Summer All Year ‘Round
The few precious weeks of summer are what we wait all year for. Sun deprived New Englanders crave the azure skies and sea. We’d all love to have that breezy feeling every day.
Most of us look to put that great relaxed feeling into our homes. A nautical blue and white look is great in the hot weather but in reality, nobody wants to live with those cool tones in the winter. How then can we capture those “feel good” times in our homes all year? Let’s get outside the box a bit to discover how we can evoke the good feelings of summer into an everyday happening.
Summer is when we roll up the rugs and let our hair down. It is a state of being as much as it is a point in time. Summer is about the attitude of being relaxed and spontaneous…less fussy…simpler.
Starting conceptually with the attitude, we can translate it into the home with the use of materials which are natural or natural blends. Hybrid blends such as linen/polyesters give you the natural look without the inherent stability and wrinkling problems of the all-natural version. Softer, less constructed furnishings are very inviting. Try seat cushion backs with a knife edge instead of the standard box edge. These are more casual in appearance. Opt also for seat cushion backs which are not attached. Again, having loose back cushions will insure that none of your seat backs line up, hence the casual look.
On the floor, flat woven rugs such as kilim or dhurries are easy to maintain and textural in nature. They range from naturally colored to brightly pigmented and can be the statement in the room which steers its direction.
Walls need not be neglected, a classic material which spans both time and decor styles is grasscloth. It is generic enough to be broadcast over a large area or can be used as an accent. There are even vinyl versions which use digital technology for unbelievably realistic renditions.
You need not commit an entire room to a gallery of matched finishes. Often, one or two accent pieces can set the tone for your room. The introduction of a ceruse finished coffee table may be the focal piece you need. As you might imagine, matching pieces in a suite is not part of a relaxed summer look. Think about every cottage you may have rented and how the furnishings were part of a diverse collection.
The key to this casual look is to have it appear purposeful even though there may be many elements and styles present. Designers will look for a common theme which runs through these furnishings so that they may coordinate pieces purposefully. It takes careful planning to make it look like it just happened naturally!