What are the best fabrics to use in your home during the summer? Designers share their top picks, and how to style them

Making simple fabric swaps is the key to a cool and comfortable home during the summer heat

(Image credit: Tori Murphy, Bethany Adams Interiors/J.L. Jordan Photography, Cathy Nordström/Fanny Radvik)

Summer is finally in full swing, and while you've likely given plenty of thought to your home's backyard in anticipation of warm summer nights spent dining alfresco and entertaining guests, it's equally worth considering how summer-ready your home's interior is, too.

Decorating with the right fabrics for your summer decor ideas is one of the best ways to ensure your home is ready for the warmest months of the year. Beyond the obvious aesthetic appeal current fabric trends can add to our homes, your chosen fabrics can also largely dictate how comfortable – or uncomfortable – our spaces are when temperatures soar.

We've enlisted the help of interior designers who share below the best summer fabrics to use in your home.

Best fabrics to use in your home during the summer

Before we delve into specific areas of the home to swap out fabrics, it will come as no surprise that designers agree linen and cotton are two of the best and most versatile summer fabrics, for so many rooms.

Boasting natural, breathable, and durable qualities, these fabrics are go-to choices for good reason. They can also create an organic and relaxed look, making them popular choices for rustic decor ideas and Japandi decor ideas.

'When summer rolls around, we love swapping out heavier fabrics for lighter, more breathable options like linen or cotton,' says interior designer Eugenia Triandos, principal designer at Hibou Design & Co.

'They’re highly breathable, absorb moisture, and dry quickly, making them perfect for curtains, bedding, or even sofa covers. They also add that earthy texture we desire in our designs and are easy to maintain; ideal for bedding, throw pillows, or blankets.'

Read on to explore the small but impactful fabric refreshes designers suggest making, ensuring your home is cool, comfortable, and stylish all summer long.

1. Swap heavy bedding with light linens

bedroom with light gray-green walls, neutral bed with white and khaki bedding and dark wooden nightstand

(Image credit: Bethany Adams Interiors, J.L. Jordan Photography)

One of the easiest yet most effective home decor ideas for summer is swapping out heavy bed linens with light and breathable options, such as linen. Aiding in creating a cool and comfortable sleep space, linen bedding is not only practical but stylish, too.

'I always swap my bedding in warmer months, and linen or washable silk are my go-to's for a good night's sleep,' says interior designer Bethany Adams, founder of Bethany Adams Interiors. 'I also change the down duvets out for lightweight cotton and tuck the flannels away for winter.'

2. Refresh accent cushions with breathable fabrics

window seat with patterned cushions

(Image credit: Cathy Nordström, Fanny Radvik)

Whether on an accent chair or on your living room sofa, any pillows made from heavy textiles like wool or velvet can be swapped with those made from lighter, breathable fabrics for summertime. This will bring a summery look to your space while aiding in creating a cooler environment.

'During the summer months, I try to use as many breathable fabrics as possible,' says designer Laura Lubin, founder and principal designer at Ellerslie Interiors.

'Leaning into smaller accessories that you can swap out is all you need to make a space feel lighter and brighter for summer. We tend to gravitate more towards linens and cotton fabrics.'

3. Opt for light-filtering curtains

Farmhouse kitchen table decorated with light linens and foraged flowers

(Image credit: Tori Murphy)

Although swapping out curtain ideas for the summer can sound like a big undertaking, designers say it's a great way to achieve a light and airy look and feel.

'Sheer fabrics are a fantastic summer choice as they allow light to filter through and bring an airy feel to your room,' says interior designer Eugenia Triandos.

Opt for light-filtering fabrics that will ensure daylight flows nicely throughout the space, and choose colors such as beige tones and off-whites that go hand in hand with the desired breezy look.

We explore more sheer window treatment ideas in our dedicated feature.

4. Create a summery dining space with tablecloths

A dining room with a blue and white tablecloth and wooden chairs.

(Image credit: McGee & Co.)

Don't forget about your summer table decor ideas when refreshing fabrics throughout your home. Opting for lightweight cotton and linen options through tablecloths and napkins will reflect the summer months perfectly.

'Nothing feels more like summer than lightweight linen, particularly unlined and with a little light grinning through,' says interior designer Jenny Luck of Jenny Luck Interiors. 'Layered up with some decorative embroidery for added interest would be my ideal soft furnishings scheme for summer.'

Making these small fabric swaps throughout your home will soon have your space ready for summer: creating a cooler environment while achieving a light and airy look in keeping with the sun-filled days.

Paint & Color Editor

Emily is H&G's Paint & Color Editor, covering all things color across interior design and home decor. She joined the team in the summer of 2023, having studied Fashion Communication at university before working in various creative roles ahead of making the leap into interiors. She lives in Glasgow where she loves admiring the city's architecture, frequenting her favorite coffee spots, and sourcing vintage furniture for her tenement apartment. Emily's interior style is inspired by the simplicity of midcentury design, mixed with more playful modern pieces that inject small (but bold) doses of color.