While part of us wants to jump on a pool float and shout ‘summmer!’ every time the sun comes out, the other half of us has serious FOMO (that’s fear of missing out) as we worry about not making the most of it.
Summer, of course, is a time for celebrating with good food, drinks, friends and embracing the moment – even if it is raining outside. And we think the best way to ring in the season and feel part of it is by marking the season with some new tableware, a few accessories, even a change of furniture. With the tips below we’ll show you how a few new chairs, a little paint or some tableware can put you in a good mood – now all you need to do is set up that invite and get the inflatable pool ready. Piña colada anyone?
Room at the table
One of the coolest trends of summer 2017 – and one that we think should frankly stick around every summer – is the tropical look. It started with pineapple (surely interior design’s favourite fruit?) and continued with all things palm tree, bamboo and pink, white and gold bringing the look of a Malibu pool party to even the dreariest day. Tropical these days has combined with the current mood for metallics and the overriding pale pink and green trend to create something fresh and new.
So take inspiration – choose a plain table, add a touch of pale pink in the form of a table runner or some pink plates then touches of pale green with ceramic tumblers or glasses and copper cups and cutlery. Finish it off with some decorative pineapples scattered down the middle of the table as centrepieces – and even a few palm-print cushions here and there on some retro dining chairs. Your guests will feel like they’re in Palm Springs, even if the weather doesn’t quite agree.
You can still enjoy the summer even if it’s raining – fact. And actually, it might be better to embrace the bad weather than try and fight against it. Rather than trying to fire up the barbecue in a July hailstorm, a few quick tricks can make your indoors feel just as exciting as the outdoors.
Again, this is where fern and leaf prints come in handy, summoning up that tropical clubhouse vibe. Try some wall art in lush green, pink and marble, add some copper in the form of vases or lamps, and of course some real-life greenery with plants in stone pots and glasses. Cacti are another big trend, and these look good in the form of ceramic vases, plates and sculptures. Who says your garden has to be outside?
The perfect garden party
And of course when the sun is shining, it’s time to dress up your outdoor space! Recent years have seen summer parties evolving from a few drinks around a plastic table to a full-on phenomenon with bar carts, colourful picnicware and teepees all becoming part of the fun. If you’re the type of person who tends to see the garden as just somewhere to have the odd dinner or drink, it’s worth thinking about some of these items as even just having them can encourage you to get out there more often.
One of the biggest trends of last summer is back again this year and it’s the craze for pool inflatables – the more kitsch, the better! Think of giant pink doughnuts or flamingos for taking that Insta-worthy selfie in. Add a table full of colourful pastel picnic plates and exotic cocktail glasses to finish. And how about a tiki glass for serving cocktails in?
When it comes to bigger garden furniture, try ‘zoning’ some areas using planters and pots, for example creating a dining area, a lounging area or a barbecue zone and filling the planters with ferns and leafy green friends. When it comes to tables, swap the usual bistro table for a picnic bench or even some stools near the pool. And LED lights are a good safe idea for outdoors – keep them away from the water and scatter them around your patio. You’re (almost) guaranteed to have queues outside the door.
Sit in colour
Why not make sure the furniture looks the part too? We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: chairs and stools are the easiest way to bring a little colour to your outdoor area.
Just add some bright-toned ones, ideally in hardwearing metal. Tolix-style dining chairs, known for their moulded metal bases and stacking industrial-style legs, are ideal for this as they’re available in a wide range of colours from acid greens to bright orange. And as they’re stackable, you can stash them away when the weather takes a turn.
If you haven’t got the budget or space for chairs, try cushions – don’t worry too much about getting outdoor cushions, as many cushions these days come with unzippable covers you can throw in the wash. And for a really decadent look, try some velvet dining chairs in your conservatory, tapping into 2017’s other big trend, rich jewel colours.