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Sunshine State of Mind

If home is where the heart is, shouldn’t it be a place of positive vibes and happiness? Rejuvenate your living space with some fresh looks to get your home stylishly summer-ready. By Swati Sadhwani

Aah, summer! That time of the year when life revolves around sun, sand, mangoes and ice cold lemonade. That time of the year when your wardrobe gets a complete revamp; you pack away your heavy, dreary warm clothes to bring out light and breezy tees and cute shorts and summer dresses to the front.

While you lighten your wardrobe, maybe it is time to consider doing the same to your home. Here’s how:

Revamp your couch
Accessorise with throw pillows and cushions in bright colours like a nice sky blue, or a mango yellow; all the colours that remind you of summer. This year, shades of orange are hot, hot, hot! Also look for pretty floral prints and fresh bright stripes to revive the room. Cushions are the best accessories to brighten a dull couch and add a splash of colour to the room.

Rethink that empty wall
Put up prints and posters or photographs of the beach, or your own kids playing in the pool, or anything that reminds you of summer. It can look like a window into the perfect Bahaman summer holiday, right in your bedroom.

Add life to a dull corner
Append a beautiful potted plant, and maybe add an LED backlight to make it pop. Choose a shade-loving plant like the gorgeous flowering Hydrangea or the curvy green shoots of the Snake Plant to add a modern look to your space. Plus, an indoor plant is a natural air purification system!

It is time for a curtain call
Another thing that can totally transform a room is curtains. Trade in those heavy drapes for two layered curtains, one sheer and one in a nice contrasting colour or print. Curtains in hues of lemon zest and golden daffodils can instantly cheer up your space. Leave the heavier layer open, to let the summer breeze and light waft in through those sheer white or cream curtains, giving your room a beautiful diffused lighting look.

Bring the outdoors in
Add a wicker or wrought iron-style little breakfast table and chairs, into a sunny corner near a window. Patio furniture is best to achieve this look; it is inexpensive and can look very chic.

Start a windowsill garden
Grow some herbs in interesting pots and place them along your kitchen windowsill. Water them and watch them grow. These herbs can also add some absolutely delicious flavours to your cooking. A basil leaf or a sprig of rosemary or thyme looks beautiful and tastes even better!

Easy, breezy does it
What could be better than curling up with a good book next to the window, looking out to enjoy another beautiful summer’s day? Pull a bench up under your bedroom window; add some cushions or throw pillows and you have a beautiful little window seat to soak up some vitamin D.

Add texture
Provide depth to your room by redoing one wall in a natural texture. Statement walls in bright colours and loud patterned wallpapers are so yesterday. Go with an exposed brick wall, or a raw concrete or stone texture; this look will stay classy, organic and interesting for a long time to come.

Don’t skip the cleaning!
Never underestimate the power of a thorough scrubbing! Wash the curtains, move aside your furniture and make sure all the floors are vigorously cleaned; the fans, light fixtures, the furniture and walls, all polished to ninth heaven. Everything looks fresher and the experience can be cathartic for you too. Just remember not to do it all at one go but to divide the chore into nice, small and doable portions.

Get rid of clutter
Hoarding is one of those horrible habits many of us have; we pile stuff up and promptly forget about it and never throw them away and this can really weigh us down. De-clutter each room and bathroom, and organize closets and linen cupboards to make everything easily accessible. You will find that you have a lot more space, as well as a lighter load.

Remember, less is more.
When going with bright accessories or bold designs, make sure not to overdo it. A little bit can go a long way but too much can make your space look cluttered and messy, or distasteful. Keep it simply, classy and most of all, maintainable.

The magic mantra this summer is to go colour happy. Check out the hottest colour trends for 2013. Transform your home into a fresh and sunny space with trending colours like yellow, blue and green, especially in contrast to white furniture. Neutrals and pastels are also a big hit this year, for that minimalist and modern feel, as are neons and bold patterns. Curtains, cushions, couches and canvases – bring the brightness of summer into your homes and leave the heat out.

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