Solutions: Add pops of color, whimsy for summer

Jeanine Matlow
Special to The Detroit News

Although the official start of summer has yet to arrive, we’ve already had a sweet preview. After a Michigan winter, no matter how mild, many are ready and willing to step outside.

While a major part of the excitement is due to the fact that we get to spend more time outdoors, our interiors deserve a little fun in the sun, too. This carefree time of year is not simply about paring down, but revving up with color and other cheerful details that speak to the season.

We like to buy a few new beach towels in honor of the occasion. These days, the bigger the better, as our daughter has seemingly gone from toddler to teen overnight. Their bright patterns often inspire me to add other colorful accents to the mix to get our home summer-ready.

Even seasonal fruits and vegetables add some color and texture to your environment like a bunch of berries or grapes displayed in a bowl. In this case, I can take some cues from my mother’s still-life paintings that hang in our kitchen.

Other edible elements can be as easy as switching a glass jar of Cheerios to Fruit Loops to signal the summer season.

As a nod to nature, you can gather your organic travel keepsakes and display them in creative ways. Or add a beachy piece like a seashell-encrusted mirror that serves as a reminder of your favorite getaway.

A stack of light summer reads should never be far from your side for a guilty pleasure that goes well with a refreshing beverage. This is where a colorful pitcher comes into play come summertime.

Look on the bright side and welcome this point of view into your home with open arms. You might be inspired to try a new paint color or patterned fabric to make a sunny statement. Your seasonal switch doesn’t have to be a big investment when just a few key pieces do the trick.

Boost the mood with music in the form of a summer playlist to fit the theme. This becomes the perfect background when you’re entertaining. Consider switching to floral dishes and other seasonal tabletop decor that conjures the laid-back lifestyle that goes along with the season.

You might even rearrange your furniture so that it doesn’t face the fireplace, or create a better flow to your outdoor spaces. Slipcovers can be a quick fix for seating that seems too heavy for the hot weather. Neutral varieties like classic white get a quick pick-me-up from graphic pillows.

Make sure your windows provide the best views of nature. Forgo heavy draperies in favor of lighter treatments like roller shades or blinds that allow more light into your rooms.

Lastly, this is a great time to embrace a current trend like the pineapple motifs (a sign of hospitality) that are popping up everywhere or a little kitschy emoji décor that puts a smile on your face when you create a space that says sunny side up.

Jeanine Matlow is a Metro Detroit interior decorator turned freelance writer specializing in stories about interior design. You can reach her at