Design: Going light and bright for summer

Cathy Hobbs
Tribune News Service

The summer is typically the time of year when we dress in lighter and brighter clothing. It is also an equally good time to utilize softer, lighter colors in the home. Lighter colors instantly give a space a feeling of being crisp, fresh and clean. Light colors can also make smaller rooms feel larger.

Where to begin

When decorating or deciding what colors to bring into any space, begin by evaluating a space from the doorway to get a full perspective. From there, decide what will be the largest pieces in the room and begin with those. For example, select the color and material for your sofa before selecting your coffee table, or select your bed before selecting your nightstands.

Why neutral?

In general, choosing light or lighter colors for your upholstery pieces are the way to go. Light colors blend well with other colors, are versatile and can be used as a canvas from which a color palette can be created or built. Neutral colors are also timeless as opposed to trendy. As a result you will likely glean more use from your neutral selections.

Light, bright: perfect for summer

Often when most people think of light colors, they only think of white and taupe, but there are a host of other colors that perk up your decor.

Some great color options include:

■Light gray

■Muted gold


■Soft blue

■Light pink

When looking to bring accessories such as pillows and artwork into a space, don’t be afraid to go light and bright as well. A light painting on a wall, for example, can really add a lot of light to a room.

Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design and home staging expert with offices in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. Contact her at or visit her website at