Five simple ways to decorate for Faded Summer

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“What dreadful hot weather we have! It keeps one in a
continued state of inelegance.”
– Jane Austen, 1796

I’ll be honest, “Faded Summer” is kinda kickin’ my butt this year because Mother Nature is really clinging to the “Summer” half of the equation. It’s been hot, and very dry here – we’re a four-season state, and our lawn has been crispy and brown since the middle of June. I can say with certainty, I will be ready for Fall this year when September ends.

BUT! Even if it’s oppresively hot outside, the beautiful thing is we can still enjoy the unofficial Fifth Season inside with a few quick Faded Summer decorating ideas that serve as a transition into Fall. Keeping in mind the Faded Summer color palette, the chance to use slightly heavier textures, and motifs like crows, apples, and sunflowers, here are my Top 5 favorite easy decor changes to make for Faded Summer!

Kitchen and bathroom linens – go for solid muted colors or plaids in towels if you can’t find any motif-based designs you like. If you use a valance over your kitchen or bathroom window, or a fabric shower curtain, consider an inexpensive seasonal replacement.

Dishes and tablescapes – of course! Visit thrift and discount stores to find dishes in Faded Summer colors or patterns that will coordinate with what you already have. A one-two punch on the table can be a plain white dinner plate topped with a patterned salad plate. (I recently found a set of four taupe dinner plates by JCP Home that have made a marvelous neutral backdrop for Faded Summer tables!) Thrifted glassware in the right hues can contribute to the look. I’ll stay away from amber-colored glassware until Fall, but shades of muted blue, rose, plum, or olive green are wonderful! Don’t forget placemats, napkins, and tablecloths, too – again, choose solid colors or plaids within the color palette if the options look too “Autumn” at this time.

Faded Summer tablescape ideas

Throw pillows – always a go-to for an easy, inexpensive decor refresh. You can slide pillow covers over existing pillows if you don’t wish to store a lot of seasonal pillows.

Faded Summer throw pillows

Silk, real, and drying flowers – Cut and bring in real flowers from the garden, even the ones that are showing their age. I love the color variations often found at this time of year within individual blooms. Grab a couple small bunches of grocery store roses in cream, pink, or yellow, and hang them upside down to dry! Clip those big beautiful hydrangea blooms and try your hand at drying them – I had a set of Limelight blooms that went from green to tan as they aged and lasted for two full years as a decor element.

Faded Summer flowers cut, drying, and dried

Vignettes, styled shelves, and wall racks – Try some new tabletop displays/vignettes in appropriate colors. I love antique books (without the paper covers) for this purpose and my small collection is varied enough that I can pull some examples to create a small seasonal display. I also have a collection of beautiful decorating magazines such as Victoria, Cottage Style, and English Home, and a basket that I use to display some of them. I change out the first few in the basket with the seasons so the cover photography contributes to the look! Change out your styled shelves with seasonal items, and use peg racks to display old shirts or jackets in appropriate colors and textures. I love the look of faded denim with a flower-embellished straw hat.

Antique books in Faded Summer bindings
Faded Summer styled shelf

Hope these categories give you some Faded Summer decorating inspiration, and remember that it doesn’t have to be expensive. Shop thrift and discount stores, and keep an eye out year-round for items that might help you create the perfect Faded Summer look to take you “from Summer brights to Fall bolds.”

If you’d like a free copy of the official comprehensive guide to the unofficial Fifth Season of Faded Summer, just click here and pop in your email address – I’ll send it to you!

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