Bring summer into your home with Monica Pedersen

Monday, May 24, 2010
By Abbey Khan

Designer, lifestyle expert and HGTV host Monica Pedersen tells us how to make your home and patio more summer friendly so you can enjoy the warm weather in style. She also gives us the do’s and don’ts of shopping at garage sales and flea markets and lets us in on decorating ideas for her own home.

FUSN: Since summer is almost here, thank goodness, and people want to be outside, how should homeowners go about redesigning their outdoor space?
MP: You should spray paint your existing ironwood— patio furniture, light post, outdoor grill, etc. Bring some of the wonderful indoor/outdoor accessories into your outdoor space, like fantastic outdoor rugs that you can put on your patio or deck. Outdoor fabrics have gone wild in the past few years with the introduction of patterns that you typically would see on the fabrics in your home. Years ago, it was always stripes, now there are paisleys and other fun patterns.

FUSN: Is there a popular color or pattern for this season?
MP: Turquoise is super hot. It’s the color of the year. What’s fantastic about bringing a pop of turquoise is that it looks great against black furniture, wood tones, such as cedar or dark woods, and it’s also fun because it borrows from the sky— you’re in that blue color way and it pops. It looks great even with a punch of red or a punch of orange. Orange and turquoise are so colorful and it’s a ton of energy, definitely great for summer.

FUSN: What summer items would you splurge on?
MP: I would splurge on decorative urns, think overscale. Overscale, because they’re going to have a lot more impact and if you make the investment, you can use them year after year as opposed to making an investment in a ton of annuals. I would spend money on some great big garden products like huge containers and perennials and have fun with those.

FUSN: Do you have a favorite store you like to shop at?
MP: I shop a lot at Home Depot. I love it! I’m there all the time. Right now they have amazing orchids— they have everything.

FUSN: Is Home Depot included on the Mastercard shopping website?
MP: Yes. With, you can go online and check out the deals. Click on ‘home’ and you’ll find great deals from Home Depot. Even Target has a fabulous selection of outdoor furnishings and fun accessories. Every year they have new stuff and they’re also on and you can see what extra specials and deals they’re having at the website. I know I’m the spokesperson for, but I really believe that you need a site like this to help establish your budget and make separating a lot more fun. Going out and wandering is overwhelming.

FUSN: Target has designer products for home furnishings, is there any particular line you recommend?
MP: I like the Smith & Hawken line for Target. They have a really great price point and they have everything from really cheap floor mats, like welcome mats, to great containers. They have fun little lighting— with the explosion of outdoor spaces also comes the outdoor entertaining thing. In the summertime, we all want to be outdoors and maybe you’re using all your existing stuff, but you’re buying just a few outdoor entertaining accessories. They have all those great strings of light. Smith & Hawken has some woven ones, just a regular round bulb, they’re very festive, and Target also has a ton of the classic serving pieces, which are really cool. They have colorful, geometric, stripes— I was just there the other day looking at the stuff and it just looks awesome. Maybe you’re coordinating your outdoor accessories, like your pillows and place mats with some fun serving pieces.

FUSN: You’re the master at finding great deals at garage sales, any tips you can give us?
MP: Look for pieces that are versatile. I love buying side chairs– they’re easy to paint and reupholster. It can go anywhere, it can go in a bedroom, the dining room or living room, and small side tables are great too. And look for accessories. I have a collection of plates that I have hung on walls in my kitchen for quick design, but also for gifting. I’m not a huge cook, but I can make a couple of things, and I can bake a little bit, and it’s great especially during the holidays, when you’re bringing something to a party, it’s great to bring something and not put the pressure on the host because there are dishes to wash— they can just enjoy it and keep it.

FUSN: What about negotiating prices at flea markets?
MP: Always go down in price. Whatever the price tag is, I would say go down usually 20 percent. They’re expecting it. At flea markets, get ready to bargain, have a lot of cash. Go online and research prices, find out how much things are going for and you should expect to pay significantly less than that at a flea market because there isn’t overhead and often times people just want to move stuff.

FUSN: We talked about summerizing your home for the outdoors, what about the indoors?
MP: I encourage accessorizing seasonally. Most of the time I would lighten it up with plants, beautiful pots and containers, accent pillows, and maybe a throw. Even though it’s summertime, there are some really great looking fun punchy colored throws out there to put on a side chair or sofa.

FUSN: Do you redecorate your own place every season or do you just leave it alone?
MP: I do change out accessories a lot. My own home has a lot of neutral colors. I like to introduce colors through accessories. Right now, I’m really hot for a kind of eggplant color and it looks fantastic with any neutral. It looks great with gray, beige, and bright white. So I’m thinking about spending a little bit of money on some beautiful new pillows in my living room and incorporating it with this eggplant. I also have a crystal chandelier in my dining room and I just added a garland of wooden beads to it and I also did it to some sconces.

You can get more expert advice from Monica Pedersen on her HGTV shows such as Designed to Sell, Bang For Your Buck, and Blank Canvas. Check your local listings for air dates and times. is open to eligible Debit MasterCard and Prepaid MasterCard cardholders and now MasterCard credit card cardholders. Cardholders can take advantage of discounts both online and in stores through the use of promotional codes, printed coupons and direct links to the discounts available from their personalized MasterCard Marketplace portal. Cardholders can also get customizable email notifications for offers from specific merchants, exclusive in-store shopping events at preferred merchants, and overwhelming offers – daily, time sensitive, limited quantity offers that are deeply discounted (up to 50% or more) and appear each day at noon EST.

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Diane Roland
Diane Roland
12 years ago

I was curious to know what Monica Pederson’s favoite neutral paint colors would be?

12 years ago

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