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Photo Courtesy of Kelly Wearstler

Bask in Summer’s Most Enticing Hues Year-Round

The falling temperature outside doesn’t need to signal a color change inside.
by Roxanne Robinson Dec 29, 2021

Ella Fitzgerald pretty much summed up our love of the warmest season in her rendition of George Gershwin’s classic melody “Summertime.” She purred, “and the livin’ is easy”—a point that is hard to debate. It’s no wonder then one misses those carefree days throughout the rest of the year. But, even when the cold whips through the air outside, a summer look can stay warmly inside all year round. Here, Nest Casa chooses preferred summer colors that work throughout the calendar.

What is a Summer Color Palette?

Like the sunshine, itself, summer colors are bright and light at the same time. Leatrice Eiseman, director at the Eiseman Center for Color Information and Training and executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, describes the warm weather hues this way: “Typical summer colors feel light and airy,  such as pastels, neutrals, and varying white tones on the interior of a home.” Pulling from the exterior patio or backyard, a touch of bright, happy tones of yellow, orange, and warm reds define the summer mood. Blues, blue-greens, and lavenders portray a cooler approach that’s reminiscent of the beach. “These hues are never a mistake,” she says. “So-called summer colors always add a quick refresh to the environment after the darker and shorter days of winter as instant mood-lifters. There are no drawbacks in living with them.”

How to Make a Room Feel Like Summer

Just as fashion’s previously held rules on summer staples like white jeans and sandals have been presently debunked, the same can be said for home furnishings. Eiseman explains that, in the past, people placed white slipcovers over furniture and swapped deep-toned rugs with sisal. But this generation of decorators has chosen a different playbook. “Today, whites and pastels are used all year round,” Eiseman explains. “People don’t have the time or inclination to replace rugs in summer or make any changes that require a lot of time and effort.” That said, if you have darker tones in your home, she recommends adding summer touches through pillows, bed linens, and tabletop items, which integrate well with the deeper winter colors that remain.

Editor’s Picks: Summer Colors

Based in Miami, Nest Casa founder Sara Colombo lives for summer colors. She presents her top hues to give your home a summertime feeling, whatever the month.

Soft Pink

This tender hue moves deftly between seasons due to its essentially neutral tone. Its gentle manner evokes summer fashions and tropical vibes. Fresh hues like this one can also signal the height of sophistication, as demonstrated in this Milanese apartment designed by Ilaria Ferraro Toueg and inspired by Charlotte Perriand, Jean Prouvé, and Le Corbusier.

Lush Green

New York–based interior design duo Jamie Drake and Caleb Anderson aptly demonstrate how this dense color works in an upscale manner. A sustainable, handwoven, palm-print fabric from Laos by Soie de Lune exudes timeless elegance in this sky-high, sun-filled Manhattan apartment.

Sea Blue

The color of the Florida reef arrives in the home of Domino‘s founding creative director Sara Ruffin Costello and photographer Paul Costello. The unexpected architectural detail of using a trellis indoors is a Southern home tradition that Sara had updated with a Moorish arch and a green-gray color that reads like the color of the ocean.

This intense wallpaper in saffron adds drama and sunshine to this bathroom, whatever the skies outside may be doing. The playful, whimsical print featuring pink and gold accents encourage the  levity of a summer mood.

A summer siesta is calling from the master suite in this house in Casa Pezo, which is situated amongst the natural landscape of Matarraña, Spain. The neutral color scheme is anchored by the cement construction of the floors and the distressed wood ceiling, offering a soothing palette in any season.

A vibrant hue of this secondary color is universally timeless, gliding easily between all four seasons. Paired with Vienna straw—which is becoming a highly sought-after material for designers, along with wicker, raffia, and bamboo—gives the space a tropical, summer locale vibe.

This almost navy shade closely resembles marine blue, so its association with the warmest months relates to the nautical lifestyle. English designer Lee Broom applies the color to this retro but decidedly modern Tribeca apartment, tossing in touches of Cubism and Bauhaus.

This color’s name automatically brings up notions of a beach and the relaxed living that comes along with it. Here, the natural hue takes a sophisticated stance in this DeGournay-embroidered, silk wall covering in the Napa home of blogger Hannah Harden—who is known for her exuberance for wallpaper. 

Let the designers behind Drake Anderson (Jamie and Caleb) remove any fear of color with this example of a salmon pink room in New York’s Chelsea—which is highlighted throughout with an almost acid green shade. Summer’s best treats (popsicles, Key Lime Pie, and margaritas) also come in this feisty hue.


Pantone_ 2915C

It’s obvious why the color of most swimming pools evokes fond memories of summer. Less obvious is how, when used subtly, it’s as suitable fireside as it is poolside.

The classic Palm Beach combo of pink and green gets a tony upgrade when paired with black and white in this room from interior decorator Amanda Lindroth. The focal point in this room—a deep pink, Schumacher Sophia velvet couch trimmed with Hula fringe—makes a statement without overtaking the whole room. Its color works in both warm and cool locations, looking equally at home on both sides of the Mason–Dixon line.

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