Say it quietly but I think summer is here. And with the warming of the weather you will no doubt want your home to reflect the sunny season with an interior that is fresh and uplifting. A room that looked cosy and warm in December will probably be feeling fairly stuffy at the minute. So how can you give your home the summertime time makeover it needs without emptying out your wallet?
The key is to go simple. In hot weather the last thing you want is an over-stuffed home full of knick-knacks and clutter anyway. Not only is an un-cluttered ambience just what you are looking for in summer, it is also really cheap!
The Minimalists of the 1930s and 1940s provided a fantastic summer model – one of economy, efficiency, space and freshness – by using fewer and less ornate furnishings and accessories.
That's the perfect look for summer when the feel of a fresh breeze from an open window and the brightness of the sun is all that's necessary to make a home feel "new" again.
Begin by removing some of the larger, heavier pieces of furniture. This enables the re-placement of the remaining furniture so that there is more space between the main pieces, giving a feeling of openness and airiness to the room. Taking up your large area rugs and replacing them with smaller cheap rugs like rag rugs or rattan ones to reveal more of the bare flooring will increase this impression.
If you have a few pounds to spend, a gallon of white or pale green paint on the walls will immediately banish any wintertime hang over– but failing that, even a small amount of paint used to freshen up a second hand bookshelf or the skirting boards around the room, will give it a new look and can be changed again in a few months if the look gets boring.
Clearing the mantelpiece, shelves, cabinets and countertops of the many little items that built up there over the winter is surprisingly effective. Instead of multiple small photos in metal frames, place one or two larger photos or art works in a simple arrangement, leaning against the wall or each other in a (carefully!) unstructured way.
Instead of the darker wood and gold lamps, vases, frames and tables that might have been used in the room, look around the house for glass, brightly coloured or white ceramics, and aluminium or bamboo furniture and lamps. Bring in a few pieces of wicker from the porch if they can be spared, and use instead of an upholstered piece. What you are trying to achieve is a much more whimsical feel to your surroundings.
Replace heavy drapes with net curtains drawn back with tiebacks or bamboo blinds, and keep the windows sparkling clean.
The room now looks open, brighter, and the air and traffic circulate more freely. While the investment of time and energy might have been more than one had planned, the results are apparent in your now summer themed home cost next to nothing to create and better yet, will need even less work to keep that way.