Ah, summer: It’s the time for pool parties, backyard BBQs, movie nights with family and friends, and pretty much any other excuse you can think of to have people over. It’s also a great time to freshen up your home before said guests arrive.
But the price tag on a quick upgrade doesn’t have to be as high as those summer temperatures. Instead, kick off the season with a new look by trying one of these of-the-moment summer decorating trends that are as easy as they are affordable.
It’s time to take your decorating to a higher level. From rustic wood panels to sophisticated wallpaper patterns, summer 2018 is the time to let your ceiling showcase your style.
If you prefer to just dip your toes in, try painting the entire ceiling of one room a simple, solid color. Don’t be afraid to use a statement hue, like lime green, bright cobalt, or plum.
If you’re ready to dive in head first, test out a pattern like chevron, gingham, or even star constellations. For the advanced DIYer, try a recycled wood ceiling, which can be done on the cheap using wood pallets that you can often source for free from grocery stores and large supply stores.
Bright Pops of Color
As you mix up your favorite summer mojito or margarita, think of surrounding yourself with colors as bright as your drinks!
Sure, you can always set out a ruby red vase or hang tangerine orange curtains, but this year, think outside the box. Try brushing a canary yellow on your front door or spray-painting a seafoam green on that old wicker patio furniture.
Pro tip: You can really be on-trend with Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year: Ultra Violet.
Who needs to spend money on airfare to the Bahamas when you can turn your house into a Caribbean oasis by incorporating fanciful, vibrant prints such as palm leaf, pineapple, cactus, or flamingo?
This trend can be as easy as adding a printed throw pillow to your Ashley sofa or hanging a cactus-adorned dish towel on your Frigidaire oven. If you want to go full native, try covering your bed in a palm-leaf-printed comforter. Or, if you’re feeling really daring, try an accent wall covered in a palm leaf wallpaper.
Yes, succulents are still a thing, but that trend has now expanded to include just about anything green that will grow inside. It’s also one of our favorite trends, because there’s nothing simpler than adding a plant (or three) to brighten up a room.
Easy-to-grow options include aloe vera, ivy, snake plants, or ferns. For a tropical infusion, try a gardenia, orchid, or peace lily. Fiddle leaf figs are unique and a favorite of decorators, but be warned: These can be finicky plants to grow. If you don’t have a green thumb, though, the faux plants of today are so convincing you’d never know they weren’t real.
This season, travel is also a big theme. But, you don’t have to actually jet set around the world to look like an experienced globe-trotter. Moroccan-print rugs and lanterns, macramé wall decorations, or a framed map of your favorite destination can add an exotic, well-traveled touch — even if your most adventurous trip lately was the thrift store.
To dive into this trend, try mix-and-match chairs at your kitchen table, or weave in different textures like wood, metal, and fabric throughout a room. Rugs and pillows with exotic patterns also add a flair of world travel to any room.
With a streamlined silhouette, eye-catching metal legs and leather-like upholstery, the ultra-modern “Tensas” Sofa and Loveseat from Ashley Furniture add instant style to your living room.
Each year, Earth Day reminds us of ways we can be better stewards of the planet we call home. The day, which always falls on April 22, is one of active participation — millions of people gather to march for awareness, plant trees, clean up roads, and more. And while these activities are important, daily, ongoing efforts are what have the biggest impact.
One of the easiest things you can do is decrease your energy consumption. Our homes and residential buildings account for 21 percent of total U.S. energy use. By using less energy, you can reduce power plant emissions, conserve the earth’s natural resources, and protect ecosystems.
As an added bonus, energy saving efforts can also save you money. In 2016, American families spent, on average, about $113 per month on electric bills.
This Earth Day, pledge to implement the following tips to create long-term benefits for both the planet and your budget.
Heating and Cooling
Heating water accounts for 14 to 25 percent of energy use in your home.
Lighting accounts for about 15 percent of a typical household energy bill.
Many of the above tips can become habits that, after time, you don’t even have to think about. Get your family to participate in your efforts by making it a fun challenge. Use the money you save over the year for a family outing or toward a purchase you can all enjoy.