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