Summer House

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We all long for summer—those endless days filled with sunshine and afternoons spent idling by the shore. When evening falls, we unwind with a cocktail while relaxing on a lounge chair in the backyard alive with the scent of flowers. The new season also asks for new palette of hues as we borrow from the bold colors we find in nature: think fresh flowers. Use vibrant colors that range from deep reds to rich plums, chartreuses, leafy greens, and turquoises to tangerines, cinnamons, pastels, crisp blues, and light browns. This season’s more neutral palette includes silver grays, metallics, and iridescents, as well as beiges, creams, and buttery ivory hues.

Ellee Nolan Asaro, Owner/Head Designer of Trade Mart Interiors—a designer boutique specializing in drapery design and custom bedding— had this bit of advice: “Consider sixty percent color on the walls and ceiling, thirty percent on upholstery and drapery, and ten on accent pillows, vases, photo frames, and other home accessories. Once you mix them all together, you have a great color palette to play with.”

This award-winning interior designer also said that soft furnishings such as bedding, linens and pillow upholsteries offer an inexpensive and rather effortless way to update our homes. “Beach-inspired decorating gives your home a laid back setting just right for summer,” added Nolan Asaro. “Use a variety of fabrics and accents that yield a relaxed atmosphere. A larger splash of vibrantly-colored pillows as the backdrop on upholstered furniture or beds will add character, too.”

For runners and tablecloths, opt for vibrant prints and patterns such as florals, and bright hand towels offer another way to add a splash of color. As for flooring, think woven mats.

When it comes to interior accents, nothing says summer quite like a display of shells, coral, and sea glass. Nolan Asaro suggests designing a vignette of colored sea glass, pretty shells, and bold corals and setting them up on a table by the entrance to your home. Of course, these ideas can be used in every room of a home or even outside. For after dark, place a few lanterns around the home or the backyard, and candles will cast a golden glow about your space, too.

For summer, we can incorporate fresh of wildflowers as well. Nolan Asaro suggests placing pots of flowers or urns by the front door or planting rosebushes in the front garden, but you can use just about any seasonal plants to welcome in that critical summer vibe.

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