Home improvement: The beauty of a Suffolk summer in your home
- Credit: Archant
Summer in East Anglia – the colours, the hazy sunshine, the heave of bright blue wave after bright blue wave … unless it rains of course.
Ellen Widdup looks at how you can bring the magic of the season into your home.
There is nowhere in the world like East Anglia during the summer months.
And although we are all hoping to be spending more time in the garden than indoors this summer you can welcome the sunshine inside as well.
That small window of joyous, balmy summer days should be celebrated and what better way than letting your interior reflect the season?
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Add summer all year around
Conservatories are now among the most popular home improvements in Britain. And their popularity makes perfect sense.
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For the majority of the time it is chilly here in our beloved Albion, and if not chilly then frozen, foggy or just plain wet.
So why not build a glass roof over your garden?
The garden room – as the conservatory’s moniker has been upgraded to over time – can be as simple as a space for a sofa and a coffee table.
But if you have the cash why stop at somewhere to sit and read the Sunday papers?
Today conservatories are living spaces that are just as likely to feature swimming pools as magazine racks.
Rosemary Cattee, of Woodbridge-based Rosemary Cattee Interiors, said: “The evolution of the conservatory came about because of the interest in growing exotic plants, and by the 18th century a building made largely from glass rather than masonry was possible.
“The conservatory created a wonderful sense of the outdoors to be enjoyed even when the weather was inclement.
“Since then we have been inspired to create our own garden room to protect tender plants over winter but more importantly somewhere that gives us a glorious living space all year round.”
Let light in
Summer is all about light. And the best way to bathe your home in that warming glow is to encourage natural light in.
Rosemary added: “If you don’t have a conservatory the easiest way to bring summer indoors, so that your home becomes an extension of your garden, is to allow natural light in.
“Change any heavy, dark curtains for lighter alternatives. White or cream curtains made of sheer linen - such as the Drawn Thread Collection from Volga Linen - are thin enough to let light in even when they’re closed, helping you make the most of the evening light. Also the pale colour brightens up a room without clashing with your colour scheme.
“If you prefer interlined curtains, for an instant shot of sunshine at your windows explore the ranges by GP&J Baker. The divine fabric Tree Peony, a floral print in a strong yellow and ivory is superb, or for a more botanical feel, the luscious Royal Ferns in vibrant greens.
“Similarly, your home accessories should change with the onset of warmer days. Swapping your cushions and tablecloths with either washed out or bright linens such as Lea Linen & Langdale Linens again from GP&J Baker can make a real difference without making any permanent change.”
But the best way to let light in is to add more windows isn’t it? Is it time to reach for the sledgehammer?
Rosemary said: “The brief on a recent project I had was to blur the distinction between the outdoors and indoors. We used the ultra contemporary Sky-Frame sliding doors which gave a seamless feel to the open-plan kitchen and living room on to a decked area.”
Too many homes are devoid of flowers unless there are celebrations, commiserations or a guilty conscience.
But a bunch of blooms can light up an entire room – and you can change the hue every week.
Rosemary said: “Formal floral arrangements can be too heavy for summertime, take a cue from the garden and casually arrange flowers as they would grow outdoors.
“Add some fragrant herbs, such as mint, and sage, into arrangements or plant them in a window box outside and enjoy the aroma.
“Ferns are beautiful foliage plants that will add softness and movement to your home, the larger the better for impact.
“Fill the borders nearest the house with lavender and rosemary so the fragrance drifts through your home.”
For more inspiration visit www.rosemarycattee.co.uk