What is it about the summer months that always feels so freeing? Perhaps it’s being able to wear a little less when you leave the house? Maybe it’s the thought of long weekends spent with friends, cooking alfresco, playing music into the night? Ultimately, it comes down to the quality of light; from those bright, early mornings, warm tones flooding each room, to the late arrival of darkness.
With warmer climes in store for the next few months, here are my top tips for summer ready living.
A Room Under The Stars
Now more than ever, the boundaries between what’s indoor and outdoor are becoming blurred, giving us creative license to experience a new outdoor living space as a natural extension of our homes. From festoon lights hung in strings or shades grouped in trees, to floor lights and portable lamps, the choice of outdoor lighting is far more design-led. Introduce outdoor rugs and large floor cushions in jute and canvas to your outdoor set-up.
Softly, softly
It goes without saying that harsh indoor lighting at any time of year is a huge no-no unless you’re using it to focus on something. I love the look of one large statement lamp or pendant made from natural materials such as veneer that diffuses the light and throws out interesting shadow. Use a lower wattage of bulb for an intimate, soft light for the perfect transition into the twilight hours.
Paint With Light
Focus on lighting a specific area of your garden such as a seating area or by uplighting its architectural features. By using the light to paint with, you can emphasise certain plants, highlight the boundaries of your garden and choose where to direct the attention. Solar lights, LED lanterns and candles are an easy way to achieve this if hard wired lighting isn’t an option.
Bring The Outdoor In
Botanicals are definitely here to stay, with more of us owning houseplants meaning those without a physical garden can still enjoy the benefits. Layer your home with large statement plants such as the rubber tree (Ficus Elastica) or Monstera Deliciosa, placing lamps nearby to highlight their form. If real plants aren’t your thing but you still love the look, introduce botanical motifs in different fabrics in soft furnishings and art.
Well, I’ve got a G&T waiting for me in my lovely little sunroom. Hope I’ve inspired you to throw open all the doors and windows and welcome summer in!
Written by Tiffany Grant Riley, interior stylist, collector of houseplants, mother and minimalist.