8 Ways to Design and Decorate Your Home to maximise the summer sun

Matt Wineera, AREINZ
Matt Wineera, AREINZ
Published on October 27, 2018

If 2018 was anything to go by, summer 2019 is set to be a scorcher. A home designed and then decorated to capitalise on the heady mood of fun-in-the-sun freedom, brings the holiday feeling home.

The courtyard

Design it: Classic for a reason, an L or U-shaped floorplan becomes an embrace in which to locate a courtyard. It brings the outside to the heart of your home and gives cocktail-cool shelter from the wind or from the hot summer sun.

Decorate: A few large-scale planter boxes (rather than lots of small pots) have high impact. If you can’t find any off-the-shelf, ask an engineering company to custom-design some in weathering steel for a contemporary kick.

Windows, windows, windows

Design: Build in Californian modern design style with full-height, floor-to-ceiling windows that allow any room to breathe.

Decorate: Use light-on-its-feet furnishings such as a modern woven chairs (based on the Alvar Aalto classic armchair 406) to keep the aesthetic beach-side effortless.

Back patio
Bring the holiday feeling to your home. Photo: Stocksy

… And some more windows

Design: Even when you need the solidity of a wall – for a bank of kitchen cabinetry, for example – retain the free ‘n’ easy feel of being connected to the sky with clerestory windows beneath a high roofline.

Decorate: A splash of blue emphasises the colour of the sky and captures a coastal calm; a pale-blue glass splashback bounces light around the room.

Bringing in the light

Design: Louvres let in a cooling cross breeze – and come with firm locking mechanisms (good for holiday homes that are unoccupied for weeks at a time).

Decorate: Pick up on the resort-style of louvres by adding Hollywood lux such as a freestanding baths, lazy big-as ceiling fans and cane furniture with off-white upholstery – great for that summer feeling.

How to use glass to your advantage

Design: Glass balustrades around decking don’t obscure that million-dollar view and accentuate the feeling of open-ness.

Decorate: If you’ve invested in glass so the vista takes a hero role, don’t blow it by cluttering the deck with too much summer furniture.

bay window
An easy summer-reading spot. Photo: iStock


Design: Wide, grandstand-style stairways provide access to the patio or pool from the upper levels of a home – and double as casual outdoor seating.

Decorate: Furniture that is easy to move between indoors and out (such as pouffes, stools and side tables) is a budget-smart summer investment.

What about a window seat?

Design: Window seats allow you to read (or contemplate life with a wine) while keeping one eye on the kids (or young at heart) so they don’t get up to too much mischief.

Decorate: Use a “here comes summer” shade such as a joyful egg-yolk yellow for the upholstery and sling on a slouchy cushion in a contrast pattern to make it extra comfy.

Don’t forget the hallway

Design: Make good use of utilitarian areas. Even in a corridor, slot windows maintain an important link to the outdoors.

Decorate: Don’t let your hallway be a bore: it can be an art gallery or a walk-along library with wall-mounted bookcases, or an energetic avenue papered in bold- patterned wallpaper.


— This story originally appeared on Stuff

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