19 Lightened-Up Summer Living Room Decorating Ideas

Summer is almost here! And while you may not have time to give your living room an entire decorating overhaul, there are certainly some things you can do to help this important space reflect the change in season. Here are 19 fresh, stylish decorating ideas for living rooms to really ring in the summer. Your living room will be ready for ultimate summer relaxation, for yourself, your family, and your friends.

Summer colorful living room decor

1 – Light, breezy furniture slipcovers.

4141 design casual sofa for living room

Summer is all about lightening things up, what with the sunshine and the fresh air and all. Furniture that reflects this energy catapults your living room space into summer. Instead of replacing dark furniture, consider slipcovers for your larger pieces such as sofas or chairs. Even a tablecloth draped over a dark side table would work.

2 – Rounded silhouettes.

Rounded silhouettes

Swap out, where possible, hard angles for softened, rounded ones. A square coffee table can be replaced by an oversized ottoman pouf to lend a casual, beachy vibe to the living room. (And if that pouf is light-colored, all the better.)

3 – Prominent plant life.

Add a touch of color to living room with plants

With such an emphasis on the great outdoors (and warmer weather to back it up), it only makes sense that transferring this concept into your living room will spring your living room into summer. Choose any plant that you love, but if you have a hard time deciding, opt for one with a light, airy feel in its leaves or fronds.

4 – Colorful plant pots.

Colorful flower pots

Nothing says “summer” like a bright, shiny plant pot. So why should you leave these just to your front porch? Bring them inside, and let the plants and pots decorate your living room for the summer. Be sure to place them somewhere where the plants themselves will get plenty of natural light.

5 – Outdoor furniture, indoors.

Bring outdoor furniture in living room

Of course, you’ll probably have furniture slated for patio or deck use already. But if there is a piece you really love – such as a low profile teak-esque table or a wicker rocker – consider bringing it into your living room for a breath of summertime air. The unexpected placement of the outdoor furniture will be fun, casual, and relaxing.

6 – Plenty of blank space.

Formal aqua sofa setting for living room

In the winter, having loads of throws and pillows and side tables for lamps and books at the ready is cozy and inviting. For summer, however, a lightened up feeling is typically preferred. While still keeping the comfort level high, remove any extra furnishings that might weigh your space down. Consider storing some of the extra throw pillows or an unnecessary end table for the season.

7 – Geometric pattern.

Living room with built in shelves for decorating accessories

School may be out for the summer – which means no more geometry homework – but your summer living room decorations can still benefit from gorgeous geometric pattern or print. This can be something as simple as a throw pillow or a piece of artwork, or it can be a new living room rug or sectional sofa with a vivid geometric pattern. Either way, the vibrant look is perfect for squeezing out every inch of fun during the summer season.

8 – Geometric furniture.

latoog chair design

If you’re really feeling the good vibrations of summer design in your living room, you could skip the middle man (geometric accessories) and go straight for a bold geometric furniture piece. Wood or teak chairs are particularly summery, and they are neutral enough to work in a contemporary living room or a more traditional one (or somewhere in between).

9 – Quirky artwork.

Quirky artwork

Something about the lighthearted nature of summertime makes this kind of thing perfectly acceptable and appreciated. If you already have a portrait that you don’t mind, ah, enhancing with a bit of bright paint, you could probably find one at a local thrift shop or flea market. Dab a spot of paint somewhere on the painting, let it run, and hang it with pride.

10 – Reflective surfaces.

Reflective living room furniture and animal prints pattern

To celebrate the season of additional natural light, incorporate additionally reflective surfaces into your living room. Mirrored, glass, or metallic objects, furniture, and/or wall art will do the trick to bounce light around and around your space.

11 – Bright colors.

Internum Living room Interior Design

It doesn’t have to be anything as dramatic or permanent as repainting your walls a vibrant color (but it could be…), but summer requires bright, vibrant colors in all things, even the living room. Choose a couple colorful throw pillow covers for the season – these don’t require much storage on the “off” season, but they sure make a difference during the summer months.

12 – Natural fibers.

Sofa with natural fibers

As a season almost completely focused on nature and the great outdoors, summer textiles work best as natural fibers. Cotton, linen, and jute are at the top of the list; wool is great, too, but it’s a bit heavier and therefore better for cooler months. Try to work in a natural fiber or two through your textiles – a pillow, a throw, a slipcover, or a rug are great places to start.

13 – Textural statement pieces.

Luminaire Casual sectional - textural pattern

Summer is often associated with the beach – sand, sea stars, wicker, palm trees, and much more. These things all have distinct textures that, when used in interior design, inherently bring a specific coastal vibe to the space. While you don’t need to cover your living room with basketry and paper umbrella tchotchkes, you might consider opting for a single statement piece that incorporates a summery texture.

14 – Unique wovens.

Woven lounge chair design

Going along with a summery lean toward the textural, woven furnishings in the living room are a wonderful seasonal idea. This woven lounge looks so comfortable and could act as a fun twist to a chaise in the white, modern, organic-focused, or Scandinavian living room.

15 – Beachy details.

Beach details seating

Sure, you could fill a coffee table bowl with sea stars or place a piece of driftwood on the mantel. But for the true lover of beach style, look outside the tidal pool for your design inspiration. Like these woven stools – they remind one a bit of flip flops, or boating paraphernalia, or slack line. Fun and funky and colorful, something like this will put an instant smile on your face every time you walk past your living room.

16 – Unexpected asymmetry.

Unexpected asymmetry

Anything that brings in a casual, less structured feeling into the living room will make it feel more summery. This could be interpreted, design-wise, in infinite ways. Consider an asymmetrical “coffee table” arrangement, artwork display, or sofa table vignette to breathe a bit of sophisticated laissez-faire design.

17 – New throw pillows.

New Throw pillows colorful

This would hardly be a legit article about living room “quick-fixes” if we failed to mention throw pillows. But, although this might seem like old news, it’s so true! The color, pattern, and vibrancy of your throw pillows, not to mention the combination of them as a whole, will go a long way toward an instant summertime feeling in your space.

18 – Floating shelves.

Floating shelves with gold brackets

While you may love a bookcase or two to hold your beloved books or glass art or collections, bookcases can be visually heavy. If you’re ready for a bigger change in your living room, why not swap out a bookcase for some pretty floating shelves? Showcase your personality in the type of mounts you choose – maybe you love an invisible-mount floating shelf, or perhaps you prefer some bentwood brackets, or the shimmer and shine of brass? Whatever you choose, your living room will look lightened and brightened in no time.

19 – Conversational pieces.

Conversational pieces

And what good does a fantastic summery living room do if there’s no fun piece to strike up a conversation about? It doesn’t have to be large or even prominent or eye-catching, but any little detail that makes your living room tell a story about you or your family this summer will be a fun addition for everyone.

Copper wire base for a glass top table

What are some of your favorite decorating ideas for living rooms in the summertime?