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Summer is here!
The days marked vacation on my calendar are getting closer and closer and the pace of life somehow feels different as daylight languishes until mid evening even though I may be as busy as ever.
More time is spent outdoors or enjoying the outside from wide open windows…..
In preparing our homes for summer there are some special considerations to take into account.
- If you got the outside flag I recommended for Spring, make sure to put an American Flag out in June in preparation for Independence Day – The Fourth of July! I keep mine up all during the month of July in commemoration and then I put out a flag with big ol’ yellow sunflowers on it for the hot and muggy days of August. As sunflowers stand out in gardens at this time of the year, it is nice to have our homes reflect the beauty of the season!
- The Fourth of July is a major decorating event! Since the events of 9/11, celebrating this holiday seems much more important this year. So go all out or should I say go all indoors and out!! This is the time to bring the red, white and blue to the forefront in any decorating scheme. Red, white and blue flowers are appropriate anywhere and are abundant in summer. If red seems like a too warm color for summer, then use it as an accent color and let the blue and white predominate. White slipcovers and bedspreads with a blue throw and red pillows are ideal for catching the Independence spirit! White linen or lace tablecloths with blue or red placemats or napkins with silver foil stars scattered on the table and sticking out of your flower arrangement set the mood, or how about a red checkered tablecloth with blue plastic plates for the yard. Remember you cannot have too many American Flags of all sizes around your home and yard for the occasion. Also, as we are the only people in the world that can do this, how about someone reading the Declaration of Independence before your dinner or barbeque!
- Speaking of white, homes need to be sun-proofed for the summer. The length and intensity of daylight in the summer can damage the inside of our home. Sunlight can bleach window treatments. Whether elaborate or simple, expensive or homemade, window treatments need to be protected or taken down in summer. They can be protected by awnings on the outside, by uv treated glass or a uv filter put on existing glass, and by shades. Some shades even offer additional uv protection. I prefer to take my window treatments down and get them cleaned at this time. I then love putting up soft flowing white or pale colored cotton drapes. These drapes give my rooms a new feel for the summer and go with the upholstered pieces already in the room. I love to see them fluttering in the wind by an open window and should they happen to get wet from a sudden summer thunder shower, I simply pop them in the dryer or let them hang on the line to let the summer breezes catch them again as they dry!
- Carpeting can also be impacted by the sun. I makeover my rooms for the summer to get furniture and carpeting out of direct sunlight and I place them in the most attractive arrangement for the room. This is the “One Day Room Makeover” service I can do for you with your summer decorating needs. Invest in an attractive and inexpensive area rug to protect wall to wall carpeting.
- Furniture finishes also are susceptible to the sun and humidity of summer. Wooden furniture pieces should not be left in direct sunlight as fading and loss of shine can occur. The combination of heat and humidity can also cause the surface to scratch and pit if something rough is placed or pressed onto the surface. I find this happens mostly when a lot of wax has been used to polish furniture. I do not use wax for this reason. (Watch out for those quickie wax dusting cloths!) Wax also causes those white ring stains from glasses to occur. Never use wax to polish furniture or floors. I use lemon oil on my wooden pieces for shine and to keep the wood from drying out. On floors I use polyurethane. Furniture and floors are so much easier to maintain when no wax is involved.
- Summer is air conditioning season. Make sure your air conditioner is properly maintained and new filters replaced each season. If you have air conditioning, many of the concerns in protecting furniture are avoided. Central air is best but a window air conditioner is just as good so long as it does not directly blow onto a wooden piece of furniture. The intense damp cold can also be of concern!
- Remember a “new room” or summer decorating advice is just a phone call away!