From beach days to bonfire nights, summer is all about easy outdoor living. But between adventures, it’s important to have a relaxing space to gather and regroup. Create some of that unhurried spirit at home with these eight rules of summer that give simple pleasures top billing.

Designer Living Room Inspiration


Braun + Adams Interiors, original photo on Houzz


1. I will remember that less stuff equals a simpler life. Summer is a great time to lighten our loads, from editing the unnecessary commitments from our schedules to letting go of clutter in our homes. Give yourself the gift of breathing space by filling a few bags of no-longer-loved items and taking them to a local donation center or nonprofit of your choice.


2. I will spend more time playing with my furry friend than worrying about fur on the couch. Instead of stressing about every dust bunny, why not choose to focus more of your energy on play this summer? To help make things easier, consider putting washable slipcovers on your furniture, or making a housekeeping service a budget priority.


Martha’s Vineyard Interior Design, original photo on Houzz


3. I will put away the electronic screens and enjoy reading an actual book in my favorite seat in the house. The next time you find yourself at home with nothing pressing to do, instead of automatically reaching for your phone or laptop, why not reach for a book? Letting yourself get lost in a good story soothes the soul, and choosing paper over a computer screen gives your eyes a rest too.


4. I will make room on my shelves for new beach reads and treasures. Bookshelves with some empty space will give you room to add summer reads without overstuffing. Can’t stand to see a blank shelf? Use it as display space for the shells, beach glass and smooth stones you find on your summer adventures.

Start Anew With Open Shelves to Decorate On


C Kramer Interiors, original photo on Houzz


5. I will make board games a main attraction. It’s easy to forget what you have when it’s tucked away at the back of a closet. Pull your favorite board games out of hiding and give them a prime spot where they can serve as a visual reminder to have that family game night more often.


Tamara Hubinsky Interiors, original photo on Houzz


6. I will find all the decor I need between the farmers market and the beach. Instead of spending your time (and money) wandering the aisles of a big-box store picking up beach-themed decor, head outdoors to the real thing and see what treasures you can find. A vase of fresh flowers, a scattering of sea shells and a bowl of ripe peaches or sunshine-yellow lemons are all that’s needed to create a warm, welcoming and summery vibe at home, no mall required.


Walker Babka Architecture, original photo on Houzz


7. l will provide cozy spots for stormy days. Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean every day will be beachworthy. And when nasty weather rolls in, it’s worth having a few cozy items on hand to make the most of the day. Think thick blankets to wrap up in, mugs for hot tea and wood for a crackling fire.


Ann Lowengart Interiors, original photo on Houzz


8. I will put our best vacation memories front and center. Instead of letting your vacation photos languish on your phone or laptop, make this the summer you get them printed out. Make a photo book, have a great shot turned into wallpaper or simply toss your favorite prints into a shallow bowl on the coffee table. Being able to relive your best memories extends the pleasure. Who wouldn’t want that?

Try Traditional Fireplace Screens for a Beautiful Hearth on Stormy Days