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Seasons of change
Stylist Pam Stasney shares tips on getting your home ready for summer

Photos by Matt Haas

May 2015

1. Light, bright and airy is the perfect formula for summer decor. Sofa, coffee table, end tables and lamps available at McNabb & Risley, Thiensville; throw pillows and ikat-bound books available at Fringe Interior Design & Home Furnishings, Whitefish Bay; Tulu Trellis natural/black area rug available at Ethan Allen, Brookfield.

Being a transplant from California, I’m not a fan of long Wisconsin winters. I do, however, love experiencing the dramatic change of seasons. When it comes to interior décor, spring and summer call for a home refresh. Here in Wisconsin, the frigid temperatures of winter dictate cozy interiors with roaring fireplaces and generally darker color palettes. When seasons transition, there is an urge to freshen interiors. Of course, any excuse to redecorate is right up my alley. Here are some tips to revitalize your home in simple ways and keep it feeling like an endless summer.

2. Use pattern play in subtle doses. Black and white pillow available at Fringe Interior Design & Home Furnishings; ikat chair, mirror-top table and artisan baskets available at McNabb & Risley. Bring in the outside in with a multi-ring garden seat available at Ethan Allen. Perched on top the garden seat are DIY framed Instagram photos that make instant art.

Shake Things Up Sometimes you don’t have to buy new furnishings or accessories to make your space feel fresh. Repurpose items from one room to another. Move an area rug from the guest room into the living room or a pair of lamps from the bedroom into the dining room. Think outside the box. Seeing your interior from a different perspective is re-energizing.

3. Graphic black and white patterns mix well with splashes of color. Yellow giraffe vase designed by Waylande Gregory and black and white ginger jar available at Peabody’s Interiors, Milwaukee.



Bring The Outside In Flowers and green plants will bring in a breath of fresh air and a burst of color. Using a garden stool as a side table gives the feeling of indoor/outdoor living, perfect for summer entertaining.

Throw pillows are a quintessential accessory for seasonal transitions. These bright, spunky pillows bring the sunshine straight into your living room. Vibrant new art ushers in the colors of nature, whether it is a pretty pastel painting or a beautiful floral photograph. A colorful new area rug welcomes guests into your entryway.

4. Sculptural forms, inspired by nature and grouped in three, make a visual impact. Brass art objects and credenza available at McNabb & Risley.

Seashells, geodes and natural elements are also a great way to remember a favorite summer vacation and adorn tabletops.

Pattern Play Is Fun Go ahead and try something new. What patterns are you drawn to? Do you have a favorite floral dress? Or do you like stripes? Has a new color combination caught your eye? Let your imagination run wild and add a little pattern play to your décor.

When mixing pattern on pattern, try mingling subtle motifs with more graphic designs. A soft-toned ikat-patterned chair looks hip with a graphic black and white pillow. Throw pillows are a great way to mix patterns in small doses. Keep the color palette complementary for a refreshing look.

5. Add some whimsical conversation pieces like a collection of hula girls.

Try adding pattern in an unexpected area like wallpapering a closet or update your window treatments with a soft pattern.

Colorful Collections Infuse splashes of color into your décor with collections of brightly hued vases or create stacks of colorfully bound books. Colored glass vases and objects glisten when the sun shines through the window. Keeping like colors together is easy on the eyes. Just like balancing a garden with a distribution of color and texture, move around colorful accessories until it feels right.

6. Succulents are easy to care for plants and a great way to bring the garden indoors. Kalocsa porcelain plate and collectible Hungarian folk art found at Design Xchange, Pewaukee.

A Touch of Whimsy Is Inviting Elegant lines and classic furnishings create a timeless design. At the same time, introducing elements of surprise makes a space more approachable. A little whimsy goes a long way and starts an interesting conversation — try a mini collection of hula girls reminiscent of a Hawaiian island vacation.

Get Creative and DIY Make your own art by printing some Instagram photos in a grid pattern or frame a pretty piece of decorative paper. Spray paint some thrift store finds. There are so many simple ways to make a big impact. Explore your creativity and feel refreshed. For an interior design consultation or home staging, contact Pam Stasney at



This story ran in the May 2015 issue of: