DIY Projects

How to: Bring summer into your home

How to: Bring summer into your home

How to: Bring summer into your home Author: Style At Home

DIY Projects

How to: Bring summer into your home

When summer finally arrives, we spare no time moving our lives outdoors -- firing up the barbecue, dining al fresco, landscaping the yard, picking fresh herbs and relaxing in the wonderful sun and warm air.

However, with so much focus on the great outdoors, it's easy to dismiss simple seasonal ideas that can freshen up the indoors. “The goal is to blur the distinction between the outdoors and indoors,” says Bonnie Trust Dahan, author of Living with the Seasons (Chronicle Books, 2003). “Take a day to think about it and do it,” she says. “It gives a sense of renewal in your house and brings you in touch with the season.”

10 ways to bring the outdoors in

1 Change textiles throughout
Lighten up any room by exchanging heavy fabrics for breezier ones. In the living room, take down drapes or replace them with an open weave such as chiffon or organza, suggests Bonnie. Change throw-pillow covers and sofa slipcovers in the den, add crisp white -- or bright solid or floral -- percale or linen sheets in the bedroom, use quick-drying towels in the bathroom and opt for natural woven placemats instead of a tablecloth in the dining room.

2 Play with your fruits and vegetables
Turn seasonal produce into a centrepiece for your kitchen or dining table. “Try a dozen lemons in a cobalt blue bowl -- yellow and blue are the colours of summer and it adds a nice citrus scent,” says Bonnie.

3 Let nature take its course
Formal floral arrangements can be too heavy for summertime. Take a cue from the garden and casually arrange flowers as they would grow outdoors, writes Kristin Perers, author of A Home For All Seasons (Ryland Peters & Small, 1998). Toss some fragrant herbs, such as mint, rosemary and sage, into arrangements or plant them in a window box outside a bedroom and enjoy the aroma all night long.

4 Smell like summer
Put away products with which you regularly bathe or shower and opt for ones with summer scents, like rosemary bath soap or fruity body wash.

5 Bring the outdoors in
“I like to take accents from the garden -- a cachepot, a tool -- and use them out of context in the home,” says Bonnie. “They're little reminders of what's going on outdoors.” Store spatulas or wooden spoons in a terracotta pot, frame a collection of antique gardening tools to create a seasonal wall collage or move patio furniture indoors.

6 Cut a rug
Who needs that heavy Oriental rug during summer? Lay down a more natural alternative, such as a sisal rug, or better yet, keep the floors bare. “It's a nice feeling walking barefoot on a hardwood floor,” says Bonnie.

7 Spruce up your cleaning
Stores like Crabtree and Evelyn sell an array of aromatic cleaning products. Try one infused with delightful seasonal scents, such rosewater linen wash and lavender carpet refresher.

8 Get crafty
Simple summer shirting can get the creativity going, writes Kristin. Employ the fabric in decorative details like a patchwork quilt or pillow shams. If you prefer more floral works, press petals between two framed pieces of glass for instant art or use them to border a mirror for a touch of summer all year long.

9 Dish it out
Summer usually brings with it a playful mood. Mix and match dishes in fun vibrant solids or with funky patterns like stripes and botanic prints.

10 Colour your world
When visiting a farmers' market, pay attention to all the wonderful colours that surround you, Bonnie suggests. Then pick a room in your home, designate it the “summer room” and repaint the walls one of those luscious, incredible hues.


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DIY Projects

How to: Bring summer into your home