How to keep those summer vibes alive at home

The sun may soon set on summer, but there’s no need to put the lid on outdoor living, says Sam Wylie-Harris.

Sam Wylie-Harris
Tuesday 23 August 2022 09:30 BST
(Alamy/PA)
(Alamy/PA)

If you’re in a sunny frame of mind but dreading those gloomy grey skies and shorter days, it’s time to put the brakes on the change of seasons.

Indeed, with some bright swaps, a bit of a refresh and putting your creative hat on, an Indian summer is within reach at home.

“With autumn fast approaching and darker nights shortening our days, keeping summer’s spirit alive using clever interior choices can help ease the most difficult seasonal transition,” says Alysha Alli, who heads up the interior design team at Redrow.

From key colour shades to subtle design additions, she says your home can remain a reminder of summer – while not looking out of place as we transition into the colder months.

So how can you make your space look and feel more exotic?

1. Textures and shapes

“Texture is perhaps the most overlooked yet powerful tool in interior design, since it can quickly transform a space with character – and unite a design scheme together,” suggests Alli.

“If you’re longing for past holidays in the Mediterranean, add natural materials to your existing interior.”

She says by incorporating rattan baskets, accessories made from seagrass, element of rattan or cane, will immediately create a relaxed boho ambiance that remains warm and inviting, even in the colder months.

“Pebbles from the beach and assorted warm metals and metallics, in the form of frames or mirrors, work beautifully with these natural materials – and provide a contrast in texture that will make your room even more inviting,” advises Alli.

For a cost-effective way to keep the summer vibes going, she says to add ceramics to your existing interior.

(Redrow/PA)
(Redrow/PA)

“Ceramic artisan vases offer a quick way to introduce fluidity, reminiscent of waves and the coastline, since they come in an array of abstract shapes and sizes.

“Glazed ceramics, which often adopt organic shapes and hand-painted, serve as an easy way to counterbalance the clean lines and geometric silhouettes of some modern furniture,” notes Alli.

“These small additions which favour a fluid look will introduce a playful and fun element to your interior,” she encourages. “Serving as a reminder of summer, while providing visual focal points when strategically placed next to unforgiving angular lines.”

2. Wall art

As Alli points out, nothing serves as a better visual reminder of your favourite holiday or summer’s day out than a photograph or print.

(Alamy/PA)
(Alamy/PA)

“Creating a gallery wall or hanging statement pieces of artwork featuring your favourite summer throwbacks is the perfect way to instantly add character,” says Alli.

Whether it’s a photo from a dreamy destination you’ve visited, an abstract print of a foreign landmark you long to travel to, or simply a family photo showcasing a happy summer’s picnic, she says artwork is guaranteed to start a conversation – perfect when entertaining guests.

To take this further, Alli suggests creating a gallery wall which includes other reminders of summers gone by, such as tapestries purchased from foreign holidays or items collected from the beach resting on small shelves.

“Adding these pieces alongside paintings and prints will create a focal point bursting with personality that’s rich in texture, sizes and most importantly, summer memories,” she adds.

3. Bring the outdoors in

(Redrow/PA)
(Redrow/PA)

 As the colder weather forces us to spend more time inside, she says bridging the gap between your garden and home is a relaxed, cost-effective way to ensure those evenings spent on the patio don’t become a forgotten memory.

“This indoor-outdoor living is a key part of foreign culture where warmer weather is guaranteed,” notes Alli. “Although our weather can be unpredictable, clever design choices can create the illusion of this seamless transition.”

She says identifying key pops of colour in your garden and integrating these internally through houseplants, ceramic pots or soft furnishings, such as cushion covers or curtains and blinds will bring the outside in, particularly if your furnishings embrace a nature inspired print.

“Patterns inspired by nature can also be recreated in unexpected and contemporary materials, like foliage prints in plaster or staining concrete to create marbled effects,” suggests Alli.

“Although small, these subtle design additions will help create a mirage of being back outside in your garden and among nature – perfect for those rainy autumnal days.”

4. Summery colours to suit the seasons

While making sure your home retains its summer spirit, Alli says it’s important to remember popular, bold summer colours, such as rich yellows and deep blues, work just as well in the colder months. But often require a more muted colour palette that’s toned down for the colder seasons.

(Alamy/PA)
(Alamy/PA)

“Regardless of the season, blue remains a popular choice throughout the home since it brings with it a natural touch of serenity and calmness, reminiscent of the sea and clear skies,” says Alli.

Lighter tones of blue in particular, can instantly make us feel calm, centred and content, making it an ideal choice for bedrooms or bathrooms. She says incorporating a delicate nautical stripe either through textured wallpaper on a featured wall, bed linen or soft furnishings, will introduce that all-important coastal feeling.

“If you’re looking to redecorate for the new season, earthy tones, such as sage greens, peaches and warm caramel offer the perfect balance between retaining summer’s warmth while transitioning into autumn’s cosiness.”

“These softer colours are more muted in tone making them reminiscent of Mediterranean interiors,” suggests Alli. And offer an adaptable base colour where richer tones can be easily introduced as winter approaches.”

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