Summer Design Essentials You Should Know

1. Mixing is the New Matching

When it comes to patio spaces, a fusion of patterns and styles is the key to elevating exteriors from

basic to extraordinary. Don’t worry about finding a matching patio set—curate your space

to your taste by mixing French bistro chairs and a rustic stone table, or wicker lounge seating and

a teak dining table. Pairing diverse trends adds visual interest to patio furniture, and allows

you to establish a bespoke mood in the space. For additional comfort—and style points—add

throw cushions to banquettes and seating arrangements in colours and patterns that play

off of the garden’s florals. If you prefer contrast, stripes, chevron, and geometric prints

are bold and add a modern, eclectic touch to both indoor and outdoor seating areas.

2. Look to the Light

Set the mood for your warm summer nights with dreamy string lights and other considered

lighting installations. Strands outfitted with vintage-inspired Edison bulbs, strung between

trees or along pergolas, are an easy addition that make a big impact, lending an Old-World

atmosphere to outdoor dining spaces. For covered seating areas, source Moroccan-inspired

pendant lamps to hang from above and illuminate the entire space when the sun sets, or opt

for elegant pillar candles tucked into glass hurricane holders for a soft glow. For chillier evenings,

a patio fire bowl or gas fireplace adds both warmth and light, so you can enjoy your outdoor space

even when the leaves begin to turn.

3. Plants Belong Everywhere

One of the best parts of summer is the ability to spend more time outside among the lush

greenery—a well-designed outdoor space and tended-to garden can feel like an exotic getaway

in your own backyard. Don’t restrict your summer redesign to outside, however: your interiors

deserve a sunny update, too. An easy way to instantly make your home season-appropriate is by

incorporating leafy plants. Whether with tropical-printed fabrics boasting palm leaf prints or with

actual tropical plants—philodendrons and dieffenbachia breeds are easy to care for—bringing

greenery indoors is a great way to revive a space.

4. Forego the Expected; Embrace Drama

This summer, it’s all about taking risks and choosing to not play it safe when it comes to outdoor

design choices. Rather than selecting patio furniture that feels ordinary and expected, go for more

dramatic choices to make a big impact. Sofa swings are an elevated seating choice—they’re both

comfortable and visually striking. Select standalone pieces like an antique chaise lounge to create

a focal point, or furnish your outdoor dining area with white wrought-iron architectural chairs with

ultra-saturated coloured cushions for an elegant and dramatic effect. This trend is all about juxtaposing

the refined with more surprising, bold design elements.

5. Natural Materials Provide Depth

For both indoor and outdoor spaces, layered textures and materials can add welcome depth

and personality to a room or garden. Natural materials like rattan and linen are well-suited to

summer heat, so opt for pieces that add earthiness to both patio and interior spaces. Organic

materials like hand-thrown ceramics augment a room’s artisanal flair—select embossed jugs,

vases, or wine carafes and fill them with freshly-cut flowers to imbue your rooms with warmth

without turning up the heat. To achieve a layered design, consider materials in varying textures

and forms—salvaged wood tables, natural-fibre throws, and jute or bamboo area rugs are all

texturally-intriguing choices that also sit well together.

Long summer days that turn into long summer nights deserve spaces suited to socializing,

lounging, and everything in between. With these tips in mind, your home can easily become

the verdant and stylish summer oasis of your dreams.

Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, Style and Design July 15, 2019