Interior design for summer – let the outside in
Vibrant, alive, fun and hot – this describes summer in South Africa.
With longer days – the sun setting later and rising earlier – we find ourselves in the mood to do more, live more. Warm days mean early-morning dips in cool pools, evening pool parties and braais, or just patio living.
This is all linked to light – both the abundance of natural light available at this time of year, and specific needs requiring the right kind of lighting.
With more time being spent outdoors, it makes sense that the outside should blend seamlessly with our houses.
It’s not possible to spend every moment outdoors, so it’s important to create a space where you feel comfortable, cool and rejuvenated, even when indoors.
And while it isn’t practical to modify your home decor to suit every season, there are a few changes you can make to really lighten your home and maximise your outdoor areas.
Summer is full of splashes of fresh, bold colours. Bright, cool blues, greens, yellows and white can energise a room. Go for colourful scatter cushions and decor. Or if you can, go stark white for a crisp, clean feel. Even a vase of fresh flowers can liven up a room.
Prints and patterns
Jazz up any room with bold prints and patterns – large vivacious prints on scatters and curtains are an easy option. Or try patterned wallpaper on a feature wall; or even easier, just hang up a canvas with bold designs.
Open up spaces by uncluttering areas and surfaces – the more space you have the cooler and freer you will feel. Pack away chunky knit throws and blankets. Lift cosy corners by adding a colourful lamp with a simple, sleek design.
Lighting goes a long way to improving the look and feel of both your indoor and outdoor spaces, and can really transform an area.
With longer days and warm evenings, it’s wise to maximise the natural light offered by windows and doors by inviting it in to create a brighter home. Trade in your thick winter curtains for light, airy ones, and use strategically placed mirrors to enhance the natural light – let the outside in.
Complement this natural light with desk lamps, floor lamps, floor lighting and pendant lights for the room’s specific needs and uses. These will also add to your summer decor, enhancing the room’s vibrance.
If you have a home office then swap out your warm light bulbs for cool lighting, which will help increase your productivity – especially useful in combating hot, restless workdays.
Lighting is also important for outdoor areas like lapas, pool areas, balconies, patios and backyards. It can connect your house with the outdoors, allowing free-flowing living between both areas.
Lighting outdoor spaces means you’re more likely to make use of these areas at night as they become more inviting when lit up. Soft cool lighting around outdoor areas offers just enough visibility and is quite relaxing; it allows you to do what you need to do without being harsh and abrasive to the eyes.
There are several types of outdoor lighting available for various spaces, and you’re sure to find something that suits both your style and your pocket.
With all the summer design options and trends available, ultimately the perfect design is about creating a comfortable, enjoyable space for you. A space in which you can maximise both outdoor and indoor areas for leisure activities – whether it’s some alone time enjoying a lap around the pool, chilled family time on the patio, or entertaining friends and family.