Summer is almost here! And while usually, the change of weather means vacation season is about to take off and many of us will soon be lazing about outdoors, savoring those long summer afternoons and breezy nights.
This year, however, many of us will be spending more time indoors. That means it’s all the more important to find creative ways to celebrate the season, get warm-weather inspiration, and bring the vacation vibes into our living rooms. Whether it’s adding in some linen pillows or swapping in some beachy art, there’s no shortage of living room design ideas for brightening up your spaces for the sunny days ahead.
To help you kick things off, though, we’ve rounded up our best tips to give your space a vibrant refresh. Read on and get ready for some major summer living room inspiration!
1. Invite Bright Colors
If you’re looking for a bold dose of living room inspiration, nothing says summer like bright hues. It doesn’t mean you have to go full-on neon, but you can skip the cozy neutrals and springy pastels. Opt for saturated colors that bring the vibrant energy and cheer of summer indoors to your living room design.
Design Tip: Experiment with color concepts, such as shades that recall ice cream flavors or scenic hues, like sunset pinks, ocean blues, and minty greens.
2. Bring Plants Indoors
When it comes to foolproof living room design ideas that work in any size or style space, embrace the whole indoor-outdoor living vibe by adding vibrant greenery and plant-inspired decor. Whether it’s a tall potted tree or a series of botanical prints, these lush accents make for instant mood-boosters in any room.
Design Tip: A fiddle-leaf ficus tree is always a welcome sight in a living room, but if you’re hesitant about big plants, try smaller ones like a snake plant or philodendron, which provide a lot of visual texture.
3. Swap in Breezy Textiles
An easy way to freshen up your living room decor for summer is to swap out your heavy textiles from the colder months. From linen curtains to cotton throw blankets, light and breathable fabrics are a surefire way to open up your space to the breezy and warm summer weather.
Design Tip: Sheers are a wonderfully light and gorgeous window treatment for summer. They have a way of diffusing light that gives rooms a soft and soothing atmosphere. They also pair beautifully with linen, which is a favored summer material thanks to its breathable construction.
4. Rotate Your Pillow Covers
Speaking of textiles, one of our favorite budget-friendly living room ideas for summer is to switch up pillow covers. It’s easy and is certain to add visual impact. Look for covers that feature colors and motifs that celebrate the summer season, be it bright and cheery orange or crisp and classic blue-and-white. It can be whatever you like as long as the covers remind you of summer and bring the colors of the outdoors in.
Design Tip: For a foolproof summer pillow mix, start with a foundation of blue and white (or any two-tone combination you love), then pull in one contrasting bright color for pop. Keep the rest of your pillow covers to shades of those three colors and you’re sure to have a palette that feels curated and cohesive.
5. Declutter, Declutter, Declutter
There’s no better time to get rid of clutter than this transitional period right before summer takes off. Having things you don’t need or use out can add to the visual frenzy in your living room, so take a weekend to do a thorough home edit. This is especially crucial in small living rooms where space is at a premium.
Design Tip: Enlist the help of storage baskets, floating bookshelves, and coffee tables and ottomans with built-in compartments that let you easily stow things out of sight. Plus, fewer things means less organizing and dusting—and who doesn’t love that?
6. Pop in Fun Patterns
Celebrate summer with patterned living room decor! Think pillows, rugs, and even art that show off fun designs, like a blue-and-white geometric, block prints, and cool boho medallions. Even just a few eye-catching printed accents will add energy and personality to your living room.
Design Tip: Mix together pieces that have large-scale and small-scale patterns alike. It will help give your space a balanced look. Keeping to a cohesive color scheme, like shades of green or black and white tones, will also help make your living room look curated rather than chaotic.
7. Trade In Your Rugs
Like textiles, take to replacing any wool rugs and sheepskins with warm-weather options, like kilims, natural-fiber foundations, or indoor-outdoor rugs. These summer-friendly rugs are not only great for high-traffic rooms, they’ll also add soft and durable texture underfoot. Not to mention, by changing up your floor covering, it’ll also usher in a fresh perspective that renders your living room furniture in a new light.
Design Tip: Layer your rugs to give your living room a foundation that’s both comfy and strong. Start with a natural-fiber rug, then layer on a kilim or flat-weave for a burst of color. This makes for a stylish space that’s perfectly suited for well beyond the summer months.
8. Pull in Summer-Ready Storage
The best part about the summer months is that you can ready your space without making any major changes to your living room furniture. It’s about organizing and refreshing your decor, meaning stylish and well-designed storage is key.
We love bringing in lots of natural-fiber and woven baskets, which are pretty and portable and they lend a touch of summer texture. Spread an array of different style woven baskets throughout your home, from your living room to your entry, to corral books and even kids’ toys within easy reach at all times. This is one of our favorite ideas for living room storage that’s also stylish.
Design Tip: Much like art and pillows, baskets can make a chic style statement when used en masse, so go for the sets and multiples when you’re shopping for them. Trust us, you’ll find a use for all of them in your home decorating efforts year-round!
9. Revamp Your Bar
When it comes to summer living room ideas, it doesn’t get easier or more festive than a bar that’s set up and ready for summer cocktails (or mocktails). The great thing about a summer bar is that you don’t even need a bar cart; simply restyle any console, sideboard, or table surface with some stemware, coupes, tumblers, glasses, and bar essentials. Then just decorate your bar with art and plants, and you’re good to go.
Design Tip: Nothing beats a fully stocked summer bar cart, so if you’ve been contemplating setting up a drinks station at home, this is the best time to do so. The great thing about investing in a bar cart is that you’ll also be set for the holiday season, which is likely when you’ll really be using this handy piece of furniture the most.
10. Bring the Vacation to You
Since many of us are likely not going on big trips this summer, it’s all the more reason to layer in living room decor that turns your home into a mini escape with major vacation vibes. Start by incorporating decorative accents that speak to your favorite travel destinations, like an indoor palm tree or a Moroccan tile coffee table or pouf. This is definitely the time to work in any decor pieces you purchased on past family trips.
Design Tip: If you want to take it one step further, you can give your living room a major refresh by changing up your accents to reflect the color scheme of your favorite tropical getaway. The idea is to keep the atmosphere fun and reminiscent of a true vacation escape. So don’t hold back in transforming your ideal living room getaway!
11. Swap in Summery Art
On the topic of bringing the vacation into your home, art with summery vibes is a perfect way to do that. Consider designs that feature palms and leafy motifs, beach and landscape photography, and framed photographs and prints from past family vacations. The important thing is to keep to bright colors and patterns that captivate and inspire a breezy, vibrant summer look and feel. It’s an easy way to change up your living room design with little effort.
Design Tip: You can even make room-to-room swaps, like moving art in the bedroom into the living room, if you don’t want to purchase any new pieces!
12. Restyle Your Surfaces
If you’re looking for living room ideas that don’t require any major color or furniture updates, rearrange your surface decor with a few simple accents. You can swap in new coffee table books, add a new object or sculpture to your bookcases, hang new art on the wall, or add a vase or two to your fireplace mantel. These small tweaks have the power to instantly shake up the look in your main living spaces.
Design Tip: If you’re not one for a lot of accents, try bringing in some fresh summer blooms. They’re one of our favorite summer decor ideas to usher in a bit of color, pattern, and texture all at once.
13. Try New Summery Scents
Last but not least, welcome summer by switching up the scents and fragrances in your living spaces. A scented candle that’s light and airy can set a breezy mood while diffusers and tealights that smell of the ocean can instantly transport you and your family from your home to the beach.
Design Tip: Poke around and find scents that resonate with you. The only rule is to make sure it recalls breezy and laid-back summer days.
Get Your Living Room Summer-Ready!