By Edilka Anderson
Now that the better weather is here and there’s sunshine to add joy to our daily lives, let’s consider some safe and clever ways to expand our living spaces and take advantage of all that nature has to offer. Whether you’re thinking of bringing the inside out, or the outside in, here are some tried and true tips that are almost guaranteed to help you up your game and get the job done:
Feel it: Walk around in it and get a sense of your space. What’s the relationship between inside and outside? Where are the doors and windows? How can you work to maximize natural light? Consider the energy and how you want to feel when you spend time here. Is it a quiet, calm vibe you’re after or something more sunny and uplifting? Sometimes it’s simply a change of colours from dark to light that delivers a much- needed boost.
Morning, noon and night: Will you want the area to reflect the time of day and the corresponding activities? Think of easy ways to switch it up with accessories and lighting. A quiet reading room can become a lovely place for afternoon tea. A deck that has morning sun can be an ideal spot for a healthy breakfast and an equally charming place for a shady afternoon nap or romantic sunset drinks. Change chairs from casual to a little more formal, use a different tablecloth and choice of plates or grab a throw and pillow—dress the space to suit the activity!
Fresh and natural: Use natural garden-like colours inside. Opt for environmentally-friendly upholstery, pillows, plants and paints to create harmony and a certain sense of calm. Displaying the same cut flowers inside in a vase as you have growing on the outside lends a gentle flow between inside and out.
Mirror, mirror on the wall: An old trick that’s been used for decades is the careful placement of a decent-size mirror. By hanging your mirror in a spot where it can reflect the garden, outside trees or nearby water you can tease the eye into believing the feature is actually part of the home.
Find your muse: Is it a piece of garden statuary like a sculpture or fountain that can be seen from the window? Perhaps there’s a large canvas or mural along a wall or a natural element that brings out your passion and inspiration. Take a moment and think about what might resonate for you.
Romance: Candlelight and wine goes well in most spaces. Thinking ahead and doing a little repositioning of accessories in your space, as you would when you change from daytime attire to evening wear, will add a ton of charm to even the smallest balcony, secluded corner in a garden or poolside cabana.
Be socially safe and portable: Purchase pieces that are multi-purpose, easy to move and as unique and eclectic as you are. Stools, poufs, side tables and colourful rugs, even lighting and tables can be re-positioned for an afternoon soiree and dinner al fresco. Choose layouts that can facilitate spreading out as necessary and keep a basket with clean masks, wipes and hand-sanitizers close at hand.
Lastly, we’re all ready for a fun summer but we’re not out of the woods yet so follow guidelines and consider distancing recommendations to keep your friends and family safe, indoors and out.