Summer is the perfect time to give your decor a lift! But you don't need to spend heaps of money or get professional interior designers in to rid your home of the winter woes. Follow these 20 quick home styling tips.
1. Bring the outside in…
“To really bring your home together during summer, make the outdoors and indoors flow,” says Christie. “This is easily achieved by selecting an outdoor rug similar to the inside’s colour scheme. This makes the outdoor-indoor transition seamless, opening the space up and extending the indoors outside which makes your home feel larger. Get creative and create a rug using astro-turf!”
2. Let your garden inspire you….
Getting inspiration can be as simple as looking outside, says Christie.“Update the look of your living space with simple cushions, rugs and throws that are the same colour palette as what you see out the window. If you have an amazing hibiscus at your window, pink cushions will bring that colour in. If you don’t have any plants you can draw on, use emerald green or blue, colours that people automatically associate with the outdoors as your accent colour.
3. Add a fabulous piece of art
“Adding art can have a huge impact on a room,” says Prue. “There are some fabulous galleries around, alternatively many stores such as Adairs, Shack and Freedom stock some wonderful and affordable prints. Pastel prints are a huge trend this season and will brighten up any room.”
Christie has a DIY solution. “If you can’t afford expensive artwork, and your children aren’t Picassos, frame tea towels, bright, funky wrapping paper or even get your favourite photo blown up at the photo lab. Artwork on the walls makes spaces feel alive.”
Zellis Print 90x100cm $349 available at Freedom
4. Refresh your cushions
An easy and affordable option, cushions will always add colour and impact to a room. If you are wondering what colours to choose look to your art, rugs, curtains or any printed fabric in the room for inspiration. On dark couches use light and medium shades for contrast. Light couches use medium to dark shades. And don’t forget patterns.
5. Adopt a plant
“Nature has a way of making green work with any colour scheme,” says Prue. “It adds texture and fills an unloved corner of the room. Choose a large plant like a Stretlitzia or Palm, both say tropical. For really light rooms, the very fashionable fiddle leaf fig is brilliant and needs little care. For darker rooms talk to your local nursery.”
6. Add a basket for a finished look
“Jazz the plant up by putting it in one of this seasons fabulous baskets (it adds additional texture and visual interest) such as the Tigrah Basket, Hills Dale 2 Handle Basket, Lorne Basket range or even the Coco Round Wastepaper Basket from Freedom. A simple plastic plant drip tray from Bunnings in the base will catch the water and stop the basket rotting,” says Prue.
Hills Dale 2 Handle Basket Large $99 from Freedom
7. Think about herbs and fragrants
“Affordable herbs and terracotta pots will create a light and green space sure to brighten your space. For an extra handmade, personal touch, get the children to decorate the pots,” advises Christie.
8. Brighten up your bed
Prue advises purchasing some new linen for your bed to freshen up bedrooms. “A lightweight quilt or blanket will be easier to pull up during the cooler mornings than your heavy doona. There are so many fabulous spring/summer throws, quilts and doona covers out there. If you are a little scared of colour purchase a textured white doona cover such as a waffle weave (try Adairs Home Republic Brooklyn Waffle) or a Waffle blanket.”
9. Try one splash of colour for dramatic effect
“A simple coloured cushion or throw will add the punch of colour without being terrifying,” says Prue. “They can also be easily updated next season or replaced with a chunky knit or fur throw in winter.”
10. Brighten up your bathroom
The bathroom is one of the most used rooms in the house, so don’t forget it when freshening up your home for summer! “Add new towels in some of this season’s hottest colours such as coral, yellow, aqua, blue,” says Prue. “Team them with a patterned bath mat such as the Home Republic Flinders Chevron Bath Mat from Adairs. Change your shower curtain over to something bright and happy such as the ASPIRE Summer Stripe Shower Curtain from Adairs.”
11. Pull out a paint brush and paint your walls
“Paint is one of the cheapest decorating tools if you are willing to do it yourself,” says Prue. “It can instantly change the feeling of a room and go from bland to fab. There are lots of tools online to seek inspiration from, Pinterest and Houzz for example. But if you simply struggle when it comes to paint colours pay the small fee for a colour consultant. Why stress when you can get a great result for small investment? Collect images of rooms you like though to help guide the colour consultant and make the most of your appointment.”
“If you can hang a mirror in a space where it allows you to view your yard from any angle while inside, do it,” says Christie. “Not only will it make your home feel brighter, it will literally bring the outdoors in.”
13. Add curtains
“It was a trend for so long to have just blinds but curtains are back! They can soften a room, provide shelter from the sun blocking out the heat and protecting your furniture from fading, as well as colour and pattern,” says Prue.
14. Use window dressings to add a splash of colour
“There are so many fabulous off the shelf curtains nowdays that are inexpensive but wonderful,” says Prue. “Add a splash of yellow, a more subtle grey or beachy blue and white stripe. Alternatively go for plain colour or nothing says summer more than white linen sheers.
Cotton Canvas Zigzag Curtain - Maize from West Elm
15. Freshen up your home with flowers
Just adding a simple vase of flowers has the ability to brighten up the dullest decor. “Flowers are abundant this time of year and add a splash of colour to a room. They bring the outdoors in,” says Prue.
Now for outside…
Lighting can make all the difference when it comes to creating a relaxing space on balmy evenings. “Warm nights mean you are more inclined to eat outside, so be sure to have the space well-lit and prepared for your next impromptu moonlight meal,” says Christie.
“Intimate lighting including lanterns, candles and paper bags will help recreate the space from day to night.”
17. Outdoor DIY furniture
If your outside area needs that final touch or just more sitting space, Christie says an outdoor bench could be just what you need – and you can make it yourself.
“Make a gorgeous outdoor bench by stapling a pallet with durable, outdoor fabric and a small piece of foam from your local craft store. It’s fun, fresh and can be changed seasonally with a new colour and fabrication.”
18. Plant up
Vertical gardens are a big trend this season – but they don’t have to be expensive, says Christie. “Make your own for next to nothing! Ikea sell many wall-mounted kitchen utensil storage systems. Mount one of these outside and put your plans in the pots rather than your spatulas.”
19. Sand it down
Freshen up paving with a good clean but don’t stop there says Christie. “Make old pavers look new again by sweeping bright white sand in the gaps. It is like cleaning your bathroom grout and makes a huge change.”
20. Declutter and spring clean
Finally Christie advises a good spring clean to really dust off the cobwebs.
“Clean up and get rid of the clutter. This will make your home feel bigger, brighter and best of all it is free!”
Head to HomeHQ for your chance to WIN a spring makeover!