Grab a space saver bag and put all those blankets, comforters and warm, fluffy robes away until fall, and save space while you're doing it. Consider taking down blinds or curtains and having only one or the other to bring more of the summer's glory in the windows.
Liven up dull window panels or slipcovers with a stamped pattern. Look for a large rubber stamp in a simple design, such as a poppy flower, and stamp the fabric following a pattern. Mint is a super trendy shade. For another quick craft project, sew long, brightly colored summer scarves into bolster pillows. Add small tassels at the corners and you have a fun pillow unlike anything you can buy.
Fill hurricanes, jars and vases with sand to evoke the beach and add white candles. Shells, beach glass, or pebbles from the shore will add even more seaside ambience. Or add water and beach pebbles to glass jars and top them off with floating candles.
GET A ROPE
Nothing says nautical -- or summer -- like rope, jute or sisal. Adding a touch of their natural feel in any room instantly evokes a beachy atmosphere. Replace bathmats with sisal rugs, swap carpets with sisal, add cut pieces of sisal into empty white picture frames to create a focal point or message center.
Cut a 15-inch length of half-inch rope and slip two fish eye hooks onto it. Knot each end and screw the hooks into a cabinet, wall, barbecue grill -- anywhere you need to hang a kitchen towel or store barbecue tools. Use rope as a handle on a garden gate, wind it around your hurricane candles, or fashion it into handles for a wooden serving tray.
GO FOR PATTERN
Certain patterns say summer, and this summer the pattern is Ikat. Ikat is a dyeing technique that creates a bold, tribal-looking pattern that's often triangular in shape. Whether you choose a cool Dylan Ikat bath towel (PotteryBarn.com) or rooster-red Ikat cushions for your outdoor furniture (Kohls.com), your home will look stylish pulled together.
Don't be afraid to mix patterns. Summer is all about putting multiple patterns together to create a fresh an unique twist. Pair an Ikat print with a bold zebra stripe or zesty neon to create some summer sizzle.
(For more information, contact Kathryn Weber through her Web site, http://www.redlotusletter.com.)