12 DIY Summer Decor Ideas For Less

The summer season is all about laid-back living. If you would like to reflect this feeling in your house, I have some easy breezy summer decorating to share with you. Here are 12 doable DIY summer décor ideas that you can do in style affordably.

Back in April, I told you that I was giving the home decor in my living room a refresh. I have been posting about each of the projects as I completed them.

Now that I am pretty much finished the updates (except for two things that are going to require time to find), I thought it was a good time to show you how the room looks now.

summer living room decor for a console table.

The decorating refresh for my summer living room started with the rearranging of the furniture for the summer months. I wanted to lighten it up, but in my white and woodsy interior design style.

basket tote filled with pink peonies hanging on living room wall.

I wanted less living room décor, accessories, and a lot less clutter to create more open space for a summery look.

I did this by adding more white with a nod to the coastal look of Hampton’s style decorating. I think I succeeded after a recent visitor told me that my house looked like a Hampton’s beach house she once stayed in. I think it has to do with my house having white as the dominant color in every room.

DIY Summer Decor Ideas For Less

I updated the room by DIY’ing and even challenged myself to not buy anything new for the update. Although I did buy one new item. You will see it at the end of this post.

1. Rearrange the Furniture

What started the decorating refresh was when I wanted to see how my small living room would look with the furniture rearranged.

I was getting tired of the current arrangement that was going on 6 years. I didn’t think I could do much in the small space where there are only 2-1/2 walls to place furniture.

One side of the room is open concept to the dining area of the kitchen and the other wall holds the TV and a 3-door glass slider to the deck on the lake side of the house.

Since we would not be using the fireplace for the summer, I moved the Pottery Barn white slipcovered sofa in front of the fireplace.

I loved it with the newly painted brick wall that once had the stone fireplace and white wood mantel and the new green, pink and white color palette.

Lesson learned. Don’t be afraid to experiment and rearrange your furniture. No harm done if you don’t like it… but, you may love it and even like your room even more.

2. Change the Color of the Walls

After removing the stone fireplace on this wall earlier this year that we needed to do for safety reasons, I painted the red/brown brick fireplace wall and the adjacent barnwood paneled accent wall white.

fireplace wall getting a coat of white paint

Painting the walls, especially this rough textured brick wall took the most time.

painting a brick fireplace wall in a living room

I did it by section with a sea sponge, paint brush and roller. It was painstaking trying to get into the nooks and crannies on each brick, plus the recessed grout areas covered, but it paid off as the wall now has a nice even look.

Summer decorated living room and fireplace screen cover on wall.

I painted similar texture on brick in my bedroom a few years ago using a paint sprayer. It looks good, but not as nice as this wall turned out.

The barnwood style paneling was painted white also, along with the black photo frames on the wall. I made new grasscloth mats for the frames to give them a coastal vibe.

To paint the walls, I used a latex primer over the paneling and then an eggshell paint. Sherwin Williams – Pure White. It is a white – white, without any blue tint in it.

3. Remove the Coffee Table

In the summer months we entertain our friends and family outside, we rarely are in the living room, so I removed the coffee table.

Rearranged living room furniture for summer. 2 identical recliners and white sofa. Pink and green accents in room.

Doing this opened up the room giving it a more spacious feel. We only use this room to watch TV – hence the movie theater like recliners that make us feel like we are at the movie theater.

Life is too short not to be truly comfortable in your own home. :-)

4. Paint the Rug

If you have a natural fiber rug – Seagrass, sisal or jute that has a fabric border, you can paint the border.

Beige Painted border trim on seagrass rug.

This rug is going on 9 years. I bought it for our previous home. It had an olive green border.

The border had faded over the years, so I painted it a neutral color. You can learn how easy it is to do in this post:

5. Paint the Ceiling Fan

How to paint a ceiling fan without having to take it down

If you have a ceiling fan that works, but you don’t like the color, paint it. I have painted 6 of them using two different methods:

6. Add Rope for a Coastal Look

Of all the updates I did to the room, this one is my favorite.

Wrapping twine around a tripod style floor lamp to give it a new look for summer.

I used polished rope to cover a metal floor lamp. It was fast and easy.

Corner of easy breezy living room decorated for summer.

Now I want to do the same treatment on a few other items around the house.

7. Cover the Fireplace

I have not one, but two openings on the brick fireplace wall. The firebox and the another for firewood storage.

For the summer, I wanted a different cover for each.

Living room fireplace wall decorated for summer.

I glaze painted a decorative wood screen that was being stored in my attic.

And made a shorter cover using a cardboard pattern cutting board and a grasscloth remnant that I found at a church rummage sale.

I keep switching their places, but for now the glaze painted one is front and center over the firebox.

8. Make Pillow Covers

Use bright and cheery colored or floral napkins to cover existing throw pillows.

Raid your stash of cloth napkins to see if a pair will coordinate with your decor. They don’t have to be the same. Using two different napkins will give you two new looks simply by turning the pillow around.

9. Faux or Fresh Flowers

Flowers, both real or faux florals will add a fresh infusion of color. If using fresh flowers you can change the type and color of flowers or stems on a weekly basis or even add summer greenery from your yard like I did one year on my mantel instead of flowers.

Pink peonies in a woven tote hanging on a wall.

Instead of using a table vase to display them, why not place your favorites like pink peonies in a summer tote and hang on the wall.

10. Use What You Have

Create simple decor and accents by using what you already own in new ways.

white candles in a dough bowl filled with white rocks on living room table

A dough bowl, river, rocks and a set of candles creates a new focal point for a table.

close up of a candle in a dough bowl filled with rocks used to decorate a living room for summer.

I like to use battery-operated candles and like this set of 3.

Summer decor idea - use a charcuterie board as a base accent for a table lamp.

This charcuterie tray only gets used a few times a year. I wanted to see it more, so I used in as a base for the table lamp.

Look around your home to find new ways to use some of your favorite things.

11. Spray Paint a Decorative Accessory

White spray painted planter on round wicker table in living room.

We all know that paint is the best way to make a fast change when it comes to home decorating. Spray paint makes it even faster.

12. Buy Something New

Faux flowers and clock on living room console table.
Large Brass Table Clock

So up until this point, everything I changed in the room was done using leftover paint and items I already had like the textured stone vase and faux branches I made in the past few years.

The one thing I did buy was this table clock that came in two sizes.

I actually bought the smaller one, but it was damaged and I returned it. When I went to reorder, it as it was out of stock. So I ordered the larger one and am just as happy with it.

Living room walls decorated for summer.

What I Still Want to Add to the Room

Even though it is summer, with the AC on it can get chilly at night when watching TV or reading. I need to find two large baskets that will fit the bottom shelf that is empty now on the sofa table to hold my favorite throw blankets.

When we removed the stone fireplace, I lost my throw blanket holder. I want to find a way to redesign it to fit the wall now, but that will have to wait until fall.

Another thing I am going to do is replace the metal stool in between the recliners with add a little side table I found at the thrift shop. Once I get it made over, I will share it with you.

reclaimed wood to use in living room

I also have these pieces of reclaimed wood that I would like to use on the fireplace wall in some way.

I haven’t come up with an idea yet, but come the fall when the fireplace is uncovered and the furniture is rearranged for the fall and winter, I hope to add them.

So now that it is OFFICIALLY the SUMMER. Have you done anything to lighten up or give your home’s decor a refresh for the season? Any summer decorating ideas you would like to share?

summer decorating ideas for a living room

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  1. Valarie Sanford says:

    So fresh Diane, love it all!

  2. Looks so light and inviting! I love the green folding screen as a focal point. I also happen to enjoy recliners 💜. I have one that is similar in size to yours :)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Lynn – My husband really wanted the recliners. I fought it for awhile since they were not pretty, but now I love them. Functional and the comfiest seats in the house. :-)

  3. Really enjoy your blog. I may have said this but, I love how your style and ideas are practical. And I really enjoy the vibe of your blog and I’m not left with FOMO, or feel like my home isn’t good enough. Instead I look forward to seeing what you’re up to in decorating your home.
    Do you have a tutorial for the napkin pillow covers?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi CC – Thank you for taking the time to tell me. It made my day. XO Yes, I have a tutorial post about making the napkin pillow cover. I just realized I didn’t provide the link in the post. Here it is: https://bit.ly/3JCXLNF

  4. Love the changes. So comfy looking and what a view😍. Loved the pillow idea. Did you punch a hole in the fabric before doing the blanket stitch? Looks like you used yarn. Very creative.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi June – Thanks. I realized I didn’t link to the post on how I made the napkin pillow cover. You can read all about it in this post: https://bit.ly/3JCXLNF

  5. Marg. Gain says:

    I remember reading in one of your posts the name of your
    Favourite salt substitute.
    Would you mind telling us that again please ? Also where to purchase. Thank you in advance.
    Marg Gain

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Marg – I have tried many over the last couple of years. The best by far is Benson’s Table Tasty. It is salt, gluten, sugar, preservatives, MSG and potassium chloride free. It really tastes like salt. You can see it here: https://amzn.to/3Om4uxA

  6. So many great ideas. Especially love those grass cloth covered mats. And your pom pom ottoman is still a fav!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Alison – Thanks. I have two of the ottomans and out one away for the summer. :-)

  7. I’ll bet you are enjoying the new light look, especially with the view out your windows! I was motivated this year to get all my decorations in one place, labeled, and in boxes. As I was gathering my candle holders I saw that a mismatched group looked great together and I put them on a table. It is surprising when everything is all laid out how much we already have. Now I’m committed to using what I’ve collected and love rather than getting something new and trendy.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Carol – I love hearing from readers telling me that they found new ways to display or use what they already own. It is exciting when you come up with new ideas. It is kind of like ” the thrill of the hunt” when out thrifting, but with our own stuff.

      I am in the process – I do a bit each day, of cleaning out decor and more that I no longer need and really organizing what is left. It feels good. And yes, I am loving the new light look in my living room – it is truly refreshing. :-)

  8. Susan Honeycutt says:

    Looks fantastic & very coastal!! Thanks for sharing all your fabulous decorating ideas😃