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Published: Thursday, 7/6/2006

Effortless Summer Decorating Made Elegant

(ARA) - The days of summer have finally arrived, and it is time to throw open the windows and bring life back into the home. The summer months are the perfect time to incorporate a seasonal touch of bright colors or fresh flowers to create a relaxed, welcoming look.

The appeal of summer is that entertaining can be casual, yet infused with elegance and style. And Americans like casual. In fact, seventy-two percent of U.S. adults described their own entertaining style as casual, according to the Sixth Annual Lenox Gift-Giving and Etiquette Survey.

Lenox's gift giving and etiquette expert Denise Dinyon suggests thinking light and airy when preparing your home for the summer months. "Summer decorating is the perfect time to create a relaxed but elegant look for your home that is welcoming to guests," Dinyon says. "Think light colored pieces of furniture paired with bright accessories." She offers some additional tips below.

* Do some restyling around the house this summer. Replace dark colors with lighter, brighter ones. A wicker table and chairs can replace heavier, darker pieces, and dark accessories, such as wool blankets and velvet pillows, should be substituted with light-colored ones to help create a cheery color scheme.

* When planning for an evening with friends, greet guests with a mix of bright-colored place settings on a plain, white tablecloth. Pieces such as Dansk's Coconut Grove or Glasscapes will pop against a white backdrop.

* Revive your home by tossing out old, brown plants and bringing in fresh new ones. Place bright red roses in the guest bedroom or as a centerpiece on a table to brighten up a room. Place the bouquet in a simple crystal vase to let the flowers' color stand out.

* Swap heavy drapes for light, airy ones that can blow in the breeze on a summer day. Painting rooms in pale yellows, greens and blues for the summer will also help the home appear brighter. Add white wherever possible to open up a room. Lighten up wooden bookshelves by painting each shelf a bright white. Accent the white shelves with a colorful bowl or picture frame.

* Place scented candles throughout the bedroom or bathroom to add a breezy, freshness to the room. Lenox's Calabria Blue Hurricane is the perfect piece to create a tranquil atmosphere for those summer nights indoors.

While making changes around the home for summer, Dinyon suggests sticking to one theme to keep the d cor consistent. Potential ideas include floral, Tuscan, nautical or tropical.

Courtesy of ARA Content

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