in dishtowels from Home Goods, and the front pillow is covered in “Tea Fruits” from Waverly. (It was the end of the bolt, and Walmart was almost giving it away!)
And here is the 3rd ‘shower curtain’ pillow! I was actually a bit impressed with myself to get 3 pillows out of it.
The mantel came about from a post I wrote a few weeks ago about decorating a mantel. I put this grouping together kind of on-the-fly as part of the post but then realized that how much I liked it.
So I am incorporating it as part of my summer mantel, and including starfish shaped shells sitting in the dividers of the window.
My stepson’s girlfriend made the Grateful & Blessed sign, using Scrabble tiles and a tile holder, as a birthday gift.
Flanking both sides of our fireplace are my little challenge spots. These are shelves in front of windows with a less than a stunning view. They are the perfect spot for plants (arrowheads and pothos are my choices), and I have mixed in a few decor pieces for effect.
Here is the shelf on the left side of the fireplace.
Here is the shelf on the right side of our fireplace.
And then an easy summery dining table with grocery-store gladiolas, shells, and candles. I love how tall these gladiolas are, and how they fill the space.
The prints above the dining table have been part of my summer look for years. A few years back, my brother and my nieces were visiting, and I took them to Coronado, to tour the Hotel del Coronado. One of my very favorite stores at the “Del” (as everyone calls it), is called Babcock & Story Emporium. They sell beautiful, unique home décor items. I rarely purchase anything there (it’s a little pricey!) but the minute I saw these prints, I knew I had to have them.
There you have it…a bright and easy summer living room created by using fresh pillow prints and lots of shells. Nearly everything else is an item I use almost year round. These are just a few ways to create a summery feel in your home.
From our home to yours,
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