5 tips to get your home decor ready for summer

There is a good chance you don’t live in a home that resembles the Greystone Mansion or own a Nantucket waterfront cottage with Missoni dining chairs. If you do, we’re waiting patiently for a weekend invitation. But if you lack such a residence in your real estate holdings, there are always ideas that can be poached on a bargain scale from those impossibly perfect decor programs, such as Bravo’s “Million Dollar Decorators.” Martyn Lawrence Bullard and Mary McDonald , two of the stars of the show, were at the Boston Design Center last week to speak to design industry professionals about their new fabric collections. While they were in town, we grilled them on trends to rid winter-weary homes of their doldrums. Here are some of their suggestions to help transform your home into a more stylish, breezy space for summer.

Randee Daddona


  • > Bullard declares: “Color is back with a vengeance this season. We are really seeing jewel tones: emerald, topaz, and bright tourmaline pinks are everywhere.” His advice is to add an Indian flair to those layers of colors. Meek colors have no place in your home this summer, in the same way that meek designers have no place on reality television.

Eric Swanson


  • > After a decade spent changing fixtures to nickel, chrome, and stainless steel, Bullard says that the go-to finish of the 1980s is back. “The hottest look at the moment is brass. From bathroom taps to living room tables, brass is the new black.”


  • > McDonald suggested painting an often overlooked part of the house — your ceiling. Stick to a complementary color to the wall color, but don’t be afraid of painting the ceiling darker than the wall. She also feels strongly that most fabrics in your home should be updated for the season. “Place white or light pink linen slip covers on everything. Replace all throw pillows with more summer-like colors, and replace solid bedding with fresh, pretty patterned bedding intermixed with white shams and duvet.”


  • > Both Bullard and McDonald say you should ditch more formal rugs and Persian carpets for the season and replace them with a sea grass or abaca rug. “This natural texturing will not only automatically transform your room into a more summery-feeling experience, it will also add great texture to the space and announce to the world that summer is here,” Bullard said.

Black and white

  • > In the tradition of home interiors following runway trends, Bullard said the bold colors for this summer will be set against strong graphics in black and white. Black and white — a summer fashion phenomenon seen at all price points — will make its way from the runway to the living room.

  • McDonald’s suggestions may cost more than a summer share on the Cape, but one or two of her ideas could be a realistic way to brighten your living space for the season.

  • Pictured: Martyn Lawrence Bullard and Mary McDonald, from “Million Dollars Decorators,” speaking at the Boston Design Center.

Christopher Muther can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @Chris_Muther.
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