5 Ways To Brighten Your Home for Summer

When I think about summertime, I think light, bright, and colorful! Sunlight is in generous supply, flowers are blooming, clothes are colorful, and the world is fun. 

I love the changing seasons, and I also like for my home to feel like a reflection of what's going on outside. That is easy in the fall and around the Christmas season. (See our 2015 fall home tour here and Christmas home tour here), but I feel like it's harder in the Spring and Summer. I'm not an easter bunnies and fourth of July flags kinda interior decorator, so what's a girl to do to make her home reflect the sunny, bright days outside? 

I came up with five subtle ways to brighten your home for the summer months without breaking the bank. 

1. Paint a room a lighter, brighter color

Sometimes you just need to stop making excuses, go buy a $25 can of paint, and paint a room. This may not seem like a quick summer task, but when the summer hits and the world gets brighter, and then you go inside and feel like you've entered a cave, maybe it's a sign that it's time to go lighter or brighter with the walls. 

Some of my favorite options are a light, cool blue (try Feather Gray by Benjamin Moore) or bright white (try Cloud White by Benjamin Moore) or cool light gray (try Stonington Gray at 50% strength...also by Benjamin Moore). 

2. Buy some flowers. 


...or by all means, pick some out of the yard! This doesn't even have to cost money, but a bouquet of store bought blooms or a handful of wildflowers (ahem...weeds) sitting on the kitchen table can go a long way toward adding beauty and bringing that summer joy inside! If you don't have any vases that you like, try a mason jar or a pitcher (like the photos above). Unconventional vases are my favorite kind! 

3. Get cozy with colorful pillows

Pillows are one of the easiest ways to make a statement without doing any manual labor or expensive fixes. If you're using the pillows that came with your couch in a set, by all means put them away. That is a sure fire way to make sure your room looks generic and lacks personality. I love changing up and swapping out pillows as a quick way to give life to a space. Here are some of my favorite bright and happy pillows for summer! 

                    1.  Target  2.  Target  3.  Target  4.  Target  5.  Urban Outfitters  6.  West Elm

                    1. Target 2. Target 3. Target 4. Target 5. Urban Outfitters 6. West Elm

4. Trade out the curtains for white.  

These IKEA curtains are literally $5 a piece. So cheap. And they are the curtains we have in our living room; you would never know they were $9.99 a pair. I believe in the power of white curtains. They work in almost any room. Especially in the summertime, you want all the daylight you can get streaming in through those windows. This is a quick and easy update, and you can easily switch them out for something darker or more substantial in the winter.  

5. Make an artistic statement with some free printables. 

Download some easy free printables and then head on down to FedEx or Office Depot to print them off and frame them. You can hang them on the wall, put them in a frame on a console table, mantle or accent table, or you can even just hang them up on a bulletin board or taped to the wall with some washi tape. I have a few in my laundry room clipped to cheap Walmart clipboards on the wall. And I've used free printables to brighten up my cubicle at work...which is not an easy task. 

There you have it! Make a home you love with some easy, inexpensive summertime touches! And tell us about it on Instagram or Facebook

2015 Home in Review

Every year, it feels so improbable that yet another year has come and gone. The hours feel so long and the years so short. I am enjoying the end of this year because I think 2015 might be one of my favorite years yet on a personal level, and it has been the most trans-formative year for our little red brick ranch house.

We have a new master bedroom and closet, an updated and renovated basement, a fresh white kitchen and repainted living space, and a new sitting area/patio outside in the carport. Let me jog your memory about some transformations and renovations from the year.

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We transformed our kitchen by painting all the cabinets and adding hardware Before (Was it ever that ORANGE?) After (We are so enjoying our new kitchen)

  Oh and then Magnolia Market (Joanna Gaines of Fixer Upper) shared a photo of my kitchen on social media and I felt famous for a day! 

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Our basement went from this 

  To this 

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  We created a cozy seating area in our existing carport...

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We finished off the year with a Christmas home tour to recap it all...

It's been a lovely year of updating for the Quarles home! Tomorrow I will recap our life adventures from the year!