A summer place

Update your vacation home with a few simple tips

It's only a week until summer officially begins, but we're willing to bet vacation is already on your mind. In fact, you may already be spending weekends at your second home.

But have you given a lot of thought to what your getaway looks like? Now is the perfect time to update the decor of your vacation home.

The key is to think light and airy, said Julie Reynolds of Reynolds Interiors Inc. of Lawrenceville. A few simple changes can transform the space.

Replacing the window treatments can give a room a more summery feel, Reynolds said. She recommends sheer fabrics in light colors.

For the bedroom, change bed linens to something softer, in a bright color. In the kitchen, use colorful dishes that are equally suited to indoor or outdoor dining.

In the living room, a slipcover can give a sofa a whole new appearance. Be sure to choose a durable fabric, though. "It's probably going to get a lot of wear and tear," Reynolds said.

Durable options include the Sunbrella fabrics. Though they're intended for outdoor use, they also work well indoors, said Terri Ervin of Interiors by Decorating Den. "A lot of people are using them on their regular upholstery," Ervin said.

These fabrics are low-maintenance, which is especially important for a second home. In fact, it's best to keep everything as easy to care for as possible. "The plan is to relax and not have to spend a lot of time dusting and cleaning," Ervin said.

If your second home is more cluttered than you'd like, you may want to take inventory of what you already have, then choose some pieces to discard.

"Focus on primary pieces," said Paisley Gamble, a designer at Designs of the Interior in Duluth. "Take pieces that are less important to you and replace those."

Too much furniture can be distracting, she said. "Beach homes and condos usually have a fresh, clean look," Gamble said.

At Home Accent Interiors in Buford, clients sometimes like their beach house so much, they want to bring a little of it back to their primary residence, said designer Susan Sowers. Items from the coast, like shells, can be added to a bathroom or used as an accent in the living room.

"People like to be reminded of happy times," Sowers said.