I’m thrilled to introduce a new home decor series on the blog: The Summer Series. Summer Alaedeen is a dear friend and incredibly talented interior designer based out of Cleveland, Ohio. Between the texts, Snapchat messages, and screenshots, I always have a million questions for Summer, so I asked her if she’d be willing to share her wisdom with all of us here in a monthly series on the blog. Lucky for me, she agreed! I’ve worked on some photography projects with Summer so I’m fortunate to have been able to see her work firsthand. Her level of skill is truly mind blowing (the header photo is her dining room!) Go ahead, see for yourself.
Summer always had a knack and eye for design. Fun fact: she spent years working as a nurse but that creative eye of hers encouraged her to pursue design professionally, leading her to start a successful firm with her sister, Adeas Interior Design to help others transform their home by finding their own unique style.
We’re kicking off the series with a two-part dilemma I always have when it comes to seasonal decor: how to achieve Pinterest-like seasonal decor in my home on a budget, and how to seamlessly incorporate seasonal items into my home without jeopardizing my existing decor.
Here’s what Summer had to say:
My favorite part about the changing seasons here in Cleveland is that we get to change our decor on the inside of our home to reflect the beauty and the colors that surround us. The best and easiest way for me to decorate for the holidays in a chic and casual way is to get inspired by these colors and changes right outside my door. It’s a sure way of making our homes cozy and inviting for the holiday season.
Incorporate the colors of the outdoors around each season/holiday
October and Halloween bring about shorter days and darker evenings, so using black accents in our homes with pillows and candles for subtle eerie fun will do the trick without having to use actual Halloween-themed items. November and Thanksgiving bring changing leaves, so gold, rust and crimson accents in table linens and beautiful chargers and dinnerware brings the holiday alive. Christmas has snow surrounding the holiday so whites and metallics are an easy addition to any home. Eid focuses on us looking to the early sunset and stars so we incorporate midnight blues and golds.
Don’t just use colors, use the textures of the season
It’s an easy first step to add the color of any season, but adding texture takes it to another level. Adding burlap wrapped vases, wool throws or natural wood accents like trays to a room during the fall gets us ready for colder temperatures. Beautiful velour/plush throws, cable knit pillows and faux fur rugs, and leather wrapped hurricanes all bring warmth and cozy feelings of winter. And for the new year anything embellished with glitter or rhinestones and mirrored items such as votives, frames or decorative bowls will highlight excitement and hopes for the upcoming year.
When you’re nervous about adding multiple colors to a space, stick to only one color and add different tints of the same color to spice it up.
For example, using crimson with scarlet red and a darker wine color brings depth and drama to a space otherwise flat with just one tint of that color during any holiday season.
Being crafty adds personal and meaningful touches to your home
My absolute favorite holiday to decorate for is Eid. In addition to all the fun glittered moons and stars I use to create the essence of the holiday, I always involve my kids in creating crafts that remind us of what it means to enjoy this day. We love to make beautiful wreaths, Eid countdown calendars, and light our home up with white lights and homemade lanterns.
In the fall, my kids pick their favorite leaves from outside and we fill several clear vases with the selected leaves. I surround the leaves with candles (not inside the vase!) or I use LED lights that you place in the vase which produces a gorgeous sublet glow in your home.
Creating glitter frames to place on your foyer console with family photos is a great way to greet guests as they enter your home. Filling multiple glass vases with leaves and twigs from the yard to place on your table or cutting out foam moons and stars to hang on your mantle are all wonderful and inexpensive ways to involve your kids and to create memories and decor simultaneously.
Bring the outdoors into your home.
Seasonal flowers can be found at any local grocery store and is an easy way to add not only the colors of the season but also the scents. I personally love decorating with flowers and use them to induce the feelings of the season. I always grab the in-season flowers as I do my grocery shopping and create floral arrangements on my own to add to my tables throughout my home. They don’t need to be large or elaborate arrangements; pick one flower, cut them short and close to the bottom of any lip of a vase and instantly add warmth to an otherwise typical space.
Mason jars filled with pine cones, driftwood logs, faux cotton branches are all warm and more unusual elements of the outdoors you can incorporate in your home decor that can also be used year after year. Also from most home stores you can find candles with those accents already created for you such as candles with pine needles, cranberries, and fabulously scented candles like peppermint or apple pie for the holiday season.
Don’t underestimate the power of lighting!
Lighting creates the true ambiance of a space. So whether you utilize those dimmers you never seem to appreciate you have, or you swap out your cool-toned light bulbs for warmer ones, subtle changes will bring a lot of drama and set the scene for the rest of the season. Also there are wonderful colored light bulbs you can change in table lamps or foyer light fixtures to really add extra flare to any corner of your home.
Make your space a walk down memory lane
With relatives and family coming in for the holidays it’s wonderful to reuse your current frames but fill them with old pictures of those guests coming into your home. Having your coffee table filled with old photo albums or yearbooks surrounded with lit candles is an inviting way to reminisce with old friends.
Dare to be different!
Holiday decorations can seem redundant so when you find an item that is different from the rest, dare to use it in your home. Consider investing in larger statement pieces that you will continue to reuse throughout the years. Items made from solid wood, metal, and those heavier selections will last for seasons to come and as opposed to those smaller, cheaper purchases that end up being donated or tossed out out after a couple seasons. Those are the pops designers look to wow you with in every space we design.
Pro-tip: Where to shop for affordable seasonal home decor items:
There are so many great places to shop for decor for the holidays. TJ Maxx , Target, and Marshall’s are all great places for affordable pillows, throws, trays, and candles that you can use over and over again without breaking the bank. I also love to browse fabric and craft stores like Joanne Fabrics and Pat Catan’s, for great deals on on accents like weathered branches and dried willow that are easy to use. At Home in Sheffield is also a newer home decor place where I go to find tons of options for unique metallic accents like frames, mirrors, and vases.
Giving yourself a budget before you enter any store, especially the very large ones is important in order to avoid buying cheaply made knick-knacks that aren’t built to last. Instead, try focusing on quality and versatile items that will last for many seasons to come. And of course, always look for items after the holidays when everything goes on clearance that can still utilize for the next year.
Follow Adeas Interior Design on Instagram for more inspiration! All of the photos in this post feature Summer Alaedeen’s original work.