Summer living room ideas to embrace the season in style

Add a slice of summer to your living room scheme with bright colours and playful patterns

Living room with hanging bamboo chair and plants
(Image credit: TBC)

Living rooms are designed to sit back and relax in, so making sure that yours is up-to-date all year round will make it the go-to spot to lounge in. While a design should be versatile for every month of the year, revamping a space with summer living room ideas will make it feel brand new when the weather changes.  

There are a multitude of ways to transform a cosy winter den into a summer sanctuary, no matter your level of commitment or budget. From updating the overall living room colour scheme with a paint refresh to simply swapping out a couple of cushions, you can easily make the room feel fresh for the warmer season. 

The beautiful blue skies and uplifting sunlight of summer can serve as inspiration to add bright colour to your living room. Just one piece of furniture repainted or reupholstered in a vibrant shade could completely change the mood of your living room, giving it a more positive feel. Keep flooring neutral; bare floorboards, engineered wood or a pale carpet will work with any scheme and leave you plenty of breathing room to add a colourful rug or upholstery.

1. Switch out soft furnishings

Living room with red sofa, pink ottoman and cushions.

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Just like having a seasonal wardrobe, having a space to store summer furnishings means that once the sun comes out, you can give your home a refresh. And while this seems like a luxury, it doesn't need to be. 

Affordable soft furnishings such as cushions and throws are easy to switch around and have a huge impact on the look and feel of a living room. They're also convenient to store in vacuum seal bags or on top of a wardrobe if the aesthetic isn't quite what you want for the winter months. If you're a lover of trying out new living room trends, choosing a new theme for summer is another great way to dip your toe in the water. 

2. Bring the outside in

Living room with blue sofa, large french doors ajar and big plant.

(Image credit: Future PLC/James Merrell)

While summer is often spent with the doors and windows around your home open, there are undeniably some bad weather days (or weeks). When the rain strikes but you still want to enjoy the outdoor ambience, bring it into your living room with plants and flowers. 

Whether you go foraging in your own garden for fresh blooms or you're on the hunt for the best living room house plant ideas, greenery is bound to add life to a living area. Plus, they're great for your mental wellbeing.  

'Don’t underestimate the impact of greenery in your home (and especially your bedroom). Consider putting a pothos plant on your bookshelf, a spider plant on your desk, or a jade plant on a windowsill,' advises Kelly Collins, head of creative at Swyft. 'Many indoor plants are remarkably easy to take care of, and they’re good for your mental health to boot.'

3. Opt for light linen

Living room with bench seating with linen cushions and plant.

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Nothing makes you think of summer more than linen canopies wafting in the breeze, so why not bring the Mediterranean beachside aesthetic to your living room?

Light-coloured linens will not only make a small living room feel brighter and more spacious, but it also makes sitting on the sofa much more breathable. This way, you can feel less guilty about sitting inside while the sun is out. 

4. Add bamboo to a design

Living room with hanging bamboo chair and plants

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Light wood furniture screams summer, so adding rattan or bamboo to a living room will provide an instant update. The lightweight wood makes for an airy space and is on-trend, so you can even keep it as a feature all year round. 

This type of wood features heavily in outdoor living room ideas too, so you create an indoor-outdoor space without having to invest in two sets of furniture. 

5. Add in deckchair stripes

Living room with built-in corner seating area with cushions.

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Deckchair stripes are having a serious moment in both indoor and outdoor spaces, reminiscent of quintessential British seasides and beach huts. Whether you're taking a trip to the sea or staying at home this summer, it's an easy way to bring an element of the sunny vibe to your abode. 

Plus, stripes are incredibly versatile. With wide stripes that make a statement to ticking stripes that offer a more traditional touch, you can find a way to incorporate the trend to suit your style. 

6. Get cute with cacti

room with cactus plants on flower pots and sofa set with large glass windows

(Image credit: James Merrell/Livingetc)

Cacti and succulents are fast becoming the favourite indoor plant of the interiors world right now. From mini Aeonium succulents to large sculptural Saguaro cactus there are many ways to make the most of the versatile and hardy plants, they will instantly turn a wintery scheme into a summer sanctuary.

Let architectural features shine with stripped wood floors and undressed windows - a modern approach to decorating can bring out the essence of a period property. In this stunning Georgian home, modern design classics share space with antiques and retro pieces while beautiful chandeliers twinkle overhead for added glow. A gentle grey on the walls brings out the beauty of architraves, coving and dado rails.

7. Brighten up with orange

living room with white walls round table and sofa sets

(Image credit: Catherine Gratwicke/Homes & Gardens)

Add rich bright accent colours to lift a neutral space. Take your living room from spring to summer by simply changing your accessories. Go for a vivid, rusty orange to bring about a cheery scheme that is sure to keep your smiling all summer long. 

Choosing a different accent for the finishing touches is an easy way to change the look and feel of the room, and is a more affordable update if you're looking to spend more money on summer holidays. 

8. Into the sea

living room with sea blue walls and picture frame on the wall

(Image credit: Dominic Blackmore/Ideal Home)

Invigorate your living room with uplifting tones of turquoise and ultramarine. Together, they generate a vibrant yet mellow mix that really pops when you add in touches of white and lime green. A bold palette like this lends itself to a scheme with more than a little bit of a Miami Beach vibe, so go for simple, modern furniture and glamorous, white, high-gloss finishes.

9. Layer colours

living room with sofaset and multicoloured chairs and table

(Image credit: David Brittain/Country Homes & Interiors)

Layer jazzy colour on a low-key sofa. The subtle colours of key furniture pieces make this country living room airy and ambient. The mid century-style coffee table and console keep the room totally up-to-date while a well loved loft ladder painted teal blue adds a fun touch. 

An array of coloured cushions in various upbeat patterns combined with a blue contemporary rug offsets the understated background beautifully. Pattern is a great way to revive a living room for the summer months. 

Try swapping your cushion covers or rugs for floral, striped or geometric designs to bring more life into your scheme. Use home decor discount codes so you can find fresh covers for the seasons without paying full price.

10. Lighten up

living room with sofaset and photoframe on wall

(Image credit: Simon Bevan/Ideal Home)

Bring an uplifting country vibe to a classic mid-century-style living room with this upbeat colour pairing. The coolness of the yellow-toned green offsets the heat of the bright, orangey-pink accents. Together, they'll bring life to a neutral base and brighten a light-starved space. 

The lemongrass works well on walls and upholstery without overwhelming a small room, while the warmer nectarine hue is best kept in the details and in prints. A zesty citron will liven up a room, while soft peach will add a welcoming warmth.

11. Channel a coastal vibe

living room with photoframe on wall

(Image credit: Lizzie Orme/Country Homes & Interiors)

Create a classic scheme with laid-back accommodating sofas in warm biscuit tones and layer up soft whites and watery blues in simple country patterns. Small-scale stripes, checks and hand-blocked florals work well together on cushions, blinds and chair covers to lift the look. 

Two-tone natural linen curtains keep the windows soft and a trio of roller blinds can be lowered or raised to keep the summer sunshine filtered as it moves around the room. A couple of starfish, a boat picture and a textured rug evocative of a pebble beach all add a touch of seaside fun.

12. Factor in florals

room containing floral wallpaper botanic printed walls and chair

(Image credit: Simon Bevan/Livingetc)

Transport yourself to tropical climes with vibrant botanic prints. This beautiful floral wallpaper oozes colonial elegance, especially when combined with the bright rag rug and white plantation-style shutters. The cane chair continues the colonial theme and nods to the 1970s revival as well. A wood and metal drinks trolley adds a glamorous finishing touch - G&T anyone?

13. Balancing act

room with printed walls containing sofaset with cushions

(Image credit: Joanna Henderson/Ideal Home)

Re-create a modern country scheme by balancing rich wood tones with funky prints for a retro vibe. Fabrics in cool white and pebble grey provide the base for layered accents of blue and yellow. Here, a pastel-coloured sofa livens up the scheme and echoes the tones in the wallpaper. A group of contemporary prints in matching frames creates a simple display.

14. Introduce a sunny palette all over

living room with wooden flooring

(Image credit: David Brittain/Country Homes & Interiors)

Don't be afraid to pick one colour and use it all over you room, especially if it is as fun and vibrant as this hot yellow. If you’re short on space, turning rooms into multi-functional areas is a great solution. In this bright country living room a desk has been added against one wall to create a mini home office. Using a different paint colour - such as the yellow used on the wall here - is a great way to emphasise a change of function within a multi-use room.

How to decorate a living room for summer

Summer marks the arrival of bright blue skies, glistening waters and sandy beaches - in short, time spent outdoors amongst glorious colours. Taking design inspiration from outdoors is a key way to add a slice of summer to your interior, so why not make the most of the playful palette by incorporating this into your living room. 

Alongside a colourful shade range, opting for lighter materials will ensure that you get use out of a space throughout the warmer months. The heat can be stifling which sometimes means seeking refuge indoors, so consider picking soft, lightweight materials such as linen and cotton for your large and small furnishings. 

Deputy Editor

Jennifer is the Deputy Editor (Digital) for Homes & Gardens online. Prior to her current position, she completed various short courses a KLC Design School, and wrote across sister brands Ideal Home, LivingEtc, 25 Beautiful Homes, Country Homes & Interiors, and Style at Home. 

With contributions from