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5 Ideas for Brightening Your Living Space (Just in Time for Summer)

It’s summertime and the living is easy…unless you’re living in a dark home that’s still clinging to its winter cave-like qualities. To take full advantage of summer’s cool breezes, wide open spaces and sunny warmth, you and your abode must be on the same page.

While there’s no reason that you should have to transform your house to fit every season, a few tweaks will help you make the most of this warmer spell. Even if you’re hiding from the heat indoors, surrounding yourself with a bright, fresh living space will do wonders for your mood. Plus, guests will never want to leave the pleasant wonderland you’ve designed!

Here are five ideas for brightening your living space before the dog days of summer, and none of them require a major overhaul (so you can set down that paint can and leave your sofa where it is).

Swap Window Treatments

When you envision the perfect start to a summer’s day, it probably includes sunlight pouring through your open windows. If you’re still rocking last winter’s red velvet curtains or dark wooden blinds, the effect simply won’t be as cheery. You may start to feel stifled in your own space.

Choose neutral window treatments to keep things light and airy—gossamer white curtains, blonde wooden blinds that remain up during the day, or tan draperies are all great ways to let the light in. Save the heavy stuff for next holiday season.

Mix ‘n’ Match Materials

You’re fond of your furniture, and you should be! These are the treasured pieces you’ve amassed over time, and you have some great memories associated with every item. One way to brighten up your space without having to gut your current collection is adding a few unexpected materials to the mix.

Contemporary furniture makes it easy to play with form and function. From bright, eye-grabbing plastics to industrial-inspired metallic tones, natural wood grains and sleek glass finishes, it’s easy to turn your living space into a design paradise with minimal effort.

Choosing minimalist pieces with clean lines and intriguing materials can help de-clutter your living space while still adding visual interest. And if there are any traditional pieces in your home that you’re not attached to, now’s the time to swap them out for a contemporary upgrade.

Add the Color of the Year

The Pantone Color of the Year 2017, Greenery, is practically begging you to incorporate it into your home design scheme! The color experts describe it as “illustrative of flourishing foliage and the lushness of the great outdoors” and remind us that it “signals consumers to take a deep breath, oxygenate, and reinvigorate.”

Find a few spots that could use some greening up and incorporate this genius shade into your living space. You can hang a wall print, add some throw pillows, or sprinkle green candles throughout the room to start.

Make a Mini Jungle

If you’re a fan of taking things literally, then why not add some greenery to your apartment or home with a collection of plants or trees? If you have the right light conditions, you can work on your green thumb and purify the air in your house at the same time.

The options are endless: cacti, succulents, tropical plants, fruit trees and much more. Just make sure you do your research ahead of time on the conditions certain types of plants will need, otherwise their drooping leaves will only bring the atmosphere down.

Lay Down a New Rug

Why not start from the bottom up when you’re trying to change the vibe of your living space? Slide out that thick Persian rug—perfect for keeping your toes toasty during winter—and switch to something lighter in color and material for the summer. You can’t go wrong with light florals, bright solids or beachy wood tones underfoot.

Are you ready to fine-tune your living space to be more seasonally appropriate? Focus on colors and materials above all, and you’ll quickly figure out how to brighten your home just in time for sweet summertime. Just like we used to write in each other’s yearbooks on the last day of school: H.A.G.S., or have a good summer!

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