Style at Home: Patriotic hues: Using red, white and blue during and after the holidays

By Katie Laughridge
Tribune News Service
Adding a bright pop of yellow citrus to a red, white and blue tablescape brings in a summertime freshness that can’t be beat.

Barbecues, lake weekends and warm evening soirées — it’s time for summer. As spring fades into summer and the days get longer, I love to highlight reds, whites and blues in my home decor.

Both Mary Carol and I love this classic color combination, and it’s especially appropriate this time of year with the Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day holidays happening over the course of a few months.

Just because red, white and blue are synonymous with the aforementioned holidays doesn’t mean you can’t play them up all summer long (or even use them year-round).

When you are in holiday mode, introduce accessories to your space that really play up the stars and stripes. Pillows, blankets, banners and fans make for quick and easy additions. The cost-efficient textiles can complement existing decor.

And when summer is over, you can pack them up and store them in no time. When I want to add a bit of sparkle, I love to add themed ornaments to a tabletop or a vignette in an unexpected way. I switch out my Easter eggs for my red, white and blue ornaments and call it a day.

Carrying the classic colors through the rest of the summer without being over the top is simple. Red accents bring a certain energy into a space, especially in the summer. Turn up the heat on your classic blue and white by adding this bright, vivid hue.

Style your traditional blue and white chinoiserie with simple red containers, or swap them out with blue, white and red variations. Adding red blooms (tulips, poppies, amaryllis or cockscomb, perhaps) brings in the red along with some delicate textures. If you’re a textile lover like me, consider adding a red throw to a neutral sofa or chair or swapping out an accent rug for something that pops with red and blue.

Even out your punchy colors with natural elements to add an organic, summery freshness to your rooms. Wicker baskets, bleached-wood lanterns and natural wood accessories give tablescapes and ottoman vignettes alike the perfect balance.

I like to add other natural elements like fruit, flowers and greenery to my displays this time of year as well. This takes away from the strictly patriotic theme in between the big holidays. You might be surprised what a bowl of fresh citrus hues can do to your vignettes!

Adapted from Katie Laughridge is the owner of Kansas City interior design destination Nell Hill’s. For more information, contact Katie at