» Summer florals have become a huge returned trend, updated from the overly fussy patterns we associate with granny’s curtains, to become contemporary, organic touches of natural beauty. In this dining room space, I used an elegant, leafy wallpaper to draw a connection to the outdoors and summer, and then continued it into the kitchen to visually link the two rooms as well. For a similar effect try Graham & Brown’s “Claire” or “Harem Tulips” prints (left) visit their site at grahambrown.com» Did you know that wallpaper can make a beautiful backsplash? By itself of course it’s a little impractical, but adding simple glass panels over top gives an easily cleaned surface while letting the paper shine through. This way, you can use one favourite print throughout, or choose a special accent to create a unique backsplash feature.
Keep Your Options Open
» Sometimes the best way to introduce fresh, fun colour in a space is to start with none at all – keeping your fixed elements neutral gives you a flexible backdrop for ever-changing accents to suit your moods. You’ll see however that doesn’t mean I let these spaces be boring: introducing variety through patterns, textures, and different materials (such as the wood table and clear plastic chairs) gives even a neutral palette lots of depth and visual interest year round.» Once you have this beautiful neutral canvas, introduce colour through accessories. Live plants add a summer friendly infusion of green to liven up your dining table or countertop. Removing the doors from a standard cupboard creates an open shelving display for colourful dishes and glassware – just keep the doors stashed away for later. Add a few beautiful books or an oversized vase, and suddenly you’ve got a whole colour scheme you can switch up at any time.
Blur the Lines
» I love pieces that can work indoors and out, such as the classic Bertoia dining chair in this eat-in kitchen (left). The open metal frame makes a mid-century statement inside, but is totally practical outdoors, so it can be moved to wherever you want extra seating. Other pieces such as ceramic garden stools, stone topped bistro tables, or these clear plastic stackable chairs provide equal flexibility – consider investing in these even in the colder months and love them all year round.» Whether you have a wall full of windows around a patio door or a small sliver of glass, keep the view as open as possible by hanging a simple sheer over top. By draping the full wall you help blur the line between the walls and windows, making the warm light the focus, and preserving the sightlines while also maintaining your privacy. Place the rod just below the ceiling and run the fabric to just above the ground, for a clean, contemporary effect.
Sing the Blues
» I chose a fresh blue hue to accent this space (left), which turned out to be a huge 2014 trend ahead of its time! This goes to show the importance of choosing a shade which speaks to you and to the indoor space – you’ll still love it later even as trends come and go. However, if you do want to add a similar colour, try Benjamin Moore’s #806 Breath of Fresh Air (either for walls or a reference for accents), and pair it with either my favourite fresh white (#2121-70 Chantilly Lace) or my go-to neutral (#OC-23 Classic Gray).» Blue and green (which is half blue) are both natural hues that we are used to seeing in the world in a tone-on-tone effect, so they make great near-neutrals and work especially well when combined in multiple shades. This makes it especially easy to slowly add up an accessory collection over time (as you happen across different stores) without wondering about whether pieces will “match” – if you stick to the blues, you won’t have a worry in the world.