Friday, July 17, 2009

Simplified summer decorating

It's finally warm enough in New York to qualify as summer, and lately I've developed the itch to get rid of stuff. Last summer I wanted to toss green floral pillows on everything. This summer I want to strip down to the bare minimum.

This could be because:
  • I brought several bulky items into the room, namely birch poles, throw pillows and something else I'll tell you about that is bigger than a really really big bread basket, which was just enough to make our 480-square foot apartment feel crowded. For every item brought into a small space, another item has to go.
  • Bloggie friends Alek at From the Right Bank to the Left Coast and Anne at The City Sage have been posting photo after photo of serene gray rooms. Even though most people brighten up their decor with the change of seasons, Chris at Style North likes cooler colors in summer and just ditched the orange curtains. I am obviously heavily influenced by such things.
  • The city is already crowded and colorful. I bump up against people all day long. When I go home, I do not want to be bumping up against my stuff.
Below are some before and afters - from minimal to bare minimal.

Here I got rid of a messy magazine rack and a bunch of tchotchkes from the table.

How about you? Do you add color and accessories in the summer or do you subtract? Or do you not change anything so you can go outside and play?


  1. I don't do much seasonal decorating, except on Christmas. Love all sea life details!

  2. Thanks! I love shells, coral, etc. The coral is fake from Z Gallerie. The starfish are real - used to be blue then faded then repainted white. Had them for about 10 years.

    Check out Maya's post on decoration with sea shells (and her pretty coastal blogs.)

  3. I guess I'm still trying to work out (and pay for) how I'd like my home to look generally. Maybe in the future I'll be clever enough to switch things around for the seasons, but right now I'd settle for success at any time of year.

    I feel very proud of myself if I manage a pumpkin on the doorstep in October!

  4. I agree, it's wonderful to have a summer look, then change for fall and winter!

  5. Once it warms up, almost all of my houseplants go outside to enjoy the sunshine, so that empties things out quite a bit.

    Any suggestions on how to overcome the panicky feeling I get when I try to get rid of something "I might want to use someday"?

    PS, I especially love your summerized coffee table. You notice the items that ARE there a lot more.

  6. Don't get rid of it. Store it in an inconvenient location so you will trip over it every other day.

  7. Since it's too hot to play outside here in the summer I'm spending time indoors de-cluttering, just like you. Your changes look nice!

  8. Your space is great both ways! I love the screen used as your headboard. I just posted about something like that.

  9. I added some brighter colors for summer in the living room and bedroom then promptly removed them. For some reason, I wasn't feeling it this year. I'm so fickle.

  10. I know what you mean. I'm not usually a "summer grey" person.

  11. Love the summer stuff.. makes me long for JULY!