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Beat the Alabama heat with cool summer décor

Alabama summers can be brutally hot and humid, but embracing summer décor can be an easy and inexpensive way to beat the heat. The goal is to incorporate nature-inspired colors, fabrics, and textures to either make you feel cooler or to embrace the sun’s vitality.

Here are some soon-to-be favorites to quickly transition your home for summer fun:

Color Is Everything

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Changing colors doesn’t mean totally redoing your home’s color scheme. Your favorites can be moved from darker shades to lighter tints without the expense of replacing everything. A light palette of whites, creams, tans, blues, and greens suggests a cooler vibe. Accessories in these hues can easily cool down the feel of rooms you use most like a family room or bedrooms. White accents create a fresh, airy feel to rooms of almost any color. Think white throws and pillows to instantly lower the color temp.

Blues and greens – and all the tints in between – are both cooling and calming and pair well with today’s trend toward neutral furniture while suggesting a coastal or nautical look. Look for pillows and accessories in navy, sea glass, and seafoam to inspire thoughts of cool, clear water.

If you love the warmth of the summer sun, choose reds, oranges, hot pinks, and bright yellows to instantly brighten your neutral beiges and greys. Combining these sunny colors suggests summer favorites like beach umbrellas, flower gardens, and popsicles.

Textures

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The texture of surfaces touching your hands and feet plays a vital role in how you feel. It’s time to put away the faux fur throws and bring out the lightweight cottons, linens, and silks. Less heavy, but just as nap-worthy, a natural fabric throw will dress up your sofa or chair without making it look hot.

The same is true with bedding. Let your heavy comforter or duvet have the summer off and give your beds a minimalist look with a wispy coverlet, a bed runner at the foot of the bed for a color pop, and fewer decorative pillows. RealSimple suggests breathable sheets in linen or crisp percale for style without weight to make your sleeping quarters cool. Seersucker is a summer fabric favorite due to its natural puckering that allows increased air circulation and breathability. Usually available in cool stripes of white with pale blue, pink, or tan, look for seersucker pillow shams and coverlets to top off a summer bed.

Bare feet and summer are a natural combination, so consider natural fiber rugs like sisal, jute, and seagrass to add summer flair to your floors. You can find them in a variety of patterns, weaves, and border colors that are pretty and practical.

Baskets are a summer accessory that never goes out of style and incorporates texture through a wide variety of materials like bamboo, grass, willow, and wicker. On a shelf, tabletop, or hearth, hand-woven natural or painted baskets are both beautiful and useful. Baskets as wall décor – either plain or dressed with faux flowers and greenery – replace wreaths as an easy summer update.

Flowers

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Take advantage of the bounty of summer with beautiful blooms from your garden or the grocery. Zinnias, coneflowers, and gladiolus grow well in our southern heat and are long-lasting in a pretty vase, decorative pitcher, or simple jar. HGTV suggests other low-maintenance cut flowers, many of which are inexpensive buys from your local supermarket. Alstroemeria is available in a variety of colors from creamy white to deep purple. With all cut flowers, fill a container with fresh water and re-cut the flower stems at a 45-degree angle under running water before arranging them in the container.

Miles away from the beach or lake shore, a clear turquoise vase with white and pale yellow blooms can transform a dark mantle or table into a little seaside retreat. For an ever-changing display, hang a deep basket with fresh flowers in small water-filled jars tucked inside. Keep in mind that smaller water containers will need to be refilled more often, but that’s an opportunity to replace the blooms as well.

Decor

(Hutomo Abrianto/Unsplash)

Changing your décor to reflect the season is easier than you think. Start with artwork. That painting or print that’s hung over the mantle for years needs a vacation, too. A soothing waterscape, dreamy abstract, or bright floral will create a summer look that’s simple to replace when thoughts turn to autumn and your usual artwork is rested.

Close your eyes and imagine walking barefoot across a cool marble floor when it’s sweltering outside. Feel cooler already? Achieve that feeling by replacing dark wood and metal décor with marble and colorful art glass accessories to brighten your tables and dressers. Every time you touch them you’ll feel a little cooler.

Summer is on your doorstep. Welcome it, because it will be gone before you know it!

Alabama REALTORS® is the largest statewide organization of real estate professionals and the official advocate of Alabama’s multifaceted real estate industry. Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date on real estate news in Alabama.