Simple summer spruce-ups that won’t set you back a bundle

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8748_B23_rgb5(ARA) – Summer is in full swing, and the guests are lining up for weekend brunches, pool parties, backyard barbecues and sophisticated dinners. If you’re feeling the urge to spruce up your home for summer entertaining, you can make a big impact on a modest budget with some simple steps.

Freshening floors can update your room’s look and doesn’t have to be an expensive or time-consuming task. Carpets will benefit from a simple deep cleaning – something you should be doing seasonally anyway to preserve their beauty and extend their usable lives. For tile, stone or hardwoods, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning and maintenance and make the process part of your seasonal cleaning routine.

Another great way to dress up floors, either indoors or out, is to add a splash of color with an area rug. For floor-freshening ideas, check out

While you’re reveling in the natural light of summer, don’t overlook the importance of using light to create a mood for warm weather evenings. With longer days and more sun in summer, you may find you need synthetic light less for visibility and more for ambiance. Summer is a great time to add dimmers to a dining room or bedroom, add an eye-catching overhead fixture, or give bright lights a break in favor of subtly placed table or floor lamps. For great seasonal lighting ideas, visit