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Summer Style


Published: 06/07/2012


Although no single style wholly expresses the season’s essence, there are common characteristics that contribute to
giving your home that fresh summertime feeling and summer style.


One key to capturing the light, playful feeling so envied in summer style lies in choosing the right fabrics. Faded
florals, narrow ticking stripes, bright checks, perky plaids and wide cabana stripes are cornerstone patterns.

However, limit the number of patterns to create interiors with 'breathing room'. For example, on the sofa you might
combine pillows in a crisp two-tone stripe with those in a bright solid; this pared-down approach to pattern is visually less intrusive.

When fall rolls around simply add more pattern, say floral pillows and a paisley throw to warm up the look.

If a more thorough summer makeover is desired, cotton and linen slipcovers easily disguise heavy winter fabrics such
as velvet, brocade and chenille. Think of loose-fitting slipcovers as the decorating equivalent of a summer shift.

Summer’s also a perfect time to embrace a palette of fresh pastels. A splash of pale aqua or a blush of lavender work
beautifully with deeper tones to lighten and brighten stale rooms. Look for accessories such as vases, throws and lamps in trendy pastels to enliven neutral colour schemes.


The look of summer calls for unpretentious furnishings either locally made or comfortably worn. Look for items where
detail carving is kept to a minimum or done 'loosely', sometimes with more enthusiasm than skill.

Wood can generally be divided between formal and informal varieties. The more casual wood types -- pine, beech,
poplar and maple -- look freshest when left in their natural state or lightly whitewashed.

Painted wood or iron furnishings also promote a feeling of freshness, especially when finished in pale colours such
as mint, coral, icy blue, shell pink, and sand.

White, of course, is a category all its own since an infinite variety of tones can be used to decorate the house. Keep in
mind that successful all-white schemes rely on texture to add interest, so pair matte and glossy surfaces with rough and smooth finishes.

Wicker is effortlessly elegant any time of year, but it looks its best in summer. Armchairs, settees, tables and benches
are readily available, sometimes painted in crisp white or left in more natural honey tones. Soften with comfortable cushions.


Easy-to-care-for describes the ideal flooring. For those with children at home, this is especially true during
summer when there is a constant traffic flow between the backyard and the kitchen. Varnished hardwoods such as maple and oak require very little maintenance beyond sweeping and occasional mopping.

Honed ceramic and stone tile pass the test but may require softening with an area carpet or matting. Grass matting such as
sea grass and sisal provide casual barefoot beauty underfoot as well as a pleasing contrast to the stone, tile or hardwood floors they complement. Linoleum is an environmentally friendly option that works beautifully as well.

Paring down

Before July and August roll around it's possible to instantly brighten rooms with these suggestions:

* Modify window
treatments by removing heavier side panels from draperies, allowing breezy
sheers to remain.

* Roll up and stow
patterned or heavy carpets out of sight. This allows you to appreciate hardwood
or stone floors that are usually covered.

* Remove extra
layers such as heavy pillows and throws from rooms; store until fall.


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