Summer Home Décor and Maintenance

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cottage beach house decor

Whether you dream of owning a beach house, are ready to close the deal on a cottage, or proudly proclaim yourself the new owner of a summer home, taking care of your property so that it lasts year-round is important. If you pick the right interior decor and take care of proper home maintenance, that property will be ready to welcome you for all your summer reveries. Discover some décor and design ideas, plus home maintenance tips, that you can bring to your beach house or cottage retreat.

Pick Low-Maintenance Flooring

Cottage flooring

You might dream of bringing beautiful hardwood flooring into your summer home. But when your beach house is near the ocean, and you don’t live there year-round, hardwood flooring isn’t the best choice. This type of flooring requires proper maintenance, plus the salty, humid air may affect the wood’s condition over time.

Vinyl flooring, tile, and laminate are some of the best options for your cottage’s flooring. If these flooring types don’t sound like ones you’d like, don’t despair. Engineered flooring may have had limited style a few decades ago, but now this flooring looks like wood, marble, and other surfaces. Plus, you can think outside the box by playing with patterns or buying a flooring style intended to be an accent piece, such as an engineered wood floor resembling a surface painted black.

These three engineered flooring options are suited to beach environments, since sand doesn’t damage them and cleaning them is simple. When you come in from a day at the beach, don’t worry about tracking sand on the floor. When you arrive for the summer after the house has been shuttered for months, a quick wipe with a mop can get your floors clean.

Choose Classic Décor

traditional Cottage decor

Image via Flickr by …love Maegan

Since you spend more time at your permanent residence, you’ll often want to change the décor of your home to fit the latest home decorating trends. But since you spend only a few months of the year in your summer home, you’ll want to give the décor more longevity. Instead of focusing on trending styles, consider furnishing your summer home with classic colors and accents. You don’t want to arrive at the cottage one or two years from now, look around, and wonder what you were thinking with the dated look inside the house.

You may decide to select a beach feel, which includes light colors, ocean-themed accents, and some wicker furniture. Blues, creams, and yellows are colors that complement this design scheme. Perhaps a cottage in the woods is more your style, with floral patterns, finished wood pieces, and beige, gray, or light brown accent colors. Retro or vintage designs are another smart choice, enabling you to focus on a ’20s era or a ’50s feel. Retro designs can also be used to set off the clean lines and sophisticated styles of modern surfaces and appliances.

Perform Year-Round Maintenance

home maintenance

Although you’ll do most of your seasonal home maintenance in summer, you don’t want to neglect the property during the rest of the year. To keep your property in good condition, visit at least once a season to get some basic home maintenance done. While these visits may take some scheduling on your part, especially if the property isn’t close by, you’ll be glad you did in the long run.

In the spring, check the roof and the gutters. Clear debris from the gutters and make sure none of the roof tiles have rotted or suffered any damage. Start thinking about the summer months ahead: Are you running low on chlorine for the pool? Is your patio furniture getting rusty? Spring is a good time to replenish supplies. Don’t forget to make sure the air conditioning works as well.

Summer is the time for rejuvenating your property. Fix paint, repair cracks, check the sidewalk and driveway for damage, do some gardening, and repair any fencing or outdoor structures.

Fall is a good time for a yearly HVAC tune-up. Remember, even though the property gets seasonal use, the HVAC system still needs yearly home maintenance to run at top efficiency. Take care of another gutter cleaning session and spend some time checking around the home’s foundation to be sure water isn’t pooling near the foundation.

During the winter, you’ll want to make sure pipes don’t freeze, depending on the home’s location. Check for leaks or problems by running some water through bathroom and kitchen faucets. Consider also upgrading the alarm system and thermostat so that you can synch both security and HVAC systems with your smartphone. The best systems will monitor for issues like freezing pipes and malfunctioning HVAC systems, so you can address any problems as soon as possible.

Clean Your Summer Retreat

home maintenance

Too bad dust doesn’t take a rest when you’re not at your summer home. Even though you probably want to relax when you first arrive at your cottage, you probably have some cleaning to do. First, clean floors and countertops. Dust corners of rooms, around windows, on fireplace mantles, and all other surfaces. Vacuum any area rugs and either vacuum or pass a lint roller over your furniture.

Don’t forget candles or reed diffusers. Beach houses sometimes develop a damp, mildew smell, even if you don’t have a mold problem. Coastal smells can enter into your living space, but you can freshen the air with your favorite scents around the home.

If you want to save yourself some time, cover your furniture, especially your mattress, with sheets or with plastic when you leave at the end of summer. When you arrive for a new season next year, you’ll only have to pull the coverings off and wash them.

Your summer home’s location is only half of what makes this place special for you. The other half lies in the home’s interior, so create a seasonal haven where you can escape the stress and pressures of the world. With some proper maintenance and inspired decorating ideas, your beach house or cottage can remain an attractive place year-round.

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Michelle Thompson