For every person who can’t wait for autumn’s crisp breezes and kaleidoscopic foliage, there’s another who wants to hold onto summer for as long as possible. While we can’t control time and tides, we do have some suggestions for retaining a summertime vibe in your home year-round.
The dark brown stripes of the rug and the rich green leaf-motif curtain fabric set off the pale rattan chairs and tasseled light fixture perfectly. Photo by Seamus Peane, courtesy of designer Hannah Crowell.
Add Wicker, Rattan, Sisal, or Jute
These richly textured materials are no longer just for porches, patios, and sunrooms. A greater emphasis on the organic in decor had led to more indoor furniture, rugs, and lighting being made from tropical-leaning elements. “Rattan is a great way to add texture and a nod to the outdoors,” says Becca Roderick, One Kings Lane director of interior design. “There are many options to choose from—a great wingback version of chair or even a lamp can be easily integrated into many different looks.” Two favorites are the Bali Rattan Club Chair and the Amalfi Chandelier, both of which render traditional silhouettes in unexpected materials.
Natural-fiber rugs are an even easier way to bring summery woven texture home. And when the temperatures drop, you can always layer a wool, hide, or sheepskin rug atop it.
Photography by Judith Gigliotti and Natalie Obradovich offers a similar sun-sand-and-surf vibe as the works above. Photo by Kimberly Genevieve.
Introduce Alfresco Art
Even when the scene outside your window is gray or snowy, you can lose yourself at the beach or in a garden courtesy of photographs, paintings, or prints that depict your favorite season in all its glory. For fun-in-the-sun glamour, the photos of Slim Aarons can’t be beat; T.S. Harris captures a somewhat more-wistful vibe with paint. Amy Neunsinger’s photos of flora are so lush, you can almost smell the blooms. And Emma Williams manages to pair both flowers and the seaside in her charming prints.
Dawn Wolfe‘s butterfly collages are a subtle way to savor summer’s beauty year-round.
Trim in a rich, warm green velvet ensures that the floral pattern of the chairs feels appropriate even in winter. As well as contributing a tropical note, the towering plant draws the eye upward to the elaborate moldings. Photo by Tony Vu; design by Fawn Galli.
Don’t have a sunny corner like this one? Spider plants and moth orchids are just two types of plants that need only minimal light—and of course, faux greenery requires no light at all. Photo by Tony Vu.
Draw on Flower Power
Beyond botanical prints and other floral artwork, upholstery with a floral motif can remind you of a vibrant garden throughout the barren months of winter. If you’re afraid a bloom-strewn chair will look out of place come January, opt for jewel tones rather than pastels. (Our Palette tool, incidentally, allows you to select the colors and scale of several upholstery patterns with floral motifs.) Or start small, with pillows or, in the bedroom, sheets.
And don’t forget the power of plants in a space. Those whose thumbs are anything but green can rest assured that even the most lifelike faux florals are impossible to kill.
Scented candles and diffusers are a subtle but perhaps even more powerful way to evoke summertime bliss. Beyond lush florals, consider fragrances with sandy, grassy, or salty notes to call to mind coastal breezes. Two to consider: Lafco’s Sea and Dune and Sapphire from Baobab Collection.
As is, this room’s palette calls to mind sailing and beachcombing. It can easily be warmed up with the addition of sheepskins and toasty throws. Photo by Manuel Rodriguez.
Bring in Blue and White
Forget the old saw about no white beyond Labor Day. White furnishings or walls are a tried-and-true way to brighten a space as the days get shorter and the nights get longer. (There’s a reason whites and creams are a key component of Gustavian style, which originated in Sweden.) If pure white seems a bit stark or chilly for you, temper it with crisp blue for a dash of nautical panache. For the sunniest effect, shy away from moody blues and opt instead for clean, classic hues. Because white is a neutral and blue is as good as one, you can easily warm them up with reds, oranges, browns, and other colors later in the year, or you can layer on sheepskins, throws, and other cozy elements in the same palette.