Decorating & Design - Design Lesson

Design lesson: Bring on the sun

Summer decorating tips and advice for maximizing light indoors.

We're never happier than when the sun is in full force. It's wonderful to feel its warmth on your face while strolling outdoors, and also very satisfying to enjoy the sunshine indoors. Here are easy tips for doing just that.


Kimberley's guide to summer style
Summer style has a relaxed, carefree attitude; its casual veneer conceals the hard-working materials and furnishings that make it low maintenance. Give your home that laid-back cottagey feel year-round with these light touches.

Flooring has to be quietly purposeful, easy to care for and able to withstand wear and tear. Varnished hardwood like maple requires little maintenance. Ceramic and stone tile (paired with rush matting, coir, sisal or, my favourite, seagrass), linoleum and sealed cork are all suitable flooring options.

Furniture that's simple and unpretentious -- locally made or comfortably worn in -- is a good choice. Look for items where detail carving is either kept to a minimum or loose in style.

Painted wood furnishings in mint, coral, icy blue, shell pink or sand are refreshing. White is in a category of its own -- a variety of shades can be used to decorate your entire home.

Wicker armchairs, settees and tables -- sometimes painted in crisp white or in more natural honey tones -- capture summer's easygoing spirit.

Patterned textiles like faded florals, ticking and cabana stripes, playful plaids, crisp checks and pictorial cottons and linens lighten up a room.

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