Style to Spare

Stars & Stripes Forever Summer Decorating Preview
Stars & Stripes Forever

10 Ideas to Make Your Home Shine

Displayed together or separately, stars and stripes are iconic summer patterns, especially when rendered in the firecracker red, crisp white and bold blue that connote patriotic pride. We've collected 10 easy ways to add these classic motifs to your home this season.

1. Spangled Shutter

Transform a secondhand shutter with a flag-inspired paint makeover. Basecoat the entire shutter white, then paint the top third of the louvers blue and every other remaining louver red. If the slats are narrow, paint every two red for impact. After the paint is dry, glue several metal stars to the blue section.

Spangled Shutter

2. American Dream

Create a rustic counterpoint to a platform-style headboard by resting a section of weathered picket fencing on top. If you don't have a platform-style headboard, hang a shelf over your bed or mount the fence section on the wall. Attach an Americana-inspired sign to the center of the fencing and secure red and blue metal stars on either side and pair with flag-waving bedding.

American Dream

3. Pop Goes the Tabletop

Put together a standout tabletop starting with a layered runner made from a length of wide, loosely woven burlap-style ribbon, topped by a narrow red and white striped runner. Cut a large rectangle from white canvas and a slightly smaller rectangle from blue and white star fabric using pinking shears. Stack the rectangles in the center of the table and add a centerpiece, like this stack of cake stands filled with treats and crowned with a red teapot.

Pop Goes the Tabletop

4. Souper Star

Convert an ironstone soup tureen, sugar bowl or other vessel into a container for a colorful summer floral arrangement, like this cheery combination of daisies. Wrap a printed burlap ribbon around the vessel and through its handles before knotting it in the front. Insert a small stick flag into the arrangement for a finishing touch.

Souper Star

5. Bold Pairing

Make plain white porch rocking chairs stand out by propping them with vibrant solid and striped pillows, and round out the look with flag-themed accents. To make a quick and complementary table, find a large terra-cotta saucer with a bottom diameter that is slightly larger than the bottom of a large decorative crock. Paint it to coordinate with decorative detailing on the crock. Place the crock atop the upside-down saucer and then add a round wood tabletop and/or tray on top of the crock.

Bold Pairing

6. Thatís a Wrap

Add charm to a chair or barstool with a seasonal seat-cushion cover-up. Keeping the cushion in place, wrap it with a length of red, white and blue star tobacco cloth, tucking the cloth around the edge of the seat and the back of the cushion before knotting it at the lower chair back, positioning it to hide any ties. Add a stars and stripes bow to the center of the chair back to tie everything together.

Thatís a Wrap

7. Sweet Tarts

Break the mold with a windowsill or tabletop showpiece that reworks vintage metal molds, cookie cutters or tart pans into a stylish display. Start with a larger pan, such as this rectangular one with fluted sides, as a base. Cut a piece of scrapbook paper or fabric to fit in the bottom. Next, line up a trio of shapely molds or cookie cutters inside and place patterned cupcake liners in the molds, spreading them out to fill the space. Outfit the accent with candles, small vases or other petite items.

Sweet Tarts

8. From Seat to Shining Seat

Enhance a wicker chair's summery character with a striped cushion and a nautical-motif pillow to make a cozy corner feel like a vacation getaway. For a slim space, use a small stepstool as a side table and brighten it with a vivid vase full of white blooms and fun metal fireworks stakes.

From Seat to Shining Seat

9. Quick Sand

Outfit a buffet or dining table for a summer soireť by layering red, white and blue colored sand from a crafts store in clear glass bowls. Nestle pillar candles in the center of each bowl and place the sand-filled vessels at various heights, using pillar holders or cake stands in coordinating colors.

Quick Sand

10. Reach for the Stars

Enliven a kitchen countertop or sink area with a whimsical stack of red, white and blue colanders filled with trailing ivy and capped off with star picks. Separate the strainers with empty tin cans or small wood blocks or use floral foam if you need a place to secure plants and decorative items. To ensure the entire arrangement is bursting with color, bring in a sunny yellow tray as a backdrop. Prop it up behind the stacked colanders using a small clear plate easel.

Reach for the Stars

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Inspiration Gallery: Stars-and-Stripes Style