Splashes of color, easy care fabrics give rooms a summery feel

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Photo - A room by designer Paola McDonald of Creative Elegance Interiors. Photo by Greg Tinius.
A room by designer Paola McDonald of Creative Elegance Interiors. Photo by Greg Tinius.
Real Estate,Merlisa Lawrence Corbett

Memorial Day signifies the return of summer and the time to freshen up indoor spaces.

Whether using a beach ball, a favorite swimsuit or seasonal fruit as inspiration, swap out dark, dull hues for cool summer colors.

"Change out all of your accent pillows," said Paola McDonald of Creative Elegance Interiors. "Consider storing your current accent pillows and adding punches of colors and patterns in bright blues, purples, greens and golds. The trendiest patterns include geometrics, chevrons and florals."

McDonald recommended slipping upholstered furniture into something more casual, like summery slip covers.

RESOURCES
Creative Elegance Interiors
creativeeleganceinteriors.com
Perceptions Interiors
perceptionsinteriors.com
Room and Board
roomandboard.com
Sure Fit Slipcovers
surefit.net/

"If you have a fairly standard size and shape sofa, there are several companies that offer off-the-shelf slip cover options that may give you that 'beachy' and relaxed slip-cover look," she said.

She suggested fabrics such as cotton, polyester or easy-to-clean canvas. For something more customized, consider having one made for a specific sofa by a favorite upholsterer or seamstress.

Changing out vases and sculptural objects and replacing them with ones more reminiscent of summer also can freshen up a space.

"Items like brightly colored coral, shells sculptures, driftwood or even colorful vases in those hot and trendy colors can add a pop of summer flair to any space," McDonald added.

Perceptions Interiors designer J. Allen, a finalist on HGTV's "Design Star," uses what she called "minor designer tweaks" to breathe new life into a space for the summer.

"Look to your local nursery or grocer for the No. 1 way to add a pop of vibrant color to any space," Allen said. "Flowers, fresh fruits, even vegetables can brighten up any space while adding interest and texture."

One trick she recommended is to display fresh flowers in odd containers.

"Using unorthodox planters to add interest, we grabbed a stainless steel serving bowl to use as the base for the orchids and removed the top from a decorative urn to house the hydrangea," Allen said. "Think outside the vase; if it can hold water, it can work."

Window treatments made from "breathable fabrics" in vibrant colors add instant summer charm, Allen said and recommended cotton or linen blends in crisp white or ivory. Or, for a more dramatic look, add panels with a bold graphic print.

Even simple accessories can provide a splash of summer in a room. Room and Board's Steel Fruit Tray in stainless steel provides a floating space to display oranges, lemons or peaches. Its open sides showcase the natural organic beauty of the fruit.

The store's retro-looking Tivoli Audio Model One in lime green provides an instant pick-me-up in a drab space. Although the radio looks circa 1972, it has an auxiliary input for MP3 players.

"It's amazing how adding just one or two new pieces to a room can change its entire mood," said Lisa Scroggins, retail market manager at Room & Board's Washington showroom. "By switching out your pillows or decoratively placing some seasonal fruit throughout a room, anyone can make their spaces shine bright all summer long."

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Merlisa Lawrence Corbett

Special to The Washington Examiner
The Washington Examiner