Here's a decorating challenge just for fun in this hot humid mid-summer month. What colors are hot this summer? Turquoise, Coral, Raspberry, Green and Candy striped colors. They seem to be all of the colors we want around us for the hot weather. White is easy to use and is always good for the hot months, but the trendy colors can be a bit difficult to add to our existing rooms. If you want to have a little decorating fun, pick just one of the hot new colors and find a way to add it to every room in your house. Keep in mind that this is just for fun, so you can use accessories such as vases, pottery, baskets, paper fans, picture frames, ribbons, pillows, colored stones and marbles, even children's beach toys. In short, any inexpensive temporary item with a summery feel can be used to jazz up your room as long as it is in the color you have decided to use.
Keep in mind whether the color you've chosen is going to complement or contrast with your existing colors. If it is a contrasting color you will need it to be a little more pervasive to have a good effect. You don't want just one bright spot of color in an otherwise subdued room unless it is a very large item and you are going to use it as a focal point. Two lime green pillows and a lime green scarf over a lampshade, as well as a small vase used in the room make a statement. One pillow gets lost and has no impact. If your room already has bright colors you can get away with just one touch of color.
The bright colors that are so hot this year tend to look contemporary so use care when incorporating them into a more traditional setting. If you have a formal or traditional room you can find your accents in more traditional items, such as Asian or Mexican pottery, inexpensive glassware, candles, candlesticks and shantung pillows or silk throws.
If you really want a challenge put a dollar amount on what you can spend for each room to do this; perhaps no more than twenty dollars per room. I have a perfectly lovely small, frosted, apple green bowl, which I picked up in a dollar store several years ago. It holds roses beautifully and adds a lovely accent tucked into the corner of a shelf, on a window sill or on an end table
Now for the fun! Decide which color you want to use. Then hit the flea markets, yard sales and import stores. This is something that can become a family activity. Children and husbands, even hard to entertain teenagers, can enjoy finding the perfect item. After all, it really is a treasure hunt.
If you don't have family that would enjoy something like this, it is a wonderful chance to have a day with friends. Throw in lunch or tea or pack a picnic and enjoyment is assured. At the end of the summer you can throw these items away, but you may find that you've become quite attached to them and the memories they represent and you want to keep them for another summer. No matter what you decide you've made decorating your home a great summer activity.
Indra A Books, author of this and many other lifestyle articles, is the owner and founder of ON THE GO 4 U, Personal Shoppers & Concierge Service in the Washington DC metropolitan area. The company's creed is to provide its clients with the ultimate life management experience. In addition to its shopping and concierge services, ON THE GO 4 U also publishes a monthly e-zine and conducts workshops on wardrobe, entertaining and decorating. For more information about the author and ON THE GO 4 U, please visit http://www.onthego4u.net
Content for this article was provided by Suzanne Copenhaver, design consultant to ON THE GO 4 U, who has a lifetime of experience decorating less than ideal spaces.
? 2005 Indra A Books for ON THE GO 4 U