When I moved into my apartment, I knew that the living and dining rooms would get a summer switch up - nothing crazy, just a shift to more color, and pattern and a more playful attitude. Today being the first day of Spring, I started to lay the frame work for this mini-shift, at least in my mind.
A room I've long admired for this type of change is the living room of decorator Suzanne Rheinstein at her California home. In the winter months, marked only by the calendar in southern California, Suzanne's living room sports upholstered pieces in velvet, and jacquard stripes.
In the summer, Suzanne pulls out the glacial green and white stripe slipcovers, which are matched to every piece of furniture in the living room:
And she recently had a second set of slips made for the living room from her new fabric line:
It didn't take a full tilt redecoration of the space to get a completely different look. By simply using different fabrics on the furniture, she was able to lighten the mood and formality of her winter look. Another California designer who uses slipcovers to change her interiors with the seasons is Penelope Bianchi.
Her home in Montecito, California is nothing short of extraordinary. Just look at this image, is this not the most enchanting thing you've ever seen?
The living room is quite large, and is separated by a round table in the center of the room. On the left, a seating group at the fireplace gets a refreshing change with each season. In the fall, paisley slipcovers are mixed with antique Flemish tapestry pillows, Scalamandre silk velvet, and African animal hide.
In the spring, stripes, and Jardinere toiles meet up with more Flemish tapestry and silk velvet, this time on small upholstered ottomans.
Here, you can see the open legs of the two chairs that face the fireplace. Slipcovers completely change the feeling of these two chairs for Spring and Summer. I've never personally met Penelope, but in my few conversations with her via email and the blog, she exudes warmth and creativity. The photos of her scattered about blogland paint her as graceful and stylish, elegant without any effort. If I ever break myself away from responsibilities and get out to California, I hope to meet her.
My friend Joni, interior designer and author of Cote de Texas, redecorated her formal living room a few years ago. While it stays like this now, I wanted to use the change to illustrate the point of how simple changes (which could be temporary for the seasons) can completely change the feeling of a room.
Joni's formal living room with pieces upholstered in Bennison fabrics, a luxury Britain-based fabric house.
Today, everything slipcovered in beautiful white linen. You'll notice that the furniture didn't change in this space, nor did the layout. By simply slipcovering the pieces in white, and replacing the antique Aubusson rug with a creamy white cowhide, she completely lightened the mood of the room.
Another friend who makes changes to the inside of her beautiful home with the seasonal changes outside is Joan, who blogs at for the love of a house. In the winter, the roaring fire of her plaster finished, custom built fireplace keeps her and her 3 beautiful pups warm on the cushions of her linen slipcovered sofas covered in harvest colored velvet pillows.
In the Spring and Summer, the pillows change and Joan pulls up the antique woven rugs in favor of a striped wool dhurrie.
This beautiful space has direct access to a gravel terrace through two sets of french doors on either side of the fireplace, which doubles the livable space in the summer season. This room is a wonderful example of how changes as simple as pillow covers and a rug can completely lighten the feeling of a space.
So, what do you do to switch up your rooms for the seasons? Are you chomping at the bit to add those spring and summer touches to your space? Tell me about it! Lord knows, I am!