I like to rearrange furniture in my living room to acknowledge the change of seasons. In the winter I like a warm snug feeling; in the summer, a more spacious, airy feeling.
To create a sense of warmth in the winter, I pull the pieces of furniture in closer together and arrange them so that they face the fireplace. Think of it as replicating the days long ago when we had to sit around a campfire to stay warm. I have wood floors, so I like to put down a heavy area rug to keep our feet toasty. If you have carpeting, you can still add an area rug on top. I like to have darker colored pillows on the sofa, and ones that are made of a heavy fabric. Heavy knit throws are nice for family and friends to wrap up in during cool evenings. I have a single overstuffed chair that I place in it’s own corner with a side table. A lamp will warm up this space and make it a comfortable spot for quiet reading during long, dark evenings.
In the summer, I prefer the feeling of openness and airiness, so I no longer use the fireplace as a focal point. Instead, I arrange the furniture so that it’s occupants get a clear view out the windows that surround my living room. I also space the individual pieces so they are a bit farther apart to add a feeling of spaciousness (though not so far as to make it difficult for people to communicate). I remove the area rug to leave the bare wood floor, which gives a lighter feeling. However, I could use a light weight area rug, like a sisal. I change out the pillows, using brighter colors, lighter textures, and livelier designs. I take away the heavy throws and substitute ones of much lighter material and brighter colors.
I enjoy decorating the walls with artwork by local artists. Some of these stay up year round, but others change with the seasons. Over the fireplace, for instance, I switch out two pastels. The winter one is an indoor scene of a living room with a nice, comfy chair. It’s colors are darker and rich. The summer one is an outdoor scene of a field with bright, light colors.
In my bedroom it is harder to rearrange the furniture, but I can change the look of the place by swapping out the bedding. I have a down comforter that I like to use in the winter. It not only feels warm, it even looks warm. In the summer, I use a lighter-weight bedspread. I have a stuffed chair in the corner where I place different throws for summer and winter. Finally, in the winter, I place area rugs beside the bed so I don’t have to get out of my warm bed onto a cold floor (just make sure the rug won’t slip). In the summer I remove them for a cleaner, lighter look. Layer them on top of the carpet to create the same look of coziness.
In the dining room I have less opportunity to change for the season, but there are things I can do. For the summer, place mats and table runners create a lighter, cleaner look. For the winter, a heavy tablecloth creates warmth. I use brighter, lighter colors in the summer; darker, richer colors in the winter. I also consider the textures of my table linens, going for a heavier look in the winter, a lighter look in the summer. There are also certain materials that just say: Summer! These are woven mats, bright plastics, and lightweight fabrics like seersucker. I like to use flowers around the room in the summer, whereas I might use dried materials in the winter like interesting branches and pine cones.
Look around your house and see what you can do to celebrate the seasons.
For additional front room ideas, check out our article on decorating a long, narrow front room. You can estimate your home renovation costs with our cost calculators. We have ones for both adding on and expanding various rooms in your home.