Decor: Lightening up the house for summertime

A little bit of wicker and indoor plants can bring summer inside your home. (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

There is nothing that says summer better than to be in touch with nature: going to the beach, swimming in a lake or planting flower beds. Most of us love the casual comfort, color and charm of a garden setting. It is easy to transform your home into a garden oasis with a few simple design moves. It is even easier to refresh your home with a few botanical motifs. Nature as a guiding theme in decor is classic. The relaxed appeal of outdoor inspired interiors is one that your family and friends are sure to love.

The easiest and most obvious way to “garden up” your room is to bring in plants and flowers—the more, the better. On one hand, plants are recommended to help improve the quality of the air in a room. On the other hand, select your plants with care, especially if someone in your household suffers from allergies.

Creating an inviting retreat needn’t require a complete redo of an entire room. Seek out a sunny corner or an underused space of any room. This can be transformed into the perfect place to read your favorite book or have a tall glass of iced tea. The casual character of gardens means that any light piece of furniture can start to create your garden-inspired space. A grouping of a director’s chair, a skirted round table, a small rag area rug and a potted orchid are just enough to convey the spirit of an inviting retreat.

Keep it simple. Lightweight furniture such as wicker and rattan are best-suited for this type of design. Fabrics such as white cotton twill, plain canvas and floral chintzes are the best fabrics for bringing the outside indoors. Painted furniture is a must for creating an informal setting. If the paint or finish is a bit distressed or flaking, all the better. This furniture with “patina” is what some antique dealers and collectors covet. They stress to buyers that it is a special quality of certain pieces of furniture.

The art on your walls can also help bring nature into your rooms. A painting of a vase with flowers, a collection of framed botanical prints, and framed specimens of local plants, with their Latin names hand written neatly across the bottom of the frame, can be inspiring and reminiscent of a garden. Accessories can be fun. A collection of rusted metal watering cans, rows of plantings in terra cotta pots or a stack of vintage luggage or garden books to serve as a side table are perfect. The options are endless, and a bit of whimsy in this scenario is almost required.

Bringing the outside indoors can help create a cozy corner or a delightful den. Surrounding yourself with serenity is completely within the realm of your do-it-yourself redecoration project. Add something for your other senses as well. A candle will add the flicker of light and your favorite scent to your room. Have fun, and enjoy it . Summer is always the fastest season to come and go.

Joseph Pubillones is the owner of Joseph Pubillones Interiors, an award-winning interior design firm based in Palm Beach, Florida.

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