Art + Music

Create a Summertime Retreat with these Décor Tips from Interior Designer Alecia Stevens

Memorial Day has come and gone, and the dog days of summer are upon us at Kiawah River. While summer is typically accompanied by beach days and bathing suits, the change in weather doesn’t just mean a change of wardrobe. These months are also an ideal time to give your home a much-needed seasonal refresh. Below, interior designer Alecia Stevens of Alecia Stevens Interiors shares her favorite tips for elevating your home with light fabrics, bright colors and natural tones for warmer months in the Lowcountry.

Roll the Rugs

When the temperatures are rising, there’s no better feeling than bare feet on a cool hardwood or tile floor. Roll up your wool and cotton rugs to let your floors shine. If you don’t want to bare it all, consider a seagrass rug or a woven mat for a simpler look. These rugs’ durable, natural grasses combine earthy, neutral palettes and rich textures, making them an ultimate design chameleon for any style living room.

“Woven matting is much more forgiving than jute or sisal and its long history in the Lowcountry adds authentic charm,” says Stevens. “This material can even be custom sized to fit any space and will immediately freshen up your home.”

Dress in White

While you’re sporting your favorite white linen dress or seersucker blazer, style your master bedroom in the same fashion. Swapping out heavy, colorful bedding for crisp, white sheets with a white bedcover can transform any bedroom in an instant. Shop for light fabrics like linen and cotton that will keep you cool and comfortable on warm Lowcountry nights. Stevens also recommends covering indoor and outdoor furniture with white linen, cotton or lightweight canvas slipcovers for a temporary, breezy feel.

Steven also suggests temporarily replacing heavy or dark-colored décor with a light-colored candle or a summer fragrance to brighten and freshen your rooms.

Brighten with Blooms

“With the abundance of colorful, flowering plants in Charleston this time of year, I love incorporating lots of greenery and white florals inside the home,” Stevens says.

Local blooms such as gardenias and noisette roses are native to Charleston and will offer living spaces a natural and elegant touch while paying tribute to some of the Lowcountry’s most cherished flowers. Add a splash of green to your arrangements with magnolia leaves, which can be plucked straight from the backyard.

Stevens’ pro tip: Place fresh herbs like rosemary and lavender in small vases on guestroom nightstands and let the soothing aromas lull your guests to sleep during the summer nights.

Bring in the Breeze

On the more moderate summer days or when temperatures start to cool off in the evenings, open your home’s doors and windows to enjoy the abundant natural elements the Lowcountry has to offer. Hang lightweight curtains that will catch the summer breeze when the windows are open yet keep the room cool when temperatures are peaking.

Accessorize with Keepsakes

Add texture and character to your home’s décor with a selection of keepsakes and gems you’ve uncovered from your surroundings, either from the Lowcountry or your favorite destinations.

“One of my favorite accessories is a large, flat, handmade wooden bowl filled with things I’ve found in nature like beach shells, feathers and stones,” Stevens says.

Whether you choose to display shells from Folly Beach and palmetto fronds from Kiawah River or a multicolored ceramic bowl from your trip to the Amalfi Coast, collected décor adds a personalized touch to your stylish summer home.

Upgrade the Bar

Cheers to summertime by dressing up your bar with all the fixings for light and refreshing craft cocktails. Stevens suggests incorporating bar staples like a classic gin and a local tonic or smooth bourbon with fresh mint in a small glass.

Bowls of bright citrus like grapefruits and limes also add a seasonal pop of color to any home bar and come in handy when the clock strikes five. Use these fruits to whip up a batch of fresh margaritas or palomas for an evening (or afternoon) treat!