6 simple ways to refresh your home for summer just in time for house guests. Summertime always means friends and kids from the city visiting for long weekends. We live about 45 miles from Manhattan, yet it feels worlds away.
Our home is on a small peninsula along the Long Island Sound. Many of our neighbors live here because they can dock boats just steps from their homes. We are not boat people yet but love living by the water. We can paddleboard, kayak, and swim all summer long.
In May, I started thinking about getting the house ready for guests. Even if Brent and I go on vacation, we always invite our kids, their friends, and our friends to stay in our home to enjoy the outdoors and the recreation of living so close to the water.
I am joining a few friends to discuss getting our homes ready for summer, and I think quite a few of us are thinking of house guests and summer. I’ll have links to Cindy, Mary Ann, Kim, and Juliet’s posts at the bottom of this post!
The first thing I do when the seasons change: switch the linens in the bedrooms
I love switching to linen sheets and a light coverlet in all the bedrooms. Linen sheets feel so summery. We used linen sheets and a linen quilt and shams from Brooklinen. It’s so soft and the perfect weight for summer.
Get the Porch and Outdoor Spaces Ready for Summer
Time to wash all the cushions and pillows for the outdoor furniture and lay the rug on the porch. I go back and forth on how I feel about outdoor rugs. On the porch, we’ve decided it makes it cozy, and it feels like an outdoor “room.”
The Front Porch
This year we have a new grill that’s so easy to use because it’s electric. You can read more about that in this post. We also have a hot tub! We love using it, and after a swim in The Long Island Sound, it’s going to be so nice! I ordered more of these towels from Amazon. We brought back two from a seaside town in France last summer. We found them at a shop in a town not far from the hotel where we stayed. We loved them so much that I wanted a stack to use at the beach and the hot tub.
Getting the Guest Bathrooms Ready
I bought a new shower curtain and towels from Serena & Lily—nothing like fresh towels for house guests. We have these white linen bathrobes too! Our guest bath is long and narrow, with not a lot of extra space. So we have hooks by the vanity to hang toiletries and extra large hooks for towels, robes, and clothing.
Tip: Always have a toilet plunger in the guest bathroom. No one wants to ask for it! I read this on a Cup of Jo several years ago and never forgot it!
And then I love these shampoos, conditioners, body wash, and hand soap products. I even bought this set, just in case someone forgets their toothbrush. I also use the Mandarin Basil dish soap which I buy the refill and then fill this large amber glass bottle that I keep by my kitchen sink.
Stocking the Pantry
I like to keep the pantry pretty well stocked at all times, but I must admit that, on occasion, the shelves start to get pretty empty. When summer rolls around, I like to have a well-stocked pantry and refrigerator/freezer. Here are a couple of things I have on hand in the pantry for summer. No one has ever gone hungry if they have olives, crackers, and a bowl of spaghetti!
- Castelvetrano Olives
- Italian Taralli Crackers (all of the flavors are good)
- Rao’s Marinara Sauce and Spaghetti
Get the Bikes & Paddleboards Ready
We live in the cutest little neighborhood with homes from the early 1920s with front porches and sidewalks. It’s flat, which makes it perfect for bike rides. It’s an easy ride to the ice cream shop, but first, a lobster roll at Knot Norm’s. You can go for a swim, paddleboard, or kayak at the end of the street.
Add Fresh Flowers, Plants & Fruit
Hydrangeas in the Dining Room
Lemons, Limes & Chamomile in the Kitchen
I love to make homemade scones whenever we have house guests, but sometimes a store-bought croissant and Bonne Maman jam works too!
Geraniums, Ferns & Boxwoods
Nothing says welcome to our home more than having a beautiful entry that’s clean with a nice mat and beautiful planters with ferns and boxwoods. You can read more about our beautiful new planters from Terrain in this post.
Pots of flowers or shrubs that are low maintenance outdoors and even a few geraniums indoors make it feel like summer. Now we just need a great summer playlist. I’m working on it!