Keeping that summer groove all year

Keeping that summer groove all year

Now i’m the first one to admit, i love having all four seasons. I feel sad for those who try to hobble together a Christmas vibe in a hot climate – well, sort of…

BUT…having four distinct seasons does not mean i abandon my favourite season’s LOOKS in my home! THAT doesn’t happen!! But how do i do this?  well, let me admit, its not generally by using “beach kitsch” items. Oh i have some lovely coral….a few shells i sprinkle here and there when i find new ones to use. But no items that scream “beach” so that its the primary thing you notice about my space.

i aim for a calm, peaceful environment. But if you look closely, the touches will begin to be noticeable.  For example, our walls are painted in the most lovely, warm taupe. My decorator/friend said it would make a peaceful backdrop to my favorite colours of warm white and aqua. And it does. (we used Benjamin Moore Weimaraner AF-155) Our trim work is not cream but a warm white (BM Mascarpone- AF 20) and the combined effect is truly gorgeous and warm and comforting! I was impressed how she read my style that well! (can provide her name if you are interested- lovely, talented woman!)

i digress.  Let’s say you’ve had years of brown and just can’t…possibly…do that. Ok, no problem. Wall colour i’d go with? BM Super White (OC 152)- also seen in pic below.     It’s used by the New York Museum of Modern Art- the ideal backdrop for anything!!  And with that white, you probably will need to bring in some textural elements – wicker, raffia, – those gentle warm tones of “wood” to balance the white so it doesn’t become clinical or overly polished feeling. After all, we want a gently tropical feeling vibe!!

Next, bring in some greenery – some summer freshness. Large plants are not difficult to care for. In fact, i have a ten year old Peace Lily (aka mauna loa) that looks very tropical and needs only indirect light- she even tells me when she needs water, by laying her leaves at half-mast. 😉   A good pot full of water and some plant food in it (in growing season only) and she perks right up. Perhaps a philodendron or monsterra? so many beautiful large house plants. Warning: do not get a collection of tiny plants instead – commit to caring for 1-3 large ones and their impact will be worth the effort. A collection of smaller plants looks lovely on a dining or coffee table- collected onto a tray- carved wood tray, wicker tray etc. You get the picture.

What about winter? Glad you asked. Add sheepskin- Ikea, for example, has them for a very reasonable price! I believe they’re sold a rugs but i drape them over dining chairs and that cosy warmth is most appreciated in chilly months. Its a nice, natural fibre to live with and adds a textural element that is uniquely wintry!! Naturally any “fur” throws or boucle blankets draped over seat arms would also work.

And to add some tropical punch, how about navy striped fabric on pillows or a large rug?  The nautical vibe always feels fresh but not overbearing.

And wall art – choose beach or ocean scenes with soft colours and soothing themes. Or go black and white for a funky twist that doesn’t demand attention. Remember to stick to one to two art frame colours so it doesn’t become jarring.

I hope that’s helpful. I, for one, can’t get enough of the light, bright and fresh feel that sings SUMMER!

Thanks to Michelle Lloyd Bermann for the inspiration and photo- her new article in Canadian House and Home magazine July 2017

Sorry picture is hard to see – taken from magazine with my iPhone. 😉

Cottage by the Sea Studio