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The summer is typically the time of year when we dress in lighter/brighter clothing to keep cool — so it's also a good time to use softer, lighter colors within the home. In many situations, lighter colors give a space a crisp, fresh and clean feeling. Light colors can also make smaller rooms feel larger.

Where to start

When decorating or deciding what colors to bring into any space, I suggest you begin by evaluating a space from the doorway to get a full perspective of the space.

From there, decide what will be the largest pieces in the room and begin with those. For example, select the color and material for your sofa before selecting your coffee table, or select your bed before selecting your nightstands.

Why neutral?

In general, choosing light or lighter colors for your upholstery pieces are the way to go. Light colors blend well with other colors, and they can be used as a canvas from which a color palette can be created or built. Neutral colors are also timeless as opposed to trendy. You will likely get more use (and for longer) from your neutral selections.

Light, bright and perfect for summer

When people think of light colors, they might think mainly of white and taupe. But you can perk up your decor with a host of other colors this summer. Some great options include:

  • Light gray
  • Muted gold
  • Taupe
  • Soft blue
  • Light pink


When looking to bring accessories such as pillows and artwork into a space, don't be afraid to go light and bright as well. A light painting hung on a wall can really add a lot of light to a room, for example.

Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design home staging expert and short-term rental/vacation home designer with offices in New York City and the Hudson Valley.