During a recent conversation, one of my good friends was lamenting the fact that she had a bad case of what she called the “summer bummers.” So many of us—myself included—will be working throughout most of the summer, and vacation still seems far away. I decided I would pull together a few inspirational photos and ideas that might give us a little bit of that summer feeling. Enjoy!
Here’s an appealing little beach cottage that I stumbled across on Pinterest. Really helps you appreciate the definition of breezeway, doesn’t it?
When I try to recall images that really signal that beachy, barefoot feeling, Carolyn Espley-Miller’s beach house in California (featured in House Beautiful) immediately comes to mind. Somehow white slipcovers always say “summer,” don’t they?
Ocean blue accents pop up throughout the house, echoing that tantalizing glimpse of the water you get through the french doors. They give the entire house a cool sea-breezy feeling:
Notice how she weaves in natural fibers—seagrass chandelier shades, rug, and even a headboard:
Using natural fibers in your space immediately gives you more of a summer vibe by creating a more casual, laid-back look. It’s like an invitation to walk around in bare feet.
And if you really want to take it to the next level, for the pièce de résistance: Espley-Miller even manages to make her white SUV feel summery with unexpected, shabby-chic slipcovers. It’s so girly, I can’t help but love it:
Another great beach house recently featured in House Beautiful (this time, on the East Coast): Ken Fulk’s Provincetown vacation home. Like Espley-Miller, he embraces the white slipcovered sofa, natural fiber rugs, and decorating for the summer season—witness that amazing collection of coral on the windowsill behind the couch.
The coral display of course add so much here because this is indeed a seaside vacation home. But if you’re like me and live in a land-locked area of the country, please be advised that displaying shells, coral, or sand dollars in your home just doesn’t quite work. I think seasonal decorating should reflect the actual context, otherwise it feels too contrived.
How about spending summer in the country, maybe at a lake house? I love this rustic yet refined little retreat from McAlpine Tankersley Architects:
Again, white slipcovers keep things fresh and cool amid all that wood. This room gives me the feeling of being in my own treehouse, where I concern myself only with doing lots of “light” summer reading and sipping on ice tea. Having a cute pup lounging at my feet only adds to the appeal.
Or maybe a farmhouse in Upstate New York is more your speed? I’ve always been enchanted by the simplicity of Carrier and Company’s Dove Meadow house. Looking at the kitchen in that house, I feel relaxed and happy, probably because I imagine the day’s agenda will focus on determining what to barbecue for supper that evening:
This photo gives us good clues to easy ways to “bring summer in.” Treat yourself to fresh-cut flowers from the farmers market—I like the look of a mass of the same flower (think simple abundance) in a vase. An added bonus: they’re easy to arrange and have lots of visual impact. Keeping seasonal fruits and vegetables out in pretty bowls on the counters (rather than storing them in the fridge) is another simple way to celebrate the growing season in your home. Here in the Northeast the season always feels so brief, so you have to enjoy it while you have it! It seems only right that summer’s bounty should be on display, serving up a visual, as well as edible, feast!
How are you planning to bring in summer this year? Maybe you’re tending your patio garden? (I still haven’t finished my container garden!) Or eating meals al fresco? I’d love to hear your ideas and inspiration.
Thanks for reading, and here’s to summer!