8 great decorating ideas to make summer last the whole year through

September 03, 2014

The cold wind may be nipping at your nose, but that’s no reason to say so long to summer. Simple indoor touches that convey a connection with nature can maintain the warm-weather feel – without resorting to jacking up your thermostat to a tropical 35 degrees (95°F).


1. Colour your world: We have a tendency to shy away from colour in North America, resorting to the standard drab taupes and creams. In Provence, colour is just as important as the furnishings and decorative accessories. Grassy greens, sky blues, citrus yellows and even bright whites all evoke elements of the great outdoors.

2. Go organic: In materials, that is. Think grass cloth on the walls and woven rugs on the floors. Furniture made of distressed wood, cane, wicker and stone also lend a natural feel.

Seashells and old beach reads add summer warmth

3. Hit the beach: If you're anything like us, a sit-back-and-relax trip to the beach inevitably ends with us fidgeting and the need to do something – that something usually being searching the sand for perfect seashells or coloured sea glass. And, if you’re anything like us, you bring those finds home and leave them in the beach bag until next summer. Now’s the time to pull them out and place them in a bowl or vase and arrange that vessel on a mantel or night table. River rock, driftwood and branches can also be easily incorporated into your decor.

4. Decorate cottage-style: It was hard not to notice the paddleboard lying in the corner of our cousin’s living room. Her response: “Don’t ask.” Obviously, it wasn’t there as artistic statement. But why not hang summertime sports paraphernalia? Antique tennis rackets, painted surfboards or wooden canoe paddles on the walls will make you look forward to next summer, rather than dwell on summers past.

5. Lighten up: Why is it that we store lighter bed linens when the weather turns? Sure, they may not keep us as toasty at night, but rather than change them completely, simply slide a comforter underneath. Keep your gauzier window coverings as well – after all, we can use all the light we can get in those darker winter months.

6. Get growing: Although you can’t harvest all your summertime staples indoors, you can continue to grow certain fresh herbs. Chives, oregano, parsley, sage and mint are all viable options. For instructions, watch this video from Martha Stewart:

7. Punch it up with fabric: Floral, gingham, vine, check, lattice, suzani – these fun, colourful fabrics add immediate summer appeal, be they for pillows, bedroom linens, chairs, sofas or window coverings.

8. Green thumb it: Having a variety of plants indoors is good for so many reasons: they reduce stress, purify air by remove toxins; increase the humidity level thereby reducing the risk of colds and sore throats; release oxygen making breathing easier; and of course up the zen. Group together like greenery, be they potted plants, terrariums or fronds in glass vases.

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