Home Experts: Local News
A Summer Wardrobe for Your Home
Story Updated: Jul 2, 2012
Bring the Outdoors In
It’s a happy day when you can leave the back door open and walk from kitchen to deck in bare feet; you’re not only enjoying the fresh air outside, but also letting it waft through the indoors. “Open up windows and doors to help freshen rooms and provide natural ventilation to replace winter staleness of the home interior,” says Charlene Steinman, an interior designer with Jensen Yorba Lott in Juneau. “Views to the outside spaces are important, so accessories like outdoor hanging planters, flower pots, wind chimes or other indoor-outdoor accessories help extend your living space to enjoy the outdoors during the summer,” she adds.
To take full advantage of the summer colors and light, make sure your view to the great outdoors is crystal clear. “Wash your windows,” says Cheryl Murphy, interior designer and owner of Hot Elements in Anchorage. She points out that with all the colorful summer happening outside, it takes more than just an airy curtain to frame the season. “In Alaska, you can never get enough sun, and the best way to brighten your home is through clean windows.”
Once those panes of glass sparkle, Steinman recommends choosing “window coverings that are flexible to allow daylight in and to shield glare on warmer days when needed,” she says. “Heavy opaque drapes can be tied back, or taken off altogether for the summer months to allow light in, and help brighten interior spaces.”
Maximize the bright space and blur the line between indoors and out by strategically placing mirrors to reflect the outdoor greenery or colorful hanging flower baskets, says Murphy. “A well-placed mirror will bring in light and act as a new window.”
The sun is shining, the garden’s in full bloom and the grill is beckoning you. Go ahead: Extend your indoor living spaces to the outdoors. It all starts with flexibility.
“People entertain more during summer months, taking advantage of outdoor seating, barbequing and firepit areas,” sys Steinman. “So elements from the interior may need to be transportable to the exterior spaces.” Consider durable indoor/outdoor rugs, dishware and table linens in an array of colors and carry that palette right out the back door to the outdoor chair pads, umbrellas and even hanging lanterns.
From the front porch to the back deck – and all the interior areas in between – summer lets us be as creative and funky as we want to be with our wardrobe, and hey, why not share a wardrobe with your house? A batik pareo will make a perfect outdoor tablecloth just like those backyard flowers in a vase will really lighten up the fireplace.