21 Easy Summer Home Decor Projects for When It’s Hot Outside

What do you do when it is so hot outside that you want to hide inside to stay cool? Want some ideas for being productive until the heat wave passes you by? It’s time to find some indoor projects. I have 21 easy home decor projects for summer when it’s too hot to go outside.

I know that we want to enjoy being outside in the summer season. But sometimes it’s just a little too hot to be comfortable – unless you live in a beach house by the ocean or in a mountain cabin.

You may not have considered it, but when it’s blasted hot outside, it’s a great time to tackle some easy home decor projects. 

Sometimes, it’s the little things that make a difference in a room. Things that don’t require a hammer or nails, a paintbrush, or an electric sander to change the appearance or style of a room.

Here are suggestions that take more elbow grease and time than dollars or skill. 

At the end of a day or the weekend, you will feel like you have accomplished something without spending a penny.

I promise these easy ideas don’t take much time and certainly not a trip to the store in sweltering temperatures. 

In fact, the warmer months may be the perfect time to do some summer home decor projects. Think how good you will feel in September when life gets busy again.

Simple Summer Home Decor Projects: 21 Ideas to Beat the Heat

Oh, as much as I love summer DIY projects, this list doesn’t have one in sight. These summer decor ideas will leave you refreshed and ready for the rest of the summer.

This post contains affiliate links to products used in the creation of this project. If you should order any item from this site, I may receive compensation, but you do not pay a penny more. Your purchase is greatly appreciated as it helps support the continued publication of this site.

Switch Out Your Bed Linens

Change your bed linens for a lighter look. If you haven’t yet, swap out heavy winter textiles like wool blankets and velvet pillows for lighter, breezier fabrics.

bedroom with billowing white cotton curtains and an unmade bed with a neutral duvet and pillows on  a beige rug with fringe

image source: Bedroom Plan

Bring in crisp cotton or linen throws, slipcovers, gauzy curtains, and pillow covers in fresh summer colors like aqua, lemon yellow, or coral. On the flip side, use whites, creams, and taupes for a neutral palette.

bedroom window white cotton curtains and an unmade bed with a neutral duvet and pillows on  a beige carpet

image source: Bedroom Plan

This instantly lightens and brightens a room. If you have a comforter and a duvet, switch them or take one away. Rearrange your pillows for summer color and lighter textures.

Rearrange Your Artwork

If your artwork has been up for a while, swap it out with new-to-you pieces from other rooms. If your budget allows, invest in a few new, inexpensive prints or paintings that complement your summer color palette.

Find summer-design printables on Etsy or from bloggers and reframe them in lightweight frames. I just ordered this cute summer bookcase artwork on Etsy. I can’t wait to frame it and use it when our new bookcases from Ballard arrive.

drawing of a bookcase with books, planters, bowls, globe in shades of pink, blue, and green

image source: Etsy

Rotating artwork is an easy way to revive a space. This beachy artwork in shades of blue is perfect for summer.

mantel with a white lamp, wood candleholder, and artwork of a women in a blue bathing suit

image source:A Blissful Nest

Rearrange Your Furniture Layout

One of the simplest ways to breathe new life into a room is to rearrange the furniture layout.

white living room with accessories in aqua and green and a yellow table and aqua pitcher with pink flowers

image source: A Blissful Nest

In your living spaces, rearrange the furniture for a different look and better traffic patterns. Turn furniture away from the fireplace for a new seating arrangement.

  • Find that focal point in your living room. Get this focal point cheatsheet below.
  • Push pieces away from the walls, create cozy conversation areas, or float furniture to open up the space.
  • By positioning pieces several inches away from walls, you can prevent blocking airflow.
  • Move any sofas, chairs or beds that are positioned directly in front of windows that get a lot of sunlight away from the window. The direct sunlight heating up those furniture pieces can make a room feel stuffy and warm.
  • Changing the flow of a room can make it feel cooler and airier and allow for better airflow and cross-breezes.
  • You can also angle chairs towards fans or vents to maximize the cooling effect.
Printable cover graphic- 20 Tips for a Focal Point

Chose a New Color Scheme for the Summer

Decide on a new color scheme for the summer. Go with either natural materials or add vibrant colors. This summer I went with bold color in our living room. 

pink floral pillows on and solid pink pillows on white sofa

Move Throw Rugs Around

If possible, move throw rugs around for a fresh vibe. Or remove the rugs completely, if possible. I love walking on cool hardwood or marble floors barefooted in the summer.

living room with brown hardwood flowers and large window with white drapes and a navy blue sofa

image source: Apartment Therapy

Change Out Throw Pillows and Throws

Do the same for throw pillows and your throw blanket. You may not need throws in the summer. Move them to another room or place them in storage bags until the cooler weather returns. 

living room with pale blue sofa and colorful pillows in front of a large bright window and a large green plant

image source: Chique Home

If you want the color that throws provide, use lightweight pashminas, large scarves, or turkish towels. I love the soft look and feel of turkish towels and the fringe.

light blue and white stripe throw with fringe on a chair

image source: Wayfair

Do Decluttering and Reorganization

Take advantage of the warm weather to do a deep decluttering and reorganization.

Pick one room, like the kitchen or a bathroom and organize the drawers. Go through closets, cabinets, bookshelves and clear out anything you don’t use or love.

Organize what’s left in a neat, visually appealing way. A clutter-free, organized space feels so refreshing. What a big difference this project can make in your stress level.

Create a Summer Reading Nook

Move a chair to a corner with a small table and create a reading nook. Summer is the best time for reading and spending time with a favorite book. Be sure to add a lamp for easy reading.

I love the bright colors of this setting. It’s also nice that the chair faces outside to take advantage of summer scenes.

reading nook in facing a large window with an orange chair, a white table and a pink floor lamp with a large colorful abstract painting on the wall

image source: Home Funky

This reading nook is the ultimate summer retreat. Curl up with an Elin Hildebrand novel here.

blue and white window seat with pale blue cushions and stripe pillows and a bookcase on the side

image source: Home Decor Bliss

Rearrange a Bookshelf or Hutch

Pare down your bookshelf. Remove everything from your bookcases and shelves, then restyle by blending books with vases, framed photos, potted plants and other decorative objects in an edited, curated way.

Use pops of summer color to decorate your bookcase. As you might imagine, this is the direction that I am leaning toward.

cabinet and bookshelves filled with colorful books in blues, greens, yellows, and pinks and aqua bottles on a wood table

image source: Remodelolacasa

Yes, I know there is a lot of stuff on this bookcase, but the color palette just shouts summer. I would probably remove about 1/3 of the accessories to let the bookshelves breathe.

cabinet and bookshelves filled with colorful books in blues, greens, orange, and pinks and green ottoman in front

image source: Shop Society Social

Arrange items by color for a cohesive, polished look. Bring in some decorative items or move them to another room. Take 20 – 30% of the accessories away and let the space breathe a little. 

Here is a very pared down, neutral approach to a summer bookcase.

built-in bookcase with a few decorative accessories in neutral colors and a chair in front

image source: Farmhouse Hub

Create a Bar Cart for Summer Imbibing

Use a small table as a bar cart. Add a pretty tray and fill it with decanters or pretty wine glasses and barware.

white side table with bottles and ice bucket and a pale blue vase of white hydrandeas set up as a bar cart

image source: Road to Mindfulness

If you don’t have room for a summer bar cart, use a tray to create a small space for pretty summer glasses and beverages.

galvanized tray with blue wine glasses and a bottle of pink liquid on a kitchen counter

image source: Remodelacasa

Then treat yourself to a refreshing cocktail like this delicious Piña Colada.

pina colada in a backyard with a pool in the background

Add a Centerpiece to the Kitchen or Dining Room

Add a simple centerpiece to your kitchen or dining room table. Use a pretty tray or other decorative items. Put a pretty vase on the table filled with fresh summer flowers for a pop of color. 

wood painted kitchen table with a white vase of sunflowers

image source: Kisaf

Include a bowl of citrus on the table or the kitchen counter.

white vase of pink peonies with a tray holding a book and a bowl of yellow lemons on a kitchen counter

image source: Straight Forward Spaces

Create a Small Summer Vignette

Gather some baskets, trays, or cutting boards and stack them for an interesting arrangement on a small tabletop vignette. This blue-themed vignette with hydrangeas is perfect for summer.

arrangement of blue hydrangeas in a white pitcher with blue candles and blue and white stripe vase in a metal tray

image source: Soul and Lane

Add a potted plant or flowers, a decorative dish or box, and a candle. Choose pieces in natural materials and colors that evoke a relaxed summer feel.

Update Your Decor with Seasonal Touches

Keep your home fresh and inviting by updating your decor with seasonal touches. I used a bright floral pillow paired with a solid pink one for a pop of summer color and pattern.

Then I removed the heavy blue blanket and replaced it with a pair of lightweight pashminas and a striped scarf.

It’s a bright color palette for the summer months.

pink floral pillows on and solid pink pillows on white sofa

Manage the Mantel for Summer

Lighten up your mantel. If you have multiple items on it, remove half of them. This is such an easy way to give your spaces a breather. Every surface does not have to be covered.

white mantel and wall with blue planter and blue box and a mirror with a white sofa and a small dog on the sofa

image source: Modern Glam

I left a lot of “white space” in the middle of our mantel to create a lighter feel for summer. That allowed the newly created colored glass vases to shine.

colored vases with zinnias on white mantel and large colorful abstract painting in shades of blues, pinks, yellow, red

Redesign Your Coffee Table for Summer

Rearrange your coffee table, your mantel, or your nightstands. I added faux zinnias in pretty summer colors to a bright green vase. It’s a bright, happy look. 

coffee table with colored vases and bright zinnia flowers
women holding a woven basket of green and white hydrangeas and a woven tray with books

image source: A Blissful Nest

Move Plants

Depending on the light requirements, move your indoor plants to different rooms. As more light comes into your rooms, plants requiring low-light may need to be moved to a room with less light.

palm plant in a large planter with gold legs

image source: Crazy Life with Littles

Change Out Color

Color plays a key role in whether we feel hot or cool.  If you lean toward a more neutral palette, then focus on whites and creams. Use natural greenery in pots and artwork

living room with white sofa and upholstered bench and a gallery wall of green art

image source: Blesser House

  • Switch out heavy dark planters for a colorful planter, mason jars or clear glass vases. 
  • Light, cool colors like blues, greens, and grays tend to have a more cooling effect than warm tones like reds, oranges, and yellows which can make a space feel warmer.
  • White or off-white furniture also helps create an airy, cool feeling.
  • Avoid dark colors like black, brown, or navy which can absorb more heat.

Go for Lighter Textures

Pick textures that evoke feelings of summer, both literally and figuratively.

  • Natural materials like cotton, linen, rattan, and jute have more breathable, cooling properties compared to synthetic fabrics. Leather and vinyl tend to trap heat and make a room feel warmer. 
  • Wood furniture with a light, natural finish feels cooler than dark-stained pieces. 
  • Metal furniture can remain cooler to the touch than upholstered pieces. 
  • Use slipcovers made of lightweight cotton or linen over upholstered furniture. 
  • Choose woven rattan, bamboo or wicker pieces for a breezy, natural look.
  • Opt for open, slatted furniture designs that allow for airflow.
  • Consider swapping out heavy curtains for sheer, breezy window treatments.
  • Use area rugs made of natural fibers like sisal or jute over cooling tile or wood floors.
  • The key is to stick with light colors, breathable fabrics, and natural materials that don’t absorb and radiate heat to keep your living spaces feeling refreshingly cool.

Clean Out a Closet

Clean out a closet and make it more efficient. Do you have old swimsuits, flip flops, sandals or tote bags that should be tossed or donated?

Fill a bag with items to donate. Pack away out-of-season items. I’ve already bagged up several summer t-shirts that had been put away since last year. They had little stains on them that were not worth keeping. 

Pare Down Dishes and Glassware

If you have multiple dishware sets, store dishes that are more appropriate for fall and winter. Instead, use white dishes and serving pieces for a light summer look. Same thing for glassware. 

white kitchen cabinet of white dishes

image source: Just Destiny Mag

Air Out the Guest Room

Be ready for company in the guest room. Start by airing out the linens.

Place a vase on the nightstand with pretty flowers or greenery. Place a summer beach read on a simple nightstand. Add an insulated container of iced water and a pretty glass on a side table. Your guests will appreciate a relaxing space in the summer.

white modern lamp on a white nightstand with a vase of greenery and a small clock

image source: Styling by Sarita

Spend a few hours and zero money to give your home a little update and reorganization. The key is to lighten up, declutter, and incorporate natural textures and colors to capture the easygoing spirit of summer in your home decor.

Stay cool this summer by staying indoors. Complete some of these suggestons for summer home decor projects.

Want to keep this list of summer home decor projects? Be sure to PIN this post. Check out my Summer Home Decor Pinterest Board.

PIn graphic for now for later
21 summer projects graphic
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