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Home Design with Kevin Sharkey

Getting Ready For Summer

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I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.  The weather here on the East Coast was just perfect.

Martha and I spent the long weekend in Maine getting the house ready for the coming summer season.   There certainly was a lot to do and all the prep work really got me thinking.  Most people already know about spring cleaning and have their routines for cleaning and re-organizing,  but what are the steps you need to take to get your home ready for the summer?

Below are some easy and practical suggestions to help you enjoy your home during summer a little more.

Throughout the house, hang window screens, clean fans, inspect alarms, clean the fireplace and air everything out.  Then, open up screen windows and doors and let in the fresh air.

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Take down storm windows and wash and dry them to store.  Also, make any repairs that are needed on them.  Install window screens.  Repair any holes in screens before installing.  Use a label maker to identify where screens belong.  It will make the seasonal switch much easier.

1 Take down storm windows and wash and dry them to store. Also, make any repairs that are needed on them. Install window screens. Repair any holes in screens before installing. Use a label maker to identify where screens belong. It will make the seasonal switch much easier.

A patch can easily repair a hole in a damaged screen.  For a complete guide to screen repairs go to marthastewart.com and type screen repairs in the search bar.

2 A patch can easily repair a hole in a damaged screen. For a complete guide to screen repairs go to marthastewart.com and type screen repairs in the search bar.

At Bedford, Martha had custom wood cases built to house the screens and storm windows for the house.  A carpet lining was installed on the bottom to keep them from scratching when pulling them in and out.

3 At Bedford, Martha had custom wood cases built to house the screens and storm windows for the house. A carpet lining was installed on the bottom to keep them from scratching when pulling them in and out.

The tops of each compartment are labeled with P-Touch tape indicating their location in the house and making it easier to return them to their proper places when it's time.

4 The tops of each compartment are labeled with P-Touch tape indicating their location in the house and making it easier to return them to their proper places when it's time.

Unplug fans before cleaning.  Remove protective grilles and wash them in warm soapy water.  Wipe down the blades and dry everything thoroughly.  Replace grilles.

5 Unplug fans before cleaning. Remove protective grilles and wash them in warm soapy water. Wipe down the blades and dry everything thoroughly. Replace grilles.

Remove and clean air-conditioning filters according to manufacturer's instructions.

6 Remove and clean air-conditioning filters according to manufacturer's instructions.

Inspect smoke alarms and carbon-monoxide detectors.  Replace batteries if neccessary, and perform a safety test.  If you're looking to upgrade your smoke alarms, I love the look of the Kidde Silhouette.  It only extends about a half inch from the ceiling.  It's available at The Home Depot (homedepot.com)

7 Inspect smoke alarms and carbon-monoxide detectors. Replace batteries if neccessary, and perform a safety test. If you're looking to upgrade your smoke alarms, I love the look of the Kidde Silhouette. It only extends about a half inch from the ceiling. It's available at The Home Depot (homedepot.com)

Clean out the fireplace by shoveling ash into a metal bucket and sweeping out the hearth.  Remove any remaining soot with a dry sponge or steel brush.  It's also a good idea to have a chimney sweep inspect and clean the chimney annually.

8 Clean out the fireplace by shoveling ash into a metal bucket and sweeping out the hearth. Remove any remaining soot with a dry sponge or steel brush. It's also a good idea to have a chimney sweep inspect and clean the chimney annually.

Vacuum furniture and bring out any small pieces to air outside.  Be cautious however with fine fabrics such as silk which can be damaged by sunlight.

9 Vacuum furniture and bring out any small pieces to air outside. Be cautious however with fine fabrics such as silk which can be damaged by sunlight.

In the living areas, freshen up the entryway, change out curtains, clean rugs and carpets, and clear surfaces.

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Change out your doormats to fit the season.  You can make this rope one yourself.  Instructions are online at marthastewart.com.  Type braided doormat into the search bar.

1 Change out your doormats to fit the season. You can make this rope one yourself. Instructions are online at marthastewart.com. Type braided doormat into the search bar.

Replace heavy curtains with lighter weight ones.  Before storing your heavy window treatments, be sure to clean them properly.

2 Replace heavy curtains with lighter weight ones. Before storing your heavy window treatments, be sure to clean them properly.

Vacuum, air out, roll and store winter area rugs.  If you have wall to wall carpeting, steam clean it on a dry day.

3 Vacuum, air out, roll and store winter area rugs. If you have wall to wall carpeting, steam clean it on a dry day.

Remove unneeded items from cluttered shelves and tables.  Replace multiple objects with one container of cut flowers.  Dust regularly.

4 Remove unneeded items from cluttered shelves and tables. Replace multiple objects with one container of cut flowers. Dust regularly.

Make these easy updates in the kitchen and bath.

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Switch out dark colored and heavy table linens for lightweight cotton or linen ones.  Their casual feel is perfect for summer.

1 Switch out dark colored and heavy table linens for lightweight cotton or linen ones. Their casual feel is perfect for summer.

Restock your pantry and discard any expired items.  Especially spices.  Replace other pantry supplies as needed and refill shakers and containers.

2 Restock your pantry and discard any expired items. Especially spices. Replace other pantry supplies as needed and refill shakers and containers.

Do the same for the medicine cabinet.  Dispose of an expired items and replace old cosmetics.  Stock up on any essentials.

3 Do the same for the medicine cabinet. Dispose of an expired items and replace old cosmetics. Stock up on any essentials.

Have bright colored towels on hand for the beach.  I love these stripe towels from the Martha Stewart Collection at Macy's (macys.com)

4 Have bright colored towels on hand for the beach. I love these stripe towels from the Martha Stewart Collection at Macy's (macys.com)

In the bathroom, light color towels will make the room look cooler.

5 In the bathroom, light color towels will make the room look cooler.

Don't forget to switch out the shower curtain too.  The bold stripes of the Martha Stewart Collection Encore shower curtain at Macys (macys.com) will surely put you in the mood for summer.

6 Don't forget to switch out the shower curtain too. The bold stripes of the Martha Stewart Collection Encore shower curtain at Macys (macys.com) will surely put you in the mood for summer.

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Comments (1)

  • Kevin,
    I've just become a huge fan of yours. In the June issue of MSL your article on party tricks are perfect. I'm one that likes people over but breaks out in hives as to what SIMPLE thing to serve and still pay attention to my guests. Love the presentation of silver for chips and dip (my old favorite too). Please could you give us more of these itdeas. thank you.

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