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  • Sweet Summery Spaces

  • Celebrate the season of sun by turning an unused interior space into a cool, summertime living area.
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    • a room in bloom
      Create a breezy, cool feeling during hot summer months with flowers and plants.
      For an inexpensive, summery design theme, line up several cylindrical vases that are about 8 inches tall. Fill ea...
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      a room in bloom
      Create a breezy, cool feeling during hot summer months with flowers and plants.

      For an inexpensive, summery design theme, line up several cylindrical vases that are about 8 inches tall. Fill each with a single stem of the same flower, adding some garden greenery if desired. Place these all around the house—on windowsills, side tables, even the back of the toilet tank.

      Play up an existing design by using decorations as unexpected containers for blossoms.

      "If you have an Old World sensibility, put those lovely painted cups and bowls to use by employing them as vases atop floral cloths in pastel shades," suggests Jacksonville interior designer Cheryl von Tress. "A country home style would draw upon crockery and metal containers for displaying flowers and garden produce."

      Combine flowers, fruits, vegetables and flora-inspired linens for a summery Tuscan villa or French chateau tableau.

      Pitchers are another perfect seasonal vase—especially a cobalt blue pitcher filled with bursting colors from the garden.

      If you don't have a garden, don't despair. The same look can be created using blossoms purchased at farmer's markets, produce stands and grocery stores. To economize, buy several bunches of different kinds of flowers to arrange yourself.

      Finally, turn some attention to houseplants. "Trim them, getting rid of all the dead winter bits," says Ashland designer Annie McIntyre. "Then take them outside, spray them off and make them all green and shiny. Top off the soil with fresh moss or bark or whatever's best for the plant."

      Adding these natural touches will freshen up the whole house for summertime.
  • Celebrate the season of sun by turning an unused interior space into a cool, summertime living area.
    An often overlooked area is in front of a French or sliding glass door.
    "Creating a living space in front of a door expands the area a lot," says Annie McIntyre of McIntyre Interiors in Ashland. "You feel like the whole outdoors becomes part of the room."
    Frame the interior space with an area rug; try lively stripes or a floral print for a real mood elevator. Now bring some furniture around the outside of the rug, facing the door. Cover the pieces in cotton twill or a canvas slipcover then add jewel-toned or green and blue throw pillows.
    Blur the delineation between inside and outside by placing pots of flowers on both sides of the interior doors.
    Once you've opened up your view, make sure what you're looking at is attractive and well-kempt. Wash windows and install screens where necessary to discourage bugs.
    "Clean up your patio, get rid of old, dead leaves, keep the grass trimmed and the gardens weeded," McIntyre says. "Doing this will give your interior the soothing, fresh, delicious colors from a lush yard."
    Use garden colors to inspire more fabric choices, allowing greens, blues and other cool hues to spread over tabletops and beds.
    Next look to the windows.
    "Summer is the season to remove heavy tapestries, brocades, jacquards and chenilles," says Cheryl von Tress of Cheryl von Tress Design, LLC in Jacksonville.
    To cool things off, opt for window panels in open-weave cotton, silk, linen and flax that drape casually and allow air movement.
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