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Decorate Your Home For Summer

If you decorate your house for the holidays every December, maybe you should think about doing the same for this time of year!

On The Early Show Friday, design expert Susanna Salk offered summer-izing suggestions at the flagship Pottery Barn store in Manhattan.

She showed there are plenty of ways to reflect your personal style, and the season, without much effort or a big tab:

NATURAL ELEMENTS

Accenting with natural elements from the outdoors is a big trend in home décor.

Sophisticated Sea Life

For a fresh summer look, accent with classic summertime motifs rendered in silver and/or an uber-white finish. Although accessorizing with sea life objects such as urchins, starfish and shells isn't new, there's a more dramatic twist now — lending a level of sophistication that can dress up not just a beach house, but even a city apartment.

Examples:

Arrange silver sea-life objects in a glass vase to make dazzling displays or centerpieces for summer dinner parties.

Trick: Rotate art seasonally on your walls, shelves or mantles. There are many affordable choices of prints these days. Why not switch your current collection with some new images? In this case, keeping with the sea life motif, use white-framed sea life prints. They're an instant way to make you feel like you're on a vacation! And, instead of store-bought prints, use an art book to pull images from, and insert them into ready-made frames. They cost a fraction of store-bought ones. It's instant customization for summer.

Trick: Decorate your fireplace with large white coral. It's a perfect way to summer-ize this unused space during the warmer part of year. Remove wood and/or irons and add faux uber-white coral, along with some large white candles.

English Country Garden

English Country has always been a popular look for summer. It's both classic and informal. This year, you can bring the garden more easily than ever into your home with a stunning array of faux topiaries and plants. Plus, you no longer have to fret about watering and maintenance.

Examples:

Display faux plants as though they were real — in equally pretty and proportionate pots.

Accessorize with other iconic English country accessories, such as decorative plates and bowls & table runners.

BOLD COLOR COMBINATIONS

When we think of summer, we think of flowers and all the color they bring to our lives. This spring/summer, there are tons of bold color combinations and graphic floral patterns that can make you happy just looking at them.

Examples:

Colorful curtains are an easy way to completely transform a space. A lime-green curtain panel used on the show has a white floral pattern that just pops off the drape! The juxtaposition of white against bold color is everywhere, and helps anchor the colors. These would give a summer guest room instant flair. If you're too nervous about the boldness, consider draping one panel on a bathroom window and see the oomph it brings.

If going bold makes you a little anxious, try starting with one accent pillow. A large, bright orange pillow with a single flower is as unexpected as it is beautiful. Put one of these on every bed in the house.

Trick: Swap out wintry lamp shades with bright floral ones. It's an easy way to bring floral patterns into a room. Plus, you don't have to spend a lot to change the look from somber to summer.

GOING GLOBAL

As the trend in mixing global accessories and styles continues to expand, this theme is carried into the summer months.

Examples:

Switch out pillows with bright summery take on the exotic. A pillow used on the show, with a tropical punch of color, gives Moroccan-style a new meaning.

Trick: Summer-ize Moroccan lanterns by spreading sand and shells on the bottom to lighten the look.

Frames are another accessory that can we switched out seasonally. For instance, a mother-of-pearl frame marries the exotic look with summer whites for your photos.

Fill baskets with light-colored objects such as spheres for a decorative display. Again, adding white to change the look, and for contrast against a dark vessel or dark wood furniture.

Trick: Change the look and origin of your furniture by adding exotic knobs. Simply switch out the hardware. It's easy and inexpensive — giving any piece an instant upgrade. You'll never want to go back to ordinary hardware again.