If you asked me as early as last year, I would have told you I saw no point in seasonal decorations. I felt they encouraged people to accumulate and store too much "stuff," which went against my goal to create a simple, uncluttered, intentional home
That changed when I started volunteering as the librarian at my sons' school this past year. The library needed a little color, and I didn't know most of the kids. I wanted them to think the library (and their new librarian) was fun and happy. I bought a few decorations for the first week of school thinking it would make the place look cheery. I was surprised by the positive response. The kids loved it. The faculty and staff loved it. The parents loved it and, if I'm being honest, I loved it, too.
The kids wanted to know what I was doing next and couldn't wait to see how it would look for Christmas. All of a sudden, seasonal decorating was less about show and more about heart. I'm all for it now, but with a few caveats. These guidelines are especially important when it comes to decorating your garden for holidays, like the 4th of July. A red, white, and blue garden is pretty, but you're going to look like "Super Patriot" if you don't use a little restraint.
Subtlety is Your Best Friend
One flag is good and plenty. Maybe a pretty flag bunting or banner on a deck rail if you want to go all out. The rest of your items can be red, white, and blue, but try to create a patriotic look that isn't so literal. Not every piece of fabric needs a flag or stripes or stars. In the picture above—one of my favorites—only the flag and the bunting are patriotic. (I'm ignoring the star on the end table.) The pillows are in simple blues and naturals. The quilts are red and white star patterns, but they don't scream "Look at me, I'm Paul Revere!" The use of quilts, by the way, is brilliant. For all we know, underneath those quilts are seat cushions in a green and gold tropical print fabric.