June 16, 2013

Summer can inspire decor all year

Steer clear of tacky, but do try all that's wonderful about beautiful, breezy looks.

By MELISSA RAYWORTH/The Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

This bar with its beach-inspired design demonstrates how the sun-drenched colors and windswept beachfront textures of summer provide ample inspiration for indoor decorating. With a light touch and careful choices, summer can provide ideas for an interior you'll love all year long.

The Associated Press/Lucas Studio Inc., Karyn Millet

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Sandy shades create a calming atmosphere for this living room.

The Associated Press/Lucas Studio Inc., Karyn Millet

"Everyone thinks their library has to be stained a rich mahogany or dark walnut," but there are better approaches. "Paint it an off-blue-grey or lacquer it a fun, brighter color."

SUMMER IS NATURAL TEXTURES

"Summery textures really make you want to curl up, kick your sandals off, and just escape with a book or magazine," Flynn says. "I use tons of linen in summer-inspired spaces, as well as cotton and textured wovens." Also, he says, "sea grass and sisal are other summery textures which will never go out of style."

The key with these materials, says Burnham, is moderation. Materials like rope or weathered wood are great "as long as you don't have a room full of any of those items. One sisal carpet, a rattan chair or a rattan seat on a wood chair," is all you need, says Burnham.

Also, "glass is summery," she says, "but not cut glass. Not Waterford crystal. Just really simple, New England looking pieces. Really simple glassware on a shelf."

Lucas points out that grasscloth is also both summery and stylish, as are faux bois (wood grain painted on a non-wood surface) and faux shagreen (artificial shark skin).

SUMMER IS WHIMSICAL

Lucas suggests experimenting with just a touch of summer silliness. "There are some really fun wallpapers," he says, such as Katie Ridder's crab pattern in a pale salmon color, that are "definitely inspired by nature and the sea."

"Yes," he says, "it's 'theme-y,' but she does them in all sort of kooky colors" that bring a chic sense of irony to summer decorating. "You do a dining room in that, or a powder room in that," Lucas says, "and it's got a much more fun, light and airy look."

No matter your personal style or geographic location, Flynn says summer can serve as inspiration.

"Whether you're into the less-is-more approach and want to stick with muted blues, whites and sand tones, or prefer the high-energy, Caribbean-colored side of summer," he says, "there's certain to be something out there for you."

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